Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 23:31-33
AC 9339. Verses 31-33. And I will set thy border from the sea Suph, and even unto the sea of the Philistines; and from the wilderness even unto the river; for I will give into your hand the inhabitants of the land, and I will drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt not make a covenant with them, and with their gods. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest perchance they make thee sin against Me, when thou shalt serve their gods, because it will be a snare to thee. "And I will set thy border from the sea Suph, and even unto the sea of the Philistines," signifies extension from memory-truths to the interior truths of faith; "and from the wilderness even unto the river," signifies from the delight of what is sensuous, even to the good and truth of the rational; "for I will give into your hand the inhabitants of the land," signifies command over evils; "and I will drive them out from before thee," signifies their removal; "thou shalt not make a covenant with them, and with their gods," signifies no communication with evils and falsities; "they shall not dwell in thy land," signifies that evils shall not be together with the goods of the church; "lest perchance they make thee sin against Me," signifies lest evils turn away the goods that are from the Lord; "when thou shalt serve their gods," signifies if there be worship from falsities; "because it will be a snare to thee," signifies by reason of the allurement and deception of evils.
AC 9340. And I will set thy border from the sea Suph, and even unto the sea of the Philistines. That this signifies extension from memory-truths to the interior truths of faith, is evident from the signification of "setting a border" from one place to another, when said of spiritual truths, as being extension; from the signification of "the sea Suph," as being sensuous and memory-truths, which are the ultimates with man, for the sea Suph was the ultimate border of the land of Egypt, and by "Egypt" is signified memory-knowledge in both senses, true and false (n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462, 2588, 4749, 4964, 4966, 5700, 6004, 6015, 6125, 6651, 6679, 6683, 6692, 6750, 7779, 7926, 8146, 8148), here memory-truth, because the subject treated of is the extension of the spiritual things of faith with the sons of Israel, by whom was represented the spiritual church (n. 4286, 4598, 6426, 6637, 6862, 6868, 7035, 7062, 7198, 7201, 7215, 7223, 8805); and from the signification of "the sea of the Philistines," as being the interior truths of faith. The reason why these truths are signified by "the sea of the Philistines" is that the sea where Tyre and Zidon were situated was the border of the land of Philistia, and by "Tyre and Zidon" are signified the knowledges of truth and good (n. 1201); and by "the land of Philistia" the knowledge of the interior things of faith (n. 1197, 2504, 2726, 3463).
 As the land of Canaan represented the Lord‘s kingdom, thus heaven and the church, therefore all the places therein signified such things as are of the Lord’s kingdom, that is, of heaven and the church, which are called celestial and spiritual things, and bear relation to the good of love to the Lord and to the truths of faith in Him. Consequently the seas and rivers which were the borders signified the ultimate things therein; and accordingly "from sea to sea" and "from river to river" signified their extension. That this is so, (n. 1585, 1866, 4116, 4240, 6516). From this it can be seen that by "the border from the sea Suph and even unto the sea of the Philistines" is signified the extension of the spiritual things of truth from external things to internal, thus from memory-truths to the interior truths of faith. But the extension of celestial things, which are of the good of love, is described immediately after by "from the wilderness even unto the river." (That the places of the land of Canaan, and also the seas and rivers, have such a signification in the Word, has been shown throughout in the explications).
 It shall be briefly stated what is meant by "extension from memory-truths to the interior truths of faith." Truths in the external man are called "memory-truths;" and truths in the internal man are called "interior truths of faith." Memory-truths are in man‘s memory, and when they are drawn out from it, they come to his notice. But the interior truths of faith are the truths of the very life, inscribed on the internal man, and of which but little appears in the memory; but on this subject, of the Lord’s Divine mercy, a fuller statement shall be made elsewhere. Memory-truths and the interior truths of faith were signified by "the waters under the expanse, and the waters above the expanse" (Gen. 1:6, 7): (n. 24), for the subject treated of in the first chapter of Genesis in the internal sense is the new creation, that is, the regeneration, of the man of the celestial church.
