Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 24:16-18
AC 9428. Verses 16-18. And the glory of Jehovah tarried upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days; and on the seventh day He called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. And the aspect of the glory of Jehovah was like devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the sons of Israel. And Moses entered into the midst of the cloud, and went up unto the mountain; and Moses was in the mountain forty days and forty nights. "And the glory of Jehovah tarried upon Mount Sinai," signifies the interior things of the Word of the Lord in heaven; "and the cloud covered it," signifies the ultimate of the Word, which is thus relatively obscure; "six days," signifies when in a state of truth; "and on the seventh day He called unto Moses," signifies the coming of the Lord when truth has been conjoined with good; "out of the midst of the cloud," signifies out of the obscurity there was before; "and the aspect of the glory of Jehovah was like devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the sons of Israel," signifies Divine truth in heaven itself resplendent from the good of love, but injuring and vastating with those who are in its external separate from the internal; "and Moses entered into the midst of the cloud," signifies the Word in the external sense; "and went up unto the mountain," signifies elevation to heaven; "and Moses was in the mountain forty days and forty nights," signifies what is complete in respect to instruction and influx.
AC 9429. And the glory of Jehovah tarried upon Mount Sinai. That this signifies the interior things of the Word of the Lord in heaven, is evident from the signification of "the glory of Jehovah," when said of the Word, as being its internal sense, thus the interior things of the Word (n. 2135a, 5922); and from the signification of "Mount Sinai," as being Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, and consequently heaven (n. 9420, 9427). That the interior things of the Word are called "glory" is because the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord as a sun is the light in heaven which gives sight to the angels there, and at the same time intelligence and wisdom (n. 1531, 1619-1632, 2776, 3138, 3167, 3190, 3195, 3339, 3341, 3636, 3643, 3862, 3993, 4302, 4415, 4527, 5400, 6313, 6608, 6905, 6907, 8644, 8707, 8861). From this Divine light is all the glory in heaven, which is such as to surpass all human apprehension. From this it is plain why the internal sense of the Word is meant by "glory;" for the internal sense of the Word is the Divine truth that proceeds from the Lord in heaven, thus is the light from which is all the glory there.
 This is meant by "glory" in many passages of the Word, as that they should "see the Son of man in a cloud with glory" (Matt. 24:30; Luke 21:27); and that the Lord, after He had suffered, was to "enter into His glory" (Luke 24:26); that "when He should come in His glory, He would sit upon the throne of His glory" (Matt. 25:31), where "to sit upon the throne of glory" denotes to judge from the Divine truth which is from Himself; also that "Moses and Elias were seen in glory" (Luke 9:30, 31), that "Moses and Elias" here denote the Word, see the preface to Genesis xviii., and (n. 2762, 5247, 9372). The same is also meant by the "glorification" of the Lord, in John:
"Now hath the Son of man been glorified, and God hath been glorified in Him. God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him" (John 13:31, 32);
"to be glorified in God" denotes to become Divine good, from which is Divine truth. In like manner in (John 12:38).
 By "glory" is signified the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord such as it is in heaven, also in the following passages:--
The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of Jehovah. And the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see together (Isa. 40:3, 6);
treating of the coming of the Lord; where "the glory of Jehovah which shall be revealed" denotes the Divine truth. That the Lord is this truth, because it is from Him, is manifest in John:--
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. He was the true light. And the Word was made flesh, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only begotten of the Father (John 1:1, 4, 9, 14);
here "the Word" denotes the Divine truth; in like manner "the light;" from which it is plain what is meant by "beholding His glory." That the Lord did not appear in any other glory in the world, except when He was transfigured, is known.
 In like manner in another passage in John:--
These things said Isaiah, when he saw His glory, and spake of Him. But they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth in Me may not remain in the darkness (John 12:41, 43, 46);
here also the "glory of the Lord," and the "glory of God," denote the Divine truth, and the "glory of men" denotes falsity. In Isaiah:--
Shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of Jehovah is risen upon thee Jehovah shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, to adorn the place of My sanctuary. Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon wane; for Jehovah shall be unto thee for a light of eternity (Isa. 60:1, 2, 13, 20)
it is evident that the subject here treated of is the Lord‘s coming, His kingdom, heaven, and the church. The Divine truth proceeding from His Divine Human is described in this whole chapter, and is called, "light," "honor," and "glory."
