Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 22:24-26
AC 9208. Verses 24-26. If thou shalt lend silver to My people, the needy with thee, thou shalt not be to him as a usurer; ye shall not put usury upon him. If taking a pledge thou shalt take in pledge thy companion’s garment, even at the going in of the sun thou shalt restore it to him; for it is his only covering; it is his garment for his skin, wherein he may sleep; and it shall be, when he shall cry unto Me, that I will hear; for I am merciful. "If thou shalt lend silver to My people, the needy with thee," signifies the instruction of those who are in ignorance of truth, and yet long to learn; "thou shalt not be to him as a usurer," signifies that this must be done from charity; "ye shall not put usury upon him," signifies not for the sake of the consequent profit; "if taking a pledge thou shalt take in pledge thy companion‘s garment," signifies if memory-truth be separated through fallacies derived from the things of sense; "even at the going in of the sun thou shalt restore it to him," signifies that it must be restored before there is a state of shade from the delights of external loves; "for it is his only covering," signifies because the things of sense underlie interior things; "it is his garment for his skin," signifies that they also clothe exterior things; "wherein he may sleep," signifies rest upon them; "and it shall be when he shall cry unto Me," signifies supplication to the Lord; "that I will hear," signifies aid; "for I am merciful," signifies that from Him is everything of aid, from mercy.
AC 9209. If thou shalt lend silver to My people, the needy with thee. That this signifies the instruction of those who are in ignorance of truth, and yet long to learn, is evident from the signification of "silver," as being truth (n. 1551, 2048, 2954, 5658, 6112, 6914, 6917, 7999, 8932); from the signification of "lending," as being to communicate the goods of heaven from the affection of charity (n. 9174), thus to instruct; from the signification of "people," as being those who are in truths, here those in ignorance of truth, because it is said "needy people" (that those are called a "people" who are in truths, (n. 1259, 1260, 2928, 3295, 3581, 7207); and from the signification of "needy," as being those who are in ignorance of truth and yet long to learn, for these are in spiritual need, and are to be instructed.
 In the Word it is frequently said that benefits are to be conferred on the poor and needy. Those who are in external truths, and who are not yet initiated into internal truths, believe that benefits are to be conferred on all who need any kind of help, and especially on beggars, who call themselves poorer than others. They who do this from obedience, because it has been so commanded, do well; for by this outward thing they are initiated into the internal of charity and mercy. The internal of charity and mercy consists in clearly discerning who and of what character are those upon whom benefits are to be conferred, and in what manner to each one. They who are at last initiated into the internal of charity and mercy know that this very internal consists in willing well and in doing well to the internal man, thus with such things as conduce to spiritual life; and that the external consists in doing well to the external man, thus with such things as conduce to the bodily life, but yet with such prudence, that while the external man is benefited the internal man may also be benefited at the same time. For he who does well to the external man and ill to the internal man, does not practice charity; and therefore when the one is done, the other must also he looked to.
 It is the external of charity which is described in the external or literal sense of the Word by the injunction that benefits are to be conferred on the poor and needy; but it is the internal of charity which is described in the internal or spiritual sense of the Word; for in this sense is meant the internal man who is in poverty and need, and who is to be benefited. In this sense by "the poor and needy" are meant those who are in lack and ignorance of good and truth, and yet long for good and truth. The Word also teaches in the letter how these are to be aided, especially the Word which the Lord Himself taught when He was in the world; for the Lord then disclosed such things as belong to the internal man, as is plain in the Evangelists throughout. But still He spoke in such a manner that every word had an internal sense for the angels, and at the same time for the man of the internal church. For the internal sense contains such things as the genuine doctrine of the church teaches.