 The reason why "Philistia," which bordered on the land of Canaan even unto Tyre and Zidon, signified the interior truths of faith, was that the representative Ancient Church had been there, as is evident from the remains of Divine worship among its inhabitants, and referred to in the historic and prophetic books of the Word that treat of the Philistines and the land of Philistia; as in the prophecies of (Jeremiah 25:20; 47:1-7; Ezekiel 16:27, 57; 25:15, 16; Amos 1:8; Zephaniah 2:5; Zechariah 9:6; Psalms 56:1; 60:8; 83:7; 108:9). The case with the Philistines was the same as with all the nations in the land of Canaan, in that they represented the goods and truths of the church, and also evils and falsities. For while the representative Ancient Church was among them, they represented the celestial things which are of good and the spiritual things which are of truth; but when they turned aside from genuine representative worship, they then began to represent the diabolical things which are of evil and the infernal things which are of falsity. Hence it is that by "Philistia," as by the other nations of the land of Canaan, are signified in the Word both goods and truths, and evils and falsities.
 That by the "Philistines" are signified the interior truths of faith, is evident in David:--
Glorious things shall be preached in thee, O city of God. I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon among those who bow Me; and also of Philistia and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there (Ps. 87:3, 4);
the "city of God" denotes the doctrine of the truth of faith from the Word (n. 402, 2268, 2449, 2712, 2943, 3216, 4492, 4493, 5297); "Tyre," the knowledges of truth and good (n. 1201); in like manner "Ethiopia" (n. 116, 117). From this it is evident that "Philistia" denotes the knowledge of the truths of faith.
 In Amos:--
Are ye not as the sons of the Ethiopians unto Me, O sons of Israel? Have not I made Israel to come up out of the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir? (Amos 9:7);
the perversion and destruction of the church after it had been set up is here treated of; "the sons of the Ethiopians" here denote those who are in the knowledges of good and truth, but who apply them to confirm evils and falsities (n. 1163, 1164); "the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt" denote those who have been initiated into spiritual truths and goods by means of memory-truths. That "the sons of Israel" denote those who are in spiritual truths and good, thus in the abstract sense spiritual truths and goods, (n. 5414, 5801, 5803, 5806, 5812, 5817, 5819, 5826, 5833, 5879, 5951, 7957, 8234); and that "the land of Egypt" denotes memory-truth, has been shown above. The like is signified by "the Philistines from Caphtor," and by "the Syrians from Kir," to whom they are therefore likened. "The Philistines from Caphtor" denote those who have been initiated into interior truths by means of exterior, but who have perverted them and applied them to confirm falsities and evils (n. 1197, 1198, 3412, 3413, 3762, 8093, 8096, 8099, 8313); and "the Syrians from Kir" denote those who are in the knowledges of good and truth, which also they have perverted (n. 1232, 1234, 3051, 3249, 3664, 3680, 4112).
 In Jeremiah:--
Because of the day that cometh to lay waste all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Zidon all the residue that helpeth; for Jehovah layeth waste the Philistines, the remains of the isle of Caphtor (Jer. 47:4);
in this chapter the subject treated of is the vastation of the church in respect to the truths of faith; the interior truths of faith are "the Philistines;" and the exterior truths are "the remains of the isle of Caphtor."
 In Joel:--
What have you to do with Me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the borders of Philistia? Speedily will I return your retribution on your heal, forasmuch as ye have taken My silver and My gold, and have carried into your temples My desirable good things (Joel 3:4, 6);
"all the borders of Philistia" denote all the interior and exterior truths of faith; "to carry silver and gold and desirable good things into their temples" denotes to pervert truths and goods, and profane them by application to evils and falsities. That "silver and gold" denote truths and goods, (n. 1551, 2954, 5658, 6112, 6914, 6917, 8932).