They shall fear the name of Jehovah from the setting of the sun, and His glory from the rising of the sun. The Redeemer shall come to Zion (Isa. 59:19, 20);
here also the Lord is treated of; "the name of Jehovah" denotes all the truth of faith and good of love from which is worship (n. 2724, 3006, 6674, 9310). Again:--
I have called thee in righteousness, and I will give thee for a covenant to the people, for a light of the Gentiles. I am Jehovah; this is My name; and My glory will I not give to another (Isa. 42:6, 8);
here also treating of the Lord, where "a light of the Gentiles" denotes the Divine truth which is from Him; "not to give His glory to another,’ denotes that this Divine truth proceeds from no other than the Lord, who is one with Jehovah. As also in the same:--
For Mine own sake, for Mine own sake, will I do it, and My glory will I not give to another (Isa. 48:11).
 In like manner elsewhere:--
Thy light shall break forth as the dawn; thy righteousness shall walk before thee; the glory of Jehovah shall gather thee (Isa. 58:8)
He shall come to gather together all nations and tongues; that they may come, and see My glory (Isa. 66:18).
Jehovah Zebaoth shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before the elders shall be His glory (Isa. 24:23).
Jehovah said, I live; and all the earth shall be filled with the glory of Jehovah (Num. 14:20, 21).
In these passages the Lord is treated of, and the "glory" denotes the Divine truth that is from Him.
I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up. Above Him stood the seraphim. And one cried unto another, Holy, holy, holy, Jehovah Zebaoth, the fullness of all the earth is His glory (Isa. 6:1-3).
The heavens recount the glory of God (Ps. 19:1).
That the nations may fear the name of Jehovah, and the kings of the earth Thy glory; in that Jehovah hath built up Zion, and hath appeared in His glory (Ps. 102:15, 16).
The glory of God shall enlighten the Holy Jerusalem, and the Lamb is the lamp thereof. And the nations that are saved shall walk in her light; and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honor into it (Rev. 21:23, 24);
"the holy Jerusalem" denotes the New Church; "the glory of God," the Divine truth from the Lord therein; in like manner "her light in which they shall walk;" "the kings of the earth who shall bring their glory," denote those who are in truths from good (n. 2015, 2069, 4581, 4966, 5044, 6148) From all this it can now be seen what is signified by "the glory of Jehovah which tarried upon Mount Sinai" (n. 8427).
AC 9430. And the cloud covered it. That this signifies the ultimate of the Word which is thus relatively obscure, is evident from the signification of "the cloud," as being the ultimate of the Word, or its literal sense (n. 2135a, 4060, 4391, 5922, 6343, 6752, 8106, 8443, 8781). This sense is called a "cloud," because it is in obscurity relatively to the internal sense; for this is in the light of heaven. That it is in obscurity and like a cloud is because it is for man while he is in the world, whereas the internal sense is for man when he comes into heaven. But be it known that while a man is in the world, he is in the internal sense of the Word when he is in the genuine doctrine of the church as to faith and as to life; for through this doctrine the internal sense of the Word is then inscribed on both his understanding and his will; on his understanding through faith; and on his will through life. When such a man comes into heaven he apprehends the Word no otherwise than according to its internal sense; and knows nothing of its external sense, this then appearing to him like a cloud that absorbs the rays of its light.
 It is said that the man then apprehends the Word according to its internal sense, and not according to its external sense. That it is so is because all who are In heaven are instructed by the Lord from the truth Divine that is with man, thus from the Word. The reason is that man is in the ultimate of order, and that all interior things terminate in the ultimate, the ultimate being as it were a support for the interior things, on which they subsist and rest. The Word in the letter is Divine truth in the ultimate of order; in like manner the man of the church with whom is Divine truth, in respect to his natural and sensuous mind In the one, as in the other, the interior things terminate and rest, like a house on its foundation. The house itself is heaven, and there Divine truth is such as is the Word in the internal sense; and the foundation is the world, and there Divine truth is such as is the Word in the external sense. As a house rests on its foundation, so also heaven rests on the church; and consequently the Divine truth in heaven upon the Divine truth in the earth; for there is a continuous connection from the Lord through heaven down to man by means of the Word. This is the reason why it is always provided by the Lord that there shall be a church on the earth, in which Divine truth may be in its ultimate. This is a secret as yet known to none, and which is meant by what was cited above (n. 9357, 9360). Let all therefore beware of injuring the Word in any way; for they who injure it, injure the Divine Itself.