 Take for example what the Lord said to the disciples sent by John the Baptist to inquire whether He was the Lord who should come; to whom He replied:--
Go ye and tell John what thing ye have seen and heard: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, to the poor the gospel is preached (Luke 7:20-22);
these words were spoken for the external man, and at the same time for the internal man; for the external man that such miracles were wrought; for the internal, that the church is being set up among such as in the spiritual sense are blind, lame, leprous, deaf, and poor, thus among the Gentiles who are in ignorance of good and truth, and yet long for them. For those are called "blind" who are in ignorance of truth (n. 6990); "lame," those who are in good, but on account of their ignorance of truth, not in genuine good (n. 4302); "leprous," those who are unclean and yet long to be made clean; "deaf," those who are not in the faith of truth, because not in the perception of it; and "poor," those who have not the Word, and thus know nothing of the Lord, and yet long to be instructed. Consequently it is said that "to these the gospel shall be preached."
 That by "the poor and needy" in the internal sense are meant those outside the church who are in ignorance of truth, because they have not the Word, and yet long to be instructed, and who by means of that which they know are nevertheless in a little good; and also those within the church who from various causes are ignorant of truth, but nevertheless by virtue of some good long for it, is evident from passages where "the poor and needy" are mentioned in the Word, as in David:--
I am needy and poor; make haste unto me, O God; my help and my deliverer, O Jehovah (Ps. 70:5);
these words were spoken by David, who was not poor and needy, from which it is evident that spiritual poverty and need are meant. In like manner elsewhere:--
I am needy and poor; O Lord, remember me, my help and my deliverer (Ps. 40:17).
God shall judge His people in righteousness, and His needy in judgment. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the hills in righteousness. He shall judge the needy of the people. He shall save the sons of the poor, and shall break: in pieces the oppressor (Ps. 72:2-4);
"the needy" here denote those who are in spiritual need, and thus in the hunger, that is, in the longing to be willing to be instructed in truths.
 In the same:--
All my bones shall say, O Jehovah, who is like unto Thee, who deliverest the needy from him that is stronger than he; yea, the needy’ and the poor from them that plunder him? (Ps. 35:10);
the "bones" denote memory-truths (n. 8005); "the needy," those who are in but little truth; and "the poor" those who are in but little good, and are infested by evils and falsities. From these infestations the needy are also called in the original tongue "the afflicted," for "to be afflicted" denotes to be infested by falsities (n. 9196). Again in the following passages:--
The wicked lieth in wait in the tent to catch the needy; he doth catch the needy, and draweth him into his net (Ps. 10:9).
Is not this the fast, to break bread to the hungry? and to bring into the house the needy that are cast out? (Isa. 58:6, 7).
Jehovah hath comforted His people, and will have mercy upon His needy ones (Isa. 49:13).
I will leave in the midst of thee a people needy and feeble, who hope in the name of Jehovah (Zeph. 3:12).
In these passages "the needy" denote those who are in ignorance of truth and long to be instructed.
AC 9210. Thou shalt not be to him as an usurer. That this signifies that this must be done from charity, is evident from the signification of "a usurer," as being one who does what is good for the sake of self-advantage; for a usurer intrusts money to another for the sake of usury, and assists another for the sake of recompense. And because genuine charity does not regard profit or recompense as the end, but the good of the neighbor, therefore by "thou shalt not be as a usurer" is signified that it must be done from charity. He who does not know what Christian charity is, may believe that it consists not only in giving to the needy and the poor, but also in doing good to a fellow citizen, to our country, and to the church, for any cause whatever, or for any end whatever. But be it known that it is the end that determines the quality of all a man‘s deeds. If his end or intention is to do good for the sake of reputation, or to acquire honors or profit, then the good which he does is not good, because it is done for the sake of himself, and thus also from himself. But if his end is to do good for the sake of a fellow citizen, his country, or the church, thus for the sake of the neighbor, then the good which the man does is good, for it is done for the sake of good itself, which, in general, is the neighbor itself (n. 5025, 6706, 6711, 6712, 8123); thus also it is done for the sake of the Lord, for such good is not from man, but from the Lord, and that which is from the Lord is the Lords. It is this good which is meant by the Lord in Matthew:--
As much as ye did to one of the least of these My brethren, ye did to Me (Matt. 25:40).