 In Obadiah:--
Then they of the South shall be heirs of the mount of Esau, and of the plain of the Philistines; and they shall become heirs of the field of Ephraim; but Benjamin, of Gilead (Obadiah 1:19);
the setting up of the church is here treated of; but real things are infolded in the names; "they of the South" denote those who are in the light of truth (n. 1458, 3195, 3708, 5672, 5962); "the mount of Esau" denotes the good of love (n. 3300, 3322, 3494, 3504, 3576); "the plain of the Philistines" denotes the truth of faith; "a plain" also denotes the doctrine of faith (n. 2418); "Ephraim" denotes the intellectual of the church (n. 3969, 5354, 6222, 6234, 6238, 6267); "Benjamin," the spiritual celestial truth of the church (n. 3969, 4592, 5686, 5689, 6440); and "Gilead," the corresponding exterior good (n. 4117, 4124, 4747).
 In Isaiah:--
He shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four wings of the earth. They shall By upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the sea; together shall they spoil the sons of the east (Isa. 11:12, 14);
here by "Israel" and "Judah" are not meant Israel and Judah, but by "Israel" those who are in the good of faith, and by "Judah" those who are in the good of love; "to fly upon the shoulder of the Philistines" denotes to receive and take into possession the interior truths of faith; "to spoil the sons of the east" denotes to receive and take into possession the interior goods of faith; for "the sons of the east" denote those who are in the goods of faith, and in the knowledges of good (n. 3249, 3762). That "to spoil" denotes to receive and take into possession, may be seen from what has been already shown concerning the spoiling of the Egyptians by the sons of Israel (n. 6914, 6917).
 As by "the land of Philistia" was signified the knowledge of the interior truths of faith, and by Abraham and Isaac was represented the Lord, and by their sojourning the instruction of the Lord in the truths and goods of faith and of love, which are of Divine wisdom, therefore for the sake of prefiguring this process, Abraham was bidden to sojourn in Philistia (Gen. 20), and also Isaac (Gen. 26:1-24); and accordingly Abimelech, king of the Philistines, made a covenant with Abraham (Gen. 21:22-24), and also with Isaac (Gen. 26:26-35); on which subject may be seen the explications given at these chapters.
AC 9341. And from the wilderness even unto the river. That this signifies from the delight of what is sensuous even to the good and truth of the rational, is evident from the signification of "setting a border," as being extension (n. 9340); from the signification of "a wilderness," as being a place uninhabited and not cultivated; thus in application to the spiritual things of faith and to the celestial things of love, "a wilderness" denotes where there is no good and no truth, as is the case with what is sensuous. That the sensuous of man is of this character, (n. 9331). As the sensuous has no celestial good and no spiritual truth, but has delight and pleasure from the body and the world, therefore by "a wilderness" is signified this outermost in the man of the church. And from the signification of "the Euphrates," which is here "the river," as being the good and truth of the rational. That "the Euphrates" has this signification is because Assyria was there, and by "Assyria," or "Asshur," is signified the rational (n. 119, 1186).
 This is meant by "the Euphrates" where it is said, "from the wilderness to the Euphrates," and "from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates;" as in the following passages:--
From the wilderness, and Lebanon, even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, the whole land of the Hittites, and even unto the great sea toward the setting of the sun, shall be your border (Josh. 1:4).
To thy seed will I give this land, from the river of Egypt even unto the great river, the river Euphrates (Gen. 15:18).
Thou madest a vine to journey out of Egypt. Thou hast sent out its shoots even unto the sea, and its twigs unto the river (Ps. 80:8, 11);
"a vine out of Egypt" denotes the spiritual church represented by the sons of Israel; "unto the sea," and "unto the river," denote to interior truths and goods. In like manner in Micah:--
They shall come unto thee from Assyria and from the cities of Egypt, and thence from Egypt even unto the river, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain (Micah 7:12).