AC 9431. Six days. That this signifies when in a state of truth, is evident from the signification of "six days," as being a state of labor, and of combat (n. 737, 8510, 8888, 8975). That it denotes a state of truth is because there are two states with the man who is being regenerated by the Lord; the first state is called a state of truth, and the second state is called a state of good. The reason why the first state is called a state of truth, is that the man is then being brought into good by means of truth; and the reason why the second state is called a state of good, is that when the man is in good he has been brought in. Moreover when a man is in a state of truth he is outside of heaven; but when he is in good, he is in heaven; thus has been brought in to the Lord. Besides, when a man is in the first state, or the state of truth, he is then in labor and combat, for he is then undergoing temptations; but when he is in the sea and state, or the state of good, he is then at rest and in the tranquillity of peace. The former state is what is represented in the Word by the six days which precede the seventh; but the latter state is what is represented by the seventh day or Sabbath (n. 8890, 8893, 9274). Concerning these two states with the man who is being regenerated, which are called the state of truth and the state of good, (n. 7923, 7992, 8505, 8506, 8510, 8513, 8516, 8539, 8643, 8648, 8658, 8685, 8690, 8701, 8722, 8772, 9139, 9224, 9227, 9230, 9274).
AC 9432. And on the seventh day He called unto Moses. That this signifies when truth has been conjoined with good, is evident from the signification of "the seventh day," as being the second state, when truth has been conjoined with good, that is, when the man is in good (n. 9431).
AC 9433. Out of the midst of the cloud. That this signifies out of the obscurity there was before, is evident from the signification of "the cloud," as being the ultimate of the Word, which is therefore relatively obscure (n. 9430). That this is "the cloud" is because the Divine truth which is from the Lord cannot possibly appear in the very brightness in which it is, for man would thereby perish, because his understanding would be totally blinded by the light of truth, and his will would be wholly extinguished by the fire of good; thus all his life would he annihilated. Hence it is that Divine truth is accommodated to each person‘s apprehension, and is as it were veiled with a cloud, even with the angels (n. 6849). Among spirits this veiling appears like a cloud, which is dense or thin according to the reception of each one.
 This is meant by these words in Isaiah:--
Jehovah createth over every habitation of Mount Zion, and over her assemblies, a cloud by day, and a smoke and the shining of a flame of fire by night; for over all the glory shall be a covering. And there shall be a pavilion for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a refuge and for a covert against flood and against rain (Isa. 4:5, 6);
"the habitation of Mount Zion" denotes heaven and the church; "her assemblies" denote goods and truths; "a cloud by day, a smoke by night, and a covering" denote the veiling of truth Divine, thus its accommodation to apprehension. That the "glory over which there was to be a covering" denotes the Divine truth which is from the Lord, (n. 9429). "A pavilion" denotes the ultimate of truth Divine which hides the interior things; that it shall be "for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a refuge against flood and rain," is in order that man may be safe, and may not suffer any harm.
 The veiling of Divine truth is also described in David:--
O Jehovah my God, Thou art very great, Thou art clothed with glory and honor, who covereth Himself with light as with a garment, who layeth the beams of His chambers in the waters, who maketh the clouds His chariot. He foundeth the earth upon her bases, that it should not be moved for ever and ever. Thou hast covered it with the abyss as with a garment. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over (Ps. 104:1-9);
the "glory and honor with which Jehovah," that is, the Lord, "clothes Himself," denote Divine truth (n. 9429); the "light with which He is covered as with a garment" denotes Divine truth such as it is in heaven and in the church; that this truth is meant by "light" in the Word, see what was cited above (n. 9429); the "chambers whose beams He layeth in the waters denote the societies of heaven; and the "waters" denote truths (n. 2702, 3058, 3424, 4976, 5668, 8568, 9323); the "clouds that He maketh His chariot" denote the truths from which is doctrine, a "chariot’, being doctrine (n. 5321, 8215); "the earth," of which it is said that "He foundeth it upon her bases that it should not be moved forever," denotes the church; "the earth" in the Word denotes the church, (n. 9325); the "bases on which it is founded" denote truths in ultimates, such as are those of the Word in its literal sense; hence it is said that "it should not be moved forever;" "the abyss with which it is covered as with a garment" denotes external truth for the natural man (n. 6431, 8278). From this it is plain what is meant by the "bound set that they may not pass over," namely, that it is the ultimate of truth Divine, in which the interior things terminate, and on which as on a support and a foundation they subsist and rest, as was said above.