 As it is with good, so also it is with truth. Those who do truth for the sake of truth, do it also for the sake of the Lord, because they do it from the Lord. To do truth for the sake of truth, is to do good; for truth becomes good when it passes from the understanding into the will, and from the will goes forth into act. To do good in this manner is Christian charity. Sometimes those who do good from Christian charity have regard to reputation from it, for the sake of honor, or for the sake of profit; yet they do so very differently from those who regard these things as the end; for they regard what is good and just as the essential and only thing, thus as being in the highest place; and thereafter they regard profit and honor, and reputation for the sake of these, as being relatively not essential, thus in the lowest place. When persons of such a character have in view what is just and good, they are like those who fight in battle for their country, and who then have no regard for their life, nor for their rank and possessions in the world, which are then relatively of no account. But those who have regard to themselves and the world in the first place, are of such a character that they do not even see what is just and good, because they have in view themselves and their own profit.
 From all this it is evident what it is to do good for the sake of self or the world, and what it is to do good for the sake of the Lord or the neighbor, and what is the difference between them. The difference is as great as that between two opposites, thus as great as between heaven and hell Moreover those who do good for the sake of the neighbor or the Lord are in heaven; but those who do good for the sake of self and the world are in hell. For those who do good for the sake of the neighbor and the Lord, love the Lord above all things and the neighbor as themselves, in accordance with the chief of all the commandments (Mark 12:28-31). But those who do all things for the sake of themselves and the world, love themselves above all things, thus more than God, and not only do they despise the neighbor, but even hold him in hatred if he does not make one with themselves, and be theirs. This is meant by what the Lord teaches in Matthew:--
No man call serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Matt. 6:24).
There are those who serve both; but these are they who are called "lukewarm, neither cold nor hot," who are "spewed out" (Rev. 3:15, 16) From all this it is now plain what was represented by usurers who took usury, namely, those who do good for the sake of profit.
 From this it is clear why it is said that one "should not he as a usurer, and should not put usury upon a brother;" as also in other passages in Moses:--
Thou shalt not put on thy brother usury of silver, usury of food, usury of anything on which it is put. Upon a foreigner thou mayest put usury; but upon thy brother thou shalt not put usury; that Jehovah thy God may bless thee in all that thou puttest thine hand into, in the land whither thou goest to possess it (Deut. 23:19, 20; Lev. 25:36-38);
"to put on a brother the usury of silver" denotes to lend truths, or to instruct, for the sake of profit; "to put the usury of food on him" denotes to lend the goods of truth for the sake of profit; for "silver" denotes truth (n. 1551, 2954, 5658, 6914, 6917); and "food," the good of truth (n. 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5410, 5426, 5487, 5576, 5582, 5588, 5655, 5915, 8562). That "Jehovah will bless those who do not so, in all that they put their hand unto in the land" is because they are in the affection of good and truth, thus in the happiness the angels have in heaven, for a man has heaven in this affection, that is, in the good of this love (n. 6478, 9174). The reason why it was allowable to put usury on foreigners, was that by "foreigners" are signified those who do not acknowledge and receive anything of good and truth (n. 7996). Thus they who do good only for the sake of profit are to serve man, because they are relatively servants (n. 1097). In David:--
He that walketh perfect, and that doeth righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart; He that giveth not his silver to usury, and taketh not a gift against the innocent. He that doeth this shall never be moved (Ps 15:2, 5);
"to give one’s silver into usury" denotes to teach merely for the sake of profit, thus to do good for the sake of the recompense. In like manner in Ezekiel:--
A righteous man who doeth judgment and righteousness, giveth not into usury, and taketh not interest (Ezek. 18:5, 8).
He that withholdeth his hand from the needy, that taketh not usury or interest, that doeth My judgments, that walketh in My statutes, living he shall live (Ezek. 18:17).