 But something else is signified by "the Euphrates" when it is looked at from the middle of the land of Canaan as its extreme limit on one side, or as what closes it in on one side; in this case by that river is signified that which is the ultimate of the Lord‘s kingdom, that is, which is the ultimate of heaven and the church, in respect to rational good and truth. That the borders of the land of Canaan, which were rivers and seas, signified the ultimates in the Lord’s kingdom, (n. 1585, 1866, 4116, 4240, 6516). "The Euphrates" therefore signified such truths and such goods as belong to the sensuous mind, and correspond to the truths and goods of the rational. But as the sensuous of man stands forth nearest to the world and the earth, and receives its objects therefrom (n. 9331), it therefore acknowledges nothing else as good than that which delights the body; and nothing else as truth than that which favors this delight. By "the river Euphrates" therefore in this sense is signified the pleasure arising from the loves of self and of the world; and the falsity which confirms it by reasonings from the fallacies of the senses.
 This is what is meant by "the river Euphrates" in the Revelation:--
A voice said to the sixth angel, Loose the four angels which are bound at the great river Euphrates. They were loosed, and they killed the third part of men (Rev. 9:14, 15);
"the angels bound at the Euphrates" denote the falsities originating through reasonings from the fallacies of the senses, which falsities favor the delights of the loves of self and of the world. Again:--
The sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings who are from the sunrising might be prepared (Rev. 16:12);
"the Euphrates" here denotes falsities from a like origin; "the water dried up" denotes these falsities removed by the Lord; "the way of the kings from the east" denotes that then the truths of faith are seen by and revealed to those who are in love to the Lord. That "waters" denote truths, and in the opposite sense falsities, (n. 705, 739, 756, 790, 839, 2702, 3058, 3424, 4976, 7307, 8137, 8138, 8568, 9323); that "a way" denotes truth seen and revealed, (n. 627, 2333, 3477); that "kind" denote those who are in truths, (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 5068, 6148); that "the east" denotes the Lord, and also love from Him and to Him, (n. 101, 1250, 3708); and in like manner "the sun," (n. 1529, 1530, 2441, 2495, 3636, 3643, 4060, 4696, 5377, 7078, 7083, 7171, 7173, 8644, 8812).
 In Jeremiah:--
Thou hast forsaken Jehovah thy God, when He led thee into the way. And now what hast thou to do with the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Shihor? or what hast thou to do with the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river? (Jer. 2:17, 18);
"to lead into the way" denotes to teach truth; "what hast thou to do with the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Shihor?" denotes what hast thou to do with falsities which have been occasioned by memory-knowledges wrongly applied? "what hast thou to do with the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?" denotes what hast thou to do with the falsities which have arisen through reasonings from the fallacies of the senses in favor of the delights of the loves of self and of the world?
 In the same:--
Jehovah said unto the prophet, Take the girdle that thou hast bought, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to the Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock. So I went and hid it at the Euphrates. Afterward it came to pass at the end of many days, that Jehovah said, Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence. Wherefore he went to the Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where he had hidden it; but behold the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing (Jer. 13:3-7);
"the girdle of the loins" denotes the external bond containing all things of love and thence of faith; "to be hidden in a hole of the rock by the Euphrates" denotes where faith is in obscurity and has become no faith, through falsities from reasonings; "the girdle marred so that it was profitable for nothing" denotes that all things of love and of faith are then dissolved and dispersed.
 That Jeremiah was to tie a stone to the book written by him, and cast it into the midst of the Euphrates (Jer. 51:63); signified that the prophetic Word would perish through like things. In the same:--
Let not the swift flee away, nor the strong one escape; toward the north near the shore of the river Euphrates they have stumbled and fallen. But Jehovah Zebaoth taketh vengeance on His adversaries. The Lord Jehovih Zebaoth hath a sacrifice in the land of the north by the river Euphrates (Jer. 46:6, 10);
where also "the river Euphrates" denotes truths falsified, and goods adulterated, through reasonings from fallacies and the derivative memory-knowledges which favor the loves of self and of the world.