AC 9434. And the aspect of the glory of Jehovah was like devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the sons of Israel. That this signifies Divine truth in heaven itself resplendent from the good of love, but injuring and vastating with those who are in its external separate from the internal, is evident from the signification of "the aspect of the glory of Jehovah," as being the appearing of the Divine truth that proceeds from the Lord (that "the aspect" here denotes an appearing before the eyes, is manifest; and that "the glory of Jehovah" denotes the Divine truth that proceeds from the Lord, (n. 9429); from the signification of "fire," as being love in both senses (n. 4906, 5215, 6314, 6832, 7324), here the Divine love itself; from the signification of "the top of the mountain," as being the inmost of heaven, for by "Mount Sinai" is signified heaven (n. 9420, 9427), and by its highest part, which is called the "top" and the "summit," is signified its inmost (n. 9422); from the signification of "devouring," as being to consume, thus to injure and vastate; and from the representation of the sons of Israel, as being those who are in external things apart from internal, as shown frequently above. From all this it can be seen that by "the aspect of the glory of Jehovah like fire on the top of the mountain" is signified Divine truth in heaven itself resplendent from the good of love; and that by its being "like devouring fire in the eyes of the sons of Israel" is signified that it injures and vastates with those who are in its external apart from the internal.
 The case herein is this. There are two loves absolutely opposite to each other heavenly love, and infernal love; heavenly love is love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor, and infernal love is the love of self and the love of the world. Those with whom infernal loves reign are in hell; but those with whom heavenly loves reign are in heaven. For love is the very life of man, because without love there is absolutely no life; for from love everyone has the heat and fire of his life. That without the vital heat and fire there is no life, is very evident. From this it follows that such as is the love, such is the life; consequently such as is the love, such is the man; and therefore from his loves everyone can know whether heaven is in him, or hell. Love is like fire or flame in man, and is indeed, as before said, the vital fire or Same; and faith is like the light from this fire, or from this flame, and is indeed the light which lights up the interiors of his understanding From this also it is plain what is the quality of the light from which those have faith who are in infernal love. That from this light comes a persuasive faith, which in itself is not faith, but the persuasion, for the sake of self and the world, that such is the case, (n. 9363-9369). In the church at this day, spiritual life, which is life eternal, is made to consist in faith alone, thus in faith without the goods of heavenly love; but from what has just been said, everyone who reflects can see the nature of such a life.
 It shall now be stated how the case is with the Divine fire, which is the Divine love, with those who are in heavenly love; and how it is with those who are in infernal love. With those who are in heavenly love the Divine fire or love is continually creating and renewing the interiors of the will, and is continually lighting up the interiors of the understanding. But with those who are in infernal love the Divine fire or love is continually injuring and vastating. The reason is that with the latter, the Divine love falls into opposites, whereby it is destroyed; for it is turned into the fire or love of self and of the world, thus into contempt for others in comparison with one‘s self, into enmities against all who do not favor one’s self, and therefore into hatreds, into revenges, and finally into cruelties. It is from this then that before the eyes of the sons of Israel the fire of Jehovah appeared as devouring or consuming; for they were in the love of self and of the world, because they were in external things apart from internal.
 That to them this fire was devouring and consuming, is plain also elsewhere in Moses:--
It came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, and the mountain did burn with fire, that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders; and ye said, Behold, Jehovah our God hath made us see His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice out of the midst of the fire; now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will devour us; If we hear the voice of Jehovah our God any more, we shall surely die (Deut. 5:23-25).
See (n. 6832, 8814, 5819); and that this people was of such a character, (n. 9380).
 By a "devouring fire" elsewhere also in the Word is signified vastation, and it is said of the wicked; as in the following passages:--
The day of Jehovah cometh; a day of darkness and of thick darkness, a day of cloud and of obscurity. A fire devoureth before it, after it a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before it, but after it even a wilderness of a waste (Joel 2:1-3).
Jehovah shall cause the glory of His voice to be heard in the same of a devouring fire (Isa. 30:30).
Who shall remain to us with the devouring fire? who shall remain to us with the fire-places of eternity? (Isa. 33:14).
Thou shalt be visited by Jehovah with the flame of a devouring fire (Isa. 29:6).
Thy posterity shall be devoured by the fire (Ezek. 23:25).
In these passages by a "devouring fire" is meant the fire of the cupidities which arise from the loves of self and of the world, because this is the fire which consumes a man, and which vastates the church. This was also represented by the "fire from before Jehovah" which devoured the sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, because they put strange fire into their censers (Lev. 10:1, 2); "putting strange fire into their censers" denotes instituting worship from some other love than heavenly love. That such "fire" denotes the love of self and of the world, and every cupidity arising therefrom, (n. 1297, 1861, 5071, 5215, 6314, 6832, 7324, 7575, 9141).