In thee have they taken a gift to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and interest, and thou hast taken gain of thy companions by violence (Ezek. 22:12).
This is said of the "city of bloods," by which is signified the falsity that destroys truth and good (n. 9127); "taking usury and interest" denotes doing good for the sake of profit and recompense, thus not from charity. That genuine charity is devoid of all claim to merit, (n. 2371, 2373, 2400, 4007, 4174, 4943, 6388-6390, 6392, 6478).
AC 9211. Ye shall not put usury upon him. That this signifies thus not for the sake of the consequent profit, is evident from the signification of "putting usury upon" anyone, as being to do good for the sake of profit (n. 9210), here not for the sake of profit, because it is said "ye shall not put usury upon him." From this law concerning interest and usury it can be seen how the case is with the laws called "judgments" among the Israelitish people, namely, that they ceased, together with the sacrifices and all other rituals, when the Lord came into the world and opened the interior things of worship, and in general the interior things of the Word. The interior things of this law are that good ought to be done to the neighbor from the heart, and that it ought to be believed that there is nothing of merit in deeds done from self, but only in those done from the Lord in self. For the Lord Himself alone has merited, and He alone is righteousness; and when a man believes this, he places nothing of merit and reward in what is done by himself, but ascribes all goods to the Lord; and as the Lord does it from Divine mercy, the man ascribes all things to mercy alone. From this also it is that he who is led by the Lord thinks absolutely nothing about reward, and yet does good to the neighbor from the heart.
 These are the interior things from which descended the law of usuries among the Israelitish and Jewish nation, and therefore when a man is in the interior things, this law ceases, together with other similar laws, which were called "judgments." For the Israelitish and Jewish nation was solely in external things which were representative of internal things. Consequently this law was binding upon that nation at that time; but it is not binding upon Christians, to whom interior things have been revealed by the Lord. That this is so is known to the man of the church at this day, and therefore at this day the laws of usury are quite different. Nevertheless the sanctity of this law does not cease on this account, that is, this Word has not been abrogated, for its sanctity remains by virtue of the interior things which are in it. These holy interior things still affect the angels when this Word is read. Therefore beware of believing that the laws of life, such as are in the decalogue, and everywhere in the Old Testament, have been abrogated, for these laws have been confirmed in the internal as well as in the external form, because the two cannot he separated.
AC 9212. If taking a pledge thou shalt take in pledge thy companion‘s garment. That hereby is signified, if memory-truths be separated through fallacies derived from the things of sense, is evident from the signification of "taking a pledge," as being to receive a token for goods that have been communicated; for a pledge is a token for goods that are lent. When spiritual things are understood in the place of these, to communicate goods means to instruct in truths, and a token or pledge then means sensuous truth; for by the "garment" mentioned here as given in pledge, is signified the ultimate of the natural, which is the sensuous. As this abounds in fallacies, and fallacies extinguish truths, therefore by "taking thy companion’s garment in pledge" is signified the separation of truths by fallacies derived from the things of sense. That these things are signified, is evident from the series of the things as they follow in the internal sense.
 By a "garment" in general is signified all that which clothes something else, thus whatever is relatively exterior. Consequently the external or natural man is called a "garment" relatively to the internal or spiritual man. In like manner truth is called a "garment" relatively to good, because truth clothes good; so likewise is memory-truth relatively to the truth of faith, which is of the internal man. The sensuous, which is the ultimate of life with man, is a "garment" relatively to memory-truth. That "garments" denote lower things which cover higher ones, or what is the same, exterior things which cover interior ones, (n. 2576, 5248); in general that they denote truths, (n. 4545, 4763, 5319, 5954, 6914, 6917, 9093); that they denote memory-truths, (n. 6918); also sensuous truths, (n. 9158); and that the sensuous is the ultimate of life with man, (n. 4009, 5077, 5125, 5128, 5767, 5774, 6201, 6313, 7442, 7693), and is in fallacies, (n. 5084, 5089, 6201, 6948, 6949, 7442).