AC 9342. For I will give into your hand the inhabitants of the land. That this signifies command over evils, is evident from the signification of "giving into the hand," as being to conquer and command; and from the signification of "the inhabitants of the land," as being the evils of the church; for by "inhabitants" are signified goods (n. 2268, 2451, 2712, 3613), consequently in the opposite sense, evils; because by the nations of the land of Canaan were signified the evils and falsities which infest and destroy the goods and truths of the church (n. 9327).
AC 9343. And I will drive them out from before thee. That this signifies their removal, is evident from the signification of "driving out," when said of evils, as being removal (n. 9333).
AC 9344. Thou shalt not make a covenant with them, and with their gods. That this signifies no communication with evils and falsities, is evident from the signification of "making a covenant," as being to be conjoined (n. 665, 666, 1023, 1038, 1864, 1996, 2003, 2021, 6804, 8767, 8778), thus also to be communicated, for they who communicate together are conjoined; from the signification of "the inhabitants of the land," who in this case are those with whom they were not to make a covenant, as being evils (n. 9342); and from the signification of "gods," as being falsities (n. 4402, 4544, 7873, 8867, 8941).
AC 9345. They shall not dwell in thy land. That this signifies that evils shall not be together with the goods of the church, is evident from the signification of "the inhabitants," of whom it is said "they shall not dwell in thy land," as being evils (n. 9342); from the signification of "dwelling," as being to live (n. 1293, 3384, 3613); and of "dwelling with" anyone, as being to live or be together (n. 4451); and from the signification of "the land," as being the church in respect to good, thus also the good of the church (n. 9325).
AC 9346. Lest perchance they make thee sin against Me. That this signifies lest evils turn away the goods that are from the Lord, is evident from the signification of "the inhabitants of the land," of whom it is said "lest perchance they make thee sin," as being evils; from the signification of "to sin," as being to turn away (n. 5474, 5841, 7589); and from the signification of "thee against Me," as being the goods that are from the Lord; for by "the sons of Israel," who are here meant by "thee," are signified those who are in good, thus goods (n. 5801, 5803, 5806, 5812, 5817, 5819, 5826, 5833, 9340); and by "Jehovah," who is here meant by "Me," is meant the Lord (n. 9199, 9315). That evils turn away the goods that are from the Lord, is because evils and goods are opposites or contraries, and two opposites or contraries cannot be together, for they turn away from each other, and are in conflict. This can be plainly seen from the fact that evils are from hell, and goods from heaven; and that hell is as far as possible from heaven - not in respect to distance, because in the other life there is no distance - but in respect to state. Wherefore they who are in the state of hell cannot be transferred into the state of heaven, for the evils in the former reject the goods in the latter. This is meant by the words of Abraham to the rich man:--
Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that they who would pass from hence to you cannot, neither can those who are there pass over to us (Luke 16:26);
"the great gulf" denotes the opposition and contrariety of the states of life. From all this it is evident how it is to be understood that evils turn away the goods that are from the Lord; namely, that those who are in evils not only do not receive the goods which continually flow into everyone from the Lord; but also absolutely turn them away. And therefore a man cannot possibly receive the good of heaven until he abstains from evils.
AC 9347. When thou shalt serve their gods. That this signifies if there be worship from falsities, is evident from the signification of "serving," as being worship (n. 7934, 8057); and from the signification of "gods," as being falsities (n. 4544, 7873, 8867, 8941).
AC 9348. Because it will be a snare to thee. That this signifies by reason of the allurement and deception of evils, is evident from the signification of "a snare," when said of evils, as being allurement and deception. That evils allure and deceive, is because all evils spring from the loves of self and of the world (n. 9335), and the loves of self and of the world are born with man, and from this he feels the delight of his life from the moment of his birth; nay, from this he has life. Wherefore these loves, like the unseen currents of a river, continually draw the thought and the will of man away from the Lord to self, and away from heaven to the world, thus away from the truths and goods of faith to falsities and evils. Reasonings from the fallacies of the senses are then of especial force, and also the literal sense of the Word wrongly explained and applied.