AC 9435. And Moses entered into the midst of the cloud. That this signifies the Word in the external sense, is evident from the representation of Moses, as being the Word, here the Word in the external sense, because it is said that he "entered into the midst of the cloud," and by "the cloud" is signified the external sense of the Word. That "Moses" denotes the Word, (n. 9414); and that a "cloud" denotes its external sense, (n. 9430). That Moses remained for six days in the uttermost of the mountain, and that when called on the seventh day be entered into the cloud and went up unto the mountain, was done in order that he might represent an intermediate, or that which mediates between the people and the Lord, according to what was said above (n. 9414). The steps of ascent from the people to the Lord are thus described. When at last he came into the mountain, he then for the first time represented the holy external of the Word, which is what mediates; for this mountain signifies heaven, where is holiness. And yet he was not admitted further than to the first threshold of heaven, where the holy external of the Word ceases. How far he was admitted, was shown me representatively by a spirit, who as to the higher part of the face as far as the chin was seen in the light of heaven, but as to the lower part of it, including the chin, and as to the whole body with it, was in a cloud. From this it was made plain how much he represented of the holy external, which is what mediates. The six days during which Moses remained in the extremity of the mountain, signified a state of truth, and the seventh day, on which he went up into the mountain, signified a state of good (n. 9431, 9432). The reason is, that with those who are being regenerated by the Lord there are similar degrees of ascent from the world to heaven; for a man is elevated from external to internal things; because from the natural man who is in external things to the spiritual man who is in internal things. Such an elevation or ascent was also represented by Moses when he put on the representation of the holy external, which mediates; for the holy external of the Word is the entrance to a state of good, thus to heaven.
AC 9436. And went up unto the mountain. That this signifies elevation to heaven, is evident from the signification of "going up," as being elevation toward interior things (n. 3084, 4539, 4969, 5406, 5817, 6007); and from the signification of "Mount Sinai," as being heaven where divine Truth is in light (n. 9420, 9427).
AC 9437. And Moses was in the mountain forty days and forty nights. That this signifies what is complete in respect to instruction and influx, is evident from the signification of "forty," as being what is full or complete. That "forty" denotes what is full or complete, is because "four" denotes what is full (n. 9103), in like manner "ten" (n. 3107, 4638), and the number forty arises from four multiplied into ten; for multiplied numbers signify the same as the simple numbers from which they have been multiplied (n. 5291, 5335, 5708, 7973). That all numbers in the Word signify real things, (n. 575, 3252, 4264, 4495, 4670, 5265, 6175). It is from this then that Moses was in the mountain forty days and forty nights. That "forty" here signifies what is complete in respect to instruction and influx, is plain from what follows in chapters 25 to 32, in which are recounted the things concerning which he was instructed, which were the ark, Aaron, the urim and thummim, and the sacrifices. That "forty" signifies what is complete as to influx also, is because from that time Moses began to represent the holy external of the Word, which mediates between the Lord and the people; and mediation is effected by influx through this holy external into the representative in which the people were (n. 9419).
 As "forty" signified what is full or complete, therefore Moses remained on Mount Sinai not only on this occasion, but also on another, "forty days and forty nights" (Exod. 34:28; Deut. 9:18, 25; 10:10). And for this reason the sons of Israel wandered in the wilderness "forty years," until, as it is said, "all that generation was consumed" (Num. 14:33, 34; 32:13). And for this reason it was said by Jonah to the Ninevites that "the city would be overthrown after forty days" (Jonah 3:4). And for this reason the prophet was commanded "to lie on the right side, and to bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days" (Ezek. 4:6). For this reason also it is said of Egypt that it should be surrendered to "an utter solitude forty years, and after those years should be gathered together from the peoples" (Ezek. 29:11-13). And for this reason "it rained upon the earth, so that it was inundated with a flood, forty days and forty nights" (Gen. 7:4, 12, 17). From this it is evident why it was decreed that a wicked man should be "beaten with forty stripes (Deut. 25:3); for "forty stripes" signified punishment to the full. From this it is also evident what is meant in the prophetic song of Deborah and Barak, that "there was neither shield nor spear seen in the forty thousands of Israel" (Judges 5:8); "in the forty thousands of Israel" denotes in all. It is evident also from this why the temple built by Solomon was "forty cubits long" (1 Kings 6:17); in like manner the new temple described in (Ezekiel 41:2); for by "the temple," in the supreme sense, is signified the Lord; in the internal sense, heaven and the church; and thus by "forty," what is complete in respect to representation. In like manner in other passages.