 That "garments" denote truths, originates from the representatives in the other life, where angels and spirits appear clothed in garments according to the states of faith or of truth in which they are; and their garments vary according to the changes of this state. Those who are in genuine truth appear clothed in white garments, and those who are in truths derived from good in shining garments; but those who are solely in good, as are the angels of the inmost heaven, who are called celestial, appear without clothing. From this then it is that garments denote truths, and that by "garments" in the Word are signified truths, as can be seen from the passages before quoted, to which may be added the following from the Evangelists.
 In Matthew:--
When Jesus was transfigured, His face did shine as the sun, and His garments became as the light (Matt. 17:2);
by "the face" in the Word are signified the interiors, especially the affections (n. 358, 1999, 2434, 3527, 3573, 4066, 4796, 4797, 5102, 5695, 6604, 6848, 6849); and by "the face of God," good itself (n. 222, 223, 5585); by "the sun" is signified the Divine love (n. 2441, 2495, 3636, 3643, 4060, 4321, 4696, 7083, 8644). From this it is evident what is signified by "the face of the Lord shining as the sun," namely, that His interiors were the good of the Divine love. That "His garments became as the light" signifies the Divine truth proceeding from Him, which in heaven also appears as light (n. 1521, 1619-1632, 3195, 3222, 3485, 3636, 3643, 4415, 5400, 8644).
When Jesus drew nigh unto Jerusalem they brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their garments, and set Him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; but others cut branches from the trees, and strewed them in the way (Matt. 21:1, 7, 8);
to ride on an ass and her colt was a representative of the highest judge and king (n. 2781), as is also evident from what goes before in (Matt. 21:5):--
Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass and upon a colt the son of a beast of burden (Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-15).
In (Zechariah 9:9), it is said of the Lord that He "was riding upon an ass, even upon a young ass, the son of she-asses," and He is there called a "King;" and it is added that "His dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth." That the highest judge rode upon a she-ass, and his sons upon young asses, may be seen in (Judges 5:9, 10; 10:3, 4; 12:14); and that the king rode upon a she-mule, and the sons of the king upon mules, in (1 Kings 1:33, 38, 44, 45; 2 Samuel 13:29).
 By the disciples putting their garments on the ass and her colt, was represented that truths in the whole complex were submitted to the Lord as the Highest Judge and King; for the disciples represented the church of the Lord in respect to its truths and goods (n. 2129, 3488, 3858, 6397), and their garments represented the truths themselves (n. 4545, 4763, 5319, 5954, 6914, 6917, 9093) The like was represented by the multitude strewing their garments in the way, and also branches of trees. The reason why they strewed them in the way was that by "a way" is signified the truth whereby the man of the church is led (n. 627, 2333, 3477) The reason why they strewed branches of trees, was that trees signified the perceptions and also the knowledges of truth and good (n. 2682, 2722, 2972, 4552, 7692), consequently "the branches" denote the truths themselves. This was done also in conformity with a customary rite; for when the highest judges and kings rode in their solemn procession, the princes of the people then put their garments on the asses and mules, and the people themselves strewed their garments on the way, or in their place the branches of trees; for the judicial function in heaven is the Divine truth from the Divine good, and the regal one is the Divine truth (n. 1728, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4581, 4966, 5044, 5068, 6148).
 In Luke:--
No man addeth a piece of a new garment to an old garment; for so be rendeth the new, and the piece from the new doth not agree with the old (Luke 5:36);
the Lord used this similitude to describe the truth of the new church and the truth of the old church, for the "garment" denotes truth. To "sew" or "add" one to the other denotes to destroy both; for the truth of the new church is interior truth, thus is truth for the internal man; but the truth of the old church is exterior truth, thus is for the external man. In the latter truth was the Jewish Church, for by means of external things this church represented internal ones; whereas the church at this day is in the internal truths which had been represented; for the Lord revealed these truths. That these truths do not agree with external truths so as to be together with them, is signified by the above words of the Lord. From this also it is evident that a "garment" signifies the truth of the church.