 These two sources of error, and also those previously mentioned, are what are meant in the spiritual sense of the Word by "snares," "nooses," "pits," "nets," "ropes," "gins," and also by "frauds" and "deceits;" as in these passages:--
Dread, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth; whence it shall come to pass that he who Seeth from the voice of the dread shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the pit shall be taken in the snare; for the floodgates from on high are opened, and the foundations of the earth have been shaken (Isa. 24:17, 18).
Fear, the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of Moab. He that fleeth from the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the pit shall be taken in the snare (Jer. 48:43, 44).
"Dread" and "fear" denote a disturbance and commotion of the mind when it hesitates between evils and goods, consequently between falsities and truths; "the pit" denotes falsity brought in through reasonings from the fallacies of the senses to favor the delights of the loves of self and of the world; "the snare" denotes the allurement and deception of evil thence derived.
 In Isaiah:--
They shall go, and stumble backward, and be broken, and ensnared, and taken (Isa. 28:13);
"to stumble backward" denotes to turn themselves away from good and truth; "to be broken" denotes to dissipate truths and goods; "to be ensnared" denotes to be allured by the evils of the loves of self and of the world; "to be taken" denotes to be carried away by them.
 In Ezekiel:--
The mother of the princes of Israel is a lioness; one of her whelps learned to seize the prey, he devoured men; the nations heard of him; he was taken in their pit; and they brought him with hooks into the land of Egypt. Afterward he ravished widows, and laid waste cities; the land was desolate, and the fullness thereof, by the voice of his roaring. Therefore the nations lay in wait for him round about from the provinces; and they spread their net over him; he was caught in their pit. They put him in a cage with hooks, and brought him unto the king of Babel in nets, that his voice should no more be heard on the mountains of Israel (Ezek. 19:1-4, 7-9);
the successive profanation of truth through the allurements of falsities from evils is here described; "the mother of the princes of Israel" denotes the church where are primary truths. That "mother" denotes the church, (n. 298, 2691, 2717, 4257, 5581, 8897); and that "the princes of Israel" denote primary truths, (n. 1482, 2089, 5044); a "lioness" denotes falsity from evil perverting the truths of the church; "a lion‘s whelp" denotes evil in its power (n. 6367); "to seize the prey and devour men" denotes to destroy truths and goods, for "man" denotes the good of the church (n. 4287, 7424, 7523); "nations" denote evils (n. 1259, 1260, 1849, 2588, 4444, 6306); "the pit in which he was caught by the nations" denotes the falsity of evil (n. 4728, 4744, 5038, 9086); "the land of Egypt into which he was brought with hooks" denotes the memory-knowledge through which is falsity (n. 9340); "to ravish widows" denotes to pervert the goods which long for truth. That "to ravish" denotes to pervert, (n. 2466, 2729, 4865, 8904); and that "widows" denote goods that long for truth, (n. 9198, 9200); "to lay waste cities" denotes to destroy the doctrinal things of the truth of the church (n. 402, 2268, 2449, 2943, 3216, 4478, 4492, 4493); "to desolate the land and the fullness thereof" denotes to destroy all things of the church (n. 9325); "the voice of roaring of the lion" denotes falsity; "to spread the net over him" denotes to allure by the delights of earthly loves and by reasonings from them; "to bring to the king of Babel" denotes the profanation of truth (n. 1182, 1283, 1295, 1304, 1307, 1308, 1321, 1322, 1326).
 That such things do not come to pass when a man does not love himself and the world above all things, is thus described in Amos:--
Will a lion roar in the forest if he hath no prey? Will a bird fall upon a snare of the earth if there is no noose for him? Shall a snare spring up from the earth if taking it hath taken nothing? (Amos 3:4, 6).
 That in the spiritual sense "a snare" denotes allurement and deception through the delights of the loves of self and of the world, thus the allurement and deception of evils, and this through reasonings from the fallacies of the senses which favor these delights, is plain to everyone; for ensnarings and entrappings are from no other source. Neither do the diabolical crew assail anything in a man except these his loves, which they delight in every possible way until he is caught, and when he has been caught the man reasons from falsities against truths, and from evils against goods. Nor is he then content with this, but also takes delight in ensnaring and alluring others to falsities and evils. The reason why he also takes delight in this, is that he is then one of the diabolical crew.
 As "snare," "noose," and "net," signify such things, they also signify the destruction of the spiritual life, and thus perdition; for the delights of these loves are what destroy and lead into perdition, because, as before said, all evils spring from these loves. For from the love of self springs contempt for others in comparison with self, next derision and abuse, afterward enmity if they do not favor, and finally the delight of hatred, the delight of revenge, thus the delight of violence, nay, of cruelty. In the other life this love climbs so high, that unless the Lord favors those who have it, and gives them dominion over others, they not only despise Him, but also deride the Word which treats of Him, and finally they act against Him from hatred and revenge; and in so far as they cannot do anything against Him, they practice such things with violence and cruelty against all who profess Him. From this it is plain whence it comes that there is such a diabolical crew, namely, from the love of self. And therefore as "a snare" signifies the delight of the love of self and of the world, it also signifies the destruction of spiritual life, and perdition; for everything of faith and love to the Lord, and everything of love toward the neighbor, are destroyed by the delight of the love of self and of the world wherever it has dominion (n. 9335).
 That these loves are the origins of all evils, and that hell is from them and in them, and that these loves are the fires there, is at this day unknown in the world; when yet it might be known from the fact that these loves are opposite to love toward the neighbor and love to God, and that they are opposite to humility of heart, and that from them alone arise all contempt, all hatred, all revenge, and all violence and cruelty, as anyone may know who reflects.
 That "a snare" therefore signifies the destruction of spiritual life, and perdition, is plain from the following passages. In David:--
Upon the wicked, Jehovah shall rain snares, fire and sulphur (Ps. 11:6);
where "fire and sulphur" denote the evils of the love of self and of the world. That "fire" has this signification, (n. 1297, 1861, 5071, 5215, 6314, 6832, 7324, 7575, 9144); and also "sulphur," (n. 2446). Hence it is plain what is meant by "snares." In Luke:
Lest that day come upon you suddenly; for as a snare shall it come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth (Luke 21:34, 35);
where the subject treated of is the last time of the church, when there is no faith because no charity, for the loves of self and of the world will then reign, and from these loves comes perdition, which is the "snare." Again:
Among My people are found the wicked; they watch, as fowlers stretch nets; they set a trap that they may catch men (Jer. 5:26).
They that seek after my soul stretch snares; and they that seek mine evil speak perditions, and meditate deceits all the day long (Ps. 38:12).
Guard me from the hands of the noose they have laid for me, and from the snares of the workers of iniquity. Let the wicked fall together into their own nets, while I pass over (Ps 141:9, 10)
He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a snare and for a noose to the inhabitant of Jerusalem. Many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be spared, and be taken (Isa. 8:14, 15);
the Lord is here treated of. "A stone of stumbling and a rock of offence" denote the giving of offence; "a snare," and "a noose" denote perdition, namely, that of those who attack and endeavor to destroy the truths and goods of faith in the Lord through falsities which favor the loves of self and of the world; for all the proud are not only offended, but are also ensnared by the fact that the Divine has appeared in a human form, and this not in royal majesty, but in a despised shape. From all this it is now evident that by "it will be a snare," is signified the allurement and deception of evils, and the consequent perdition; as also elsewhere in Moses:--
Make not a covenant with the inhabitant of the land upon which thou shalt come, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee (Exod. 34:12).