 In John:--
Jesus said unto Peter, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast a boy, thou girdedst thy loins, and walkedst whither thou wouldest; but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hand, and another shall gird thy loins, and lead thee whither thou wouldest not (John 21:18);
he who does not know the internal sense of the Word, cannot know what these words involve. That they contain arcana is very evident. In the internal sense by "Peter" is signified the faith of the church (n. 2135a, 2760), also (n. 3750, 6000, 6073, 6344). Thus by "Peter when a boy" is signified the faith of the church such as it is in its beginning; and by "Peter when old," the faith of the church such as it is at its end. From this it is evident what is signified by the words, "when thou wast a boy, thou girdedst thy loins, and walkedst whither thou wouldest," namely, that the faith of the church in its beginning is the faith of truth from good, thus the faith of charity toward the neighbor and of love to the Lord, and that then the man of the church does good from freedom, because from the Lord; for "the loins" denote the goods of love (n. 3021, 3294, 4280, 4575, 5050-5062), consequently "to gird the loins" denotes to clothe good with truths; "walking" denotes living (n. 519, 1794, 8417, 8420); thus "walking whither one would" denotes living in freedom, for those live in freedom, or act from freedom, who are in faith from love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor, because they are led by the Lord (n. 892, 905, 2870, 9593, 6325, 9096). "When thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thy loins, and lead thee whither thou wouldest not," signifies that at the end of the church there will be no faith, and then falsities of evil from the loves of self and the world will take its place, and will reduce it to bondage. This is the secret which lies hidden in these words of the Lord, and which can be seen only from their internal sense. From this it is again evident in what manner the Lord spoke, namely, that in every detail there was an internal sense, to the intent that by means of the Word heaven might be conjoined with the world; for without the Word there is no conjunction, that is, without revealed Divine truth; and if there is no conjunction, the human race perishes.
AC 9213. Even at the going in of the sun thou shalt restore it to him. That this signifies that it must be restored before there is a state of shade from the delights of external loves, is evident from the signification of the "going in," or setting, "of the sun," as being a state of shade from the delights of external loves. The case herein is this. In heaven there are alternations of heat in respect to those things which are of the good of love; and there are alternations of light in respect to those things which are of the truth of faith; thus there are alternations of love and of faith. In hell also there are alternations, but such as are opposite to those in heaven, because there they are alternations of the love of evil and of the faith of falsity. These alternations correspond to the changes of the seasons on the earth, which are spring, summer, autumn, and winter, and again spring; and so on. But in the spiritual world instead of times there are states; for there are no changes of heat and light there, but of love and faith. But he it known that these alternations are not the same with one as with another, but differ with each person according to the state of life acquired by him in the world. Sunset in heaven corresponds to a state of shade as to the truths of faith, and to a state of cold as to the good of love to the Lord and toward the neighbor; for those who are there then come into the delights of external loves, which are attended with shade as to faith. For when an angel or spirit is in external things, he is also in shade; but when he is in internal things, he is in the delights and blessednesses of heavenly loves, and at the same time is in the pleasant things of faith, that is, in the light of truth. These are the states to which correspond the spring and summer seasons on the earth. From all this then it can now be seen why the "going in," or setting, "of the sun," signifies a state of shade from the delights of external loves. Concerning these alternations, (n. 5097, 5672, 5962, 6110, 7083, 8426, 8615, 8644, 8812).