Thou shalt not serve their gods; for this will be a snare to thee (Deut. 12:16).
Take heed to thyself that thou be not ensnared after the nations, and that perchance thou seek their gods (Deut. 12:30);
"the nations" denote evils, and the falsities thence derived.
AC 9349. In chapters 20, 21, 22, 23, the laws, judgments, and statutes, that were promulgated from Mount Sinai, have been treated of, and it has been shown what they contain in the internal sense, thus how they are perceived in heaven; namely, not according to the literal sense, but according to the spiritual sense, which is not apparent in the letter, but still is within it. One who does not know how this is, may indeed suppose that the Word as to its literal sense is thus annihilated, because in heaven no attention is paid to it. But be known that the literal sense of the Word is by no means thereby annihilated; but is indeed rather confirmed; and that each word has weight, and is holy, from the spiritual sense which is within; because the literal sense is the basis and support on which the spiritual sense rests, and with which it coheres in the closest conjunction, insomuch that there is not even a jot or point, or a little horn, in the letter of the Word, which does not contain within it the holy Divine; according to the words of the Lord in these passages:--
Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one little born shall not pass away from the law, till all things be done (Matt. 5:18);
It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one point in the law to fail (Luke 16:17).
That " the law" denotes the Word, (n. 6752, 7463).
 Therefore also it has come to pass through the Divine providence of the Lord, that the Word, especially the Word of the Old Testament, has been preserved in respect to every jot and point from the time when it was written. It has also been shown from heaven, that in the Word not only every expression, but also every syllable, and what seems incredible, every little horn of a syllable in the original tongue infolds in it something holy, which becomes perceptible to the angels of the inmost heaven. That this is the case I am able to affirm; but I know that it transcends belief. From this it is evident that the outward rituals of the church, which represented the Lord and the internal things of heaven and the church that are from the Lord, and which are treated of in the Word of the Old Testament, have indeed been for the most part abrogated, but that the Word nevertheless remains in its Divine sanctity; because, as before said, each and all things therein still infold holy Divine things, which are perceived in heaven while the Word is being read; for in every detail there is a holy internal which is its internal sense; that is, its heavenly and Divine sense. This sense is the soul of the Word, and it is truth Divine itself proceeding from the Lord; thus it is the Lord Himself.
 From all this it can be seen how the case is with the laws, judgments, and statutes promulgated by the Lord from Mount Sinai, and which are contained in Exodus chapters 20, 21, 22, 23, which have been explained; namely, that each and all things therein are holy because they are holy in their internal form; but that nevertheless some of them have been abrogated in respect to present use where the church is, which is an internal church. Some of them however are of such a nature that they may serve a use if one so pleases; and some of them are to be altogether observed and done. And yet those which have been abrogated in respect to use where the church is, and those which may serve a use if one so pleases, and also those which are to be altogether observed and done, are equally holy in their holy internal; for in its bosom the whole Word is Divine. This holy internal is that which the internal sense teaches, and is the same as the internal things of the Christian Church, which the doctrine of charity and faith teaches
 In order that what has been said may be placed within the apprehension, let us take for illustration the laws, judgments, and statutes treated of in the aforesaid chapters. Those which are to be altogether observed and done are those contained in (Exodus 20:3-5, 7, 8, 12-17, 23; 21:12, 14, 15, 20; 22:18-20, 28; 23:1-3, 6-8, 24, 25, 32). Those which may serve a use if one so pleases, are such as are contained in (Exodus 20:10; 21:18, 19, 22-25, 33-36; 22:1-14, 17, 21-23, 25-27, 31; 23:4, 5, 9, 12-16, 33). Those which have been abrogated in respect to present use where the church is are contained in (Exodus 20:24-26; 21:2-11, 16, 21, 26-29, 31, 32; 22:15, 29, 30; 23:10, 11, 17-19). But, as before said, both the latter and the former are equally holy, that is, are equally the Divine Word.