 From what has been said above it can be seen what is meant by saying that the memory-truths which have been separated through fallacies derived from the things of sense must be restored before there is a state of shade from the delights of external loves, which is signified by the words, "if thou take thy companion‘s garment in pledge, even at the going in of the sun thou shalt restore it to him." For hereby is meant that truths taken away through fallacies must be restored while the man is still in the light of truth; for he is then able to recover them, and also to dispel the falsities induced by fallacies; but this he cannot do when he is in a state of shade arising from the delights of external loves, because these delights reject those truths; and the shade does not receive them; and thus the fallacies cling to the man, and are appropriated by him. The reason why external delights, that is, those of the external man, are of such a nature, is that they are closely connected with the world, and are also excited and as it were vivified by its heat. It is otherwise with internal delights and blessednesses, or those of the internal man. These are closely connected with heaven, and are also excited and vivified by its heat, which is love from the Lord.
 This judgment, or law, is thus delivered in another passage in Moses:--
Thou shalt not take in pledge the mill or millstone; for he taketh the soul in pledge (Deut. 24:6);
by "a mill" are signified such things as serve for procuring faith, and afterward charity (n. 7780); and by "the soul" is signified the life of faith from charity (n. 9050). From this it is evident what is meant by "not taking in pledge a mill, for he taketh the soul in pledge." Again:--
Thou shalt not turn back the right of the sojourner and the orphan; nor shalt thou take a widow’s garment in pledge (Deut. 24:17);
"to take a widow‘s garment in pledge" denotes to take away in any manner the truths that long for good; for a "garment" denotes truth (n. 9212); and "a widow," one who is in good and longs for truths, or in the abstract sense, good longing for truths (n. 9198); for if truth is taken away, good perishes together with its longing.
 And again:--
If thou lend thy companion anything, thou shalt not enter into his house to take a pledge. Thou shalt stand outside, and the man to whom thou hast lent shall bring forth the pledge outside. And if he be a needy man, thou shalt not lie down in his pledge; restoring thou shalt restore to him the pledge at the setting of the sun, that he may lie in his garment, and may bless thee; and it shall be righteousness before thy God (Deut. 24:10-13);
that the creditor should "stand outside, and the pledge he brought forth to him," signifies how the communicated truths are to be responded to; for by "lending" is signified the communication of truth, and by "taking a pledge," the response. No one can know that these things are signified except from what happens in the other life; thus unless he knows what is meant by "entering into the house," and what by "standing outside," thus what is meant by "bringing forth outside."
 In the other life those who enter the house of another, and converse together in one room, so communicate their thoughts with all who are there, that the latter absolutely know no otherwise than that they themselves are thinking these thoughts from themselves. But if they stand outside, the thoughts are indeed perceived, but as coming from another, and not from themselves. This happens every day in the other life; and therefore those who are of one opinion, or of one sentiment, appear together in one house; and this is still more the case if they appear in one room of the house; and when these same persons disagree, those who do so disappear. In the other life such appearances are everywhere, and are continually happening. The reason is that parity of thoughts conjoins and causes presence, for thought is internal sight, and distances of places there, are not as in the world.
 From this it is plain what is meant by "not entering into the house, but standing outside and taking a pledge," namely, that one should not bind or incite another to confirm one’s own truths, but should hear him and take his answers as they are in himself. For he who binds and incites another to confirm his own truths, causes the other anyone thinks and speaks from another, the truths he has are not to think and speak from himself, but from him. And when thrown into disorder, and yet he is not amended, except in the case of one who is as yet ignorant of these truths. From all this it is again clear that in every detail of the Word there are things which correspond to such as are in the spiritual world.
AC 9214. For it is his only covering. That this signifies because the things of sense underlie interior things, is evident from the signification of a "covering" or garment, as being the sensuous (n. 9212), as also that the sensuous underlies interior things, because it is the ultimate of man‘s life.
AC 9215. It is his garment for his skin. That this signifies that they also clothe exterior things, is evident from the signification of a "garment," as being the sensuous in general, or the things of sense, as above; and from the signification of the "skin," as being what is exterior, which also clothes interior things, but still within the sensuous. The signification of "the skin," and who in the other life correspond to the skin, (n. 3540, 5552-5559, 8977, 8980). The natural of man is interior, exterior or middle, and outermost. The interior natural communicates with heaven; the middle or exterior natural communicates on the one side with the interior, and through it with heaven, and on the other with the outermost, and through it with the world (n. 4009, 4570, 5118, 5126, 5497, 5649, 5707). The outermost natural is the sensuous, which is here signified by the "garment." This receives the objects belonging to the world, and thus is of service to interior things. It is called the "only covering," because it is the ultimate, and thus is common to all. The exterior or middle natural is what is signified by the "skin." From this it is evident that by "it is his garment for his skin," is signified that the sensuous also clothes exterior things. That the sensuous is the ultimate of man’s life, and thus the general covering, (n. 4009, 5077, 5125, 5128, 5767, 5774, 6201, 6313, 7442, 7693).
AC 9216. Wherein he may sleep. That this signifies rest upon them, is evident from the signification of "sleeping," as being to rest, here upon the external sensuous which is signified by the "garment" (n. 9212); for it is said, "the garment wherein he may sleep." How it is to be understood that interior things have rest upon the sensuous, shall be told. The sensuous is the ultimate of man‘s life, as was shown above. This contains all the interior things, and is common to them, for they terminate in it, and thus rest upon it; as for example the skin, which is the ultimate covering of the body; for in this the interior things of the body terminate, because it contains them, wherefore also they rest upon it. The case is the same with the peritoneum in the body; as this membrane contains the viscera of the abdomen, they rest upon it, and also have a general connection with it. It is the same with the pleura relatively to the viscera of the chest.
 It is the same with all things that belong to man’s very life, as with those which relate to his understanding, and those which relate to his will. These also follow in order from interior to exterior things. Exterior things are memory-knowledges with their pleasant feelings; and outermost things are those of the senses, which communicate with the world by the sight, the hearing, the taste, the smell, and the touch. Upon these the interior things rest, for in these they terminate. These are the things which are signified in the spiritual sense by the "covering" or "garment wherein he may sleep." That sensuous things are a "garment" or "covering," is from correspondences; for, as before said (n. 9212), spirits and angels appear clothed in garments according to their truths of faith; in shining garments those who are in truths from good, as were the angels at the Lord‘s sepulchre (Luke 24:4; Matt. 28:3); others in white garments of fine linen; as those spoken of in (Rev. 19:14); and others in garments of various colors.
 Be it known moreover that each and all things advance from the first or inmost successively to their ultimates, and there rest; also that prior or interior things have a connection with ultimates in successive order. Wherefore if the ultimates are removed, the interior things also are dispersed. From this also there are three heavens; the inmost or third heaven flows into the middle or second heaven; the middle or second heaven flows into the first or ultimate heaven; and this again flows in with man. Consequently the human race is the last in order, in which heaven terminates, and upon which it rests. Wherefore the Lord always provides from His Divine that there shall be a church among the human race, in which there shall be revealed truth Divine, which on our earth is the Word. By means of this, there is a continuous connection of the human race with the heavens. Therefore it is that in every detail of the Word there is an internal sense which is for heaven, and which is of such a nature that it conjoins angelic minds with human minds by a bond so close that they act as a one. From this it is again evident how the case is with the resting of interior things upon ultimates.
AC 9217. And it shall be, when he shall cry unto Me. That this signifies supplication to the Lord, is evident from the signification of "crying unto Jehovah," as being supplication to the Lord (n. 9202).
AC 9218. That I will hear. This signifies aid (n. 9203).
AC 9219. For I am merciful. That this signifies that from Him is everything of aid, from mercy, is evident from the signification of "being merciful," when said of the Lord, as being that from Him is everything of aid. That it is said to be from mercy is because all things which are from the Lord are from mercy, for the very being of the Lord is Divine love, and love is called "mercy" when it is shown toward those who are in miseries, thus relatively to the whole human race, for this is set fast in miseries, because its own is nothing but evil (n. 210, 215, 874-876, 987, 1581, 5660, 5786, 8480). EXODUS 22:24-26 previous - next - text - summary - Exodus - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|