Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 24:3-5
AC 9381. Verses 3-5. And Moses came and reported to the people all the words of Jehovah, and all the judgments; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words that Jehovah hath spoken we will do. And Moses wrote all the words of Jehovah, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar under the mountain, and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent youths of the sons of Israel, and they offered burnt-offerings, and sacrificed peace sacrifices of bullocks to Jehovah. "And Moses came and reported to the people," signifies the enlightenment and instruction of the Lord through the Divine truth which is from Him; "all the words of Jehovah, and all the judgments," signifies the things in the Word that belong to life in the spiritual and in the natural state; "and all the people answered with one voice," signifies reception with the understanding by those who are truly of the church; "and they said, All the words that Jehovah hath spoken we will do," signifies reception then in the heart; "and Moses wrote all the words of Jehovah," signifies thereafter an impressing on the life; "and rose up early in the morning," signifies joy from the Lord; "and built an altar under the mountain," signifies a representative of the Divine Human of the Lord in respect to the Divine good from Him; "and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel," signifies a representative of the Divine Human of the Lord in respect to the truth Divine which is from Him, in its whole complex; "and he sent youths of the sons of Israel," signifies the things of innocence and charity; "and they offered burnt-offerings, and sacrificed peace sacrifices of bullocks to Jehovah," signifies a representative of the worship of the Lord from good and from the truth which is from good.
AC 9382. And Moses came and reported to the people. That this signifies the enlightenment and instruction of the Lord through the Divine truth which is from Himself, is evident from the representation of Moses, as being the Lord in respect to the Word, thus in respect to the Divine truth, for this is the Word (n. 9372); from the signification of "coming," when said of the Lord in respect to the Word or the Divine truth, which is represented by Moses, as being enlightenment, for when the Lord comes, that is, is present in the Word, there is enlightenment; and from the signification of "reporting," as being instruction. From this it is plain that by "Moses came and reported to the people" is signified the enlightenment and instruction of the Lord through the Divine truth.
 How the case is with enlightenment and instruction from the Word, shall also be briefly told. Everyone is enlightened and instructed from the Word according to his affection of truth, and longing for it, and according to his capacity of receiving it. They who are in enlightenment are in the light of heaven as to their internal man; for it is the light of heaven which enlightens man in the truths and goods of faith (n. 8707, 8861). They who are thus illumined apprehend the Word in accordance with its interior things, and therefore make for themselves doctrine from the Word, to which they apply the sense of the letter. But they who are not in the affection of truth from good, and from this in the desire to be wise, are blinded rather than enlightened when they read the Word, for they are not in the light of heaven; and from the light of the world, which is called the light of nature they see only what agrees with worldly things; and thus from the fallacies in which the external senses are, they embrace falsities which appear to them as truths. Most of these make for themselves no doctrine from the Word, but remain in the sense of the letter, which they apply so as to favor falsities, especially such as agree with the loves of self and of the world. But those who are not of this character merely confirm the doctrinal things of their church, and neither care nor know whether these are true or false (n. 4741, 5033, 6865, 7012, 7680, 7950, 8521, 8780). From this it is evident who are enlightened from the Word, and who are blinded; namely, that those are enlightened who are in heavenly loves, for heavenly loves receive and like sponges imbibe the truths of heaven; and these are conjoined together of themselves, like soul and body. But on the other hand those are blinded who are in worldly loves, because these loves receive and like sponges imbibe falsities; with which also they are conjoined of themselves. For good and truth agree together, and so on the other hand do evil and falsity; and therefore the conjunction of evil and falsity is called the infernal marriage, which is hell itself; and the conjunction of good and truth is called the heavenly marriage, which is heaven itself.
 That the Word is the source of enlightenment and instruction, is because in its first origin it is truth Divine itself that proceeds from the Lord, and in its descent into the world is accommodated to all the heavens. Hence it is that when a man who has heavenly love reads the Word, he is through it conjoined with heaven, and through heaven with the Lord, whereby he has enlightenment and instruction. It is otherwise when a man who has worldly love reads the Word. With him there is no conjunction of heaven; and therefore he has no enlightenment and instruction. That through the Word there is a union of heaven and the world, thus of the Lord with the human race, (n. 9212, 9216, 9357).
AC 9383. All the words of Jehovah and all the judgments. That this signifies those things in the Word that belong to life in the spiritual and in the natural state, is evident from the signification of "the words of Jehovah," as being those things in the Word that belong to life in the spiritual state; and from the signification of "the judgments," as being those things in the Word that belong to life in the natural state. It is said "in the spiritual state," and "in the natural state," because with every man there are in general two states; one peculiar and proper to the internal man, which is called the spiritual state; and the other peculiar and proper to the external man, which is called the natural state. The reason why the state of the internal man is called spiritual, is that it is affected by the truths which are of the light of heaven, and by the good which is of the heat of this light, which heat is love. This light is called spiritual light because it illumines the understanding; and this heat is called spiritual heat, which is love and enkindles the will. Hence it is that the state of the internal man is called a spiritual state. But the reason why the state of the external man is called a natural state, is that it is affected by the truths which are of the light of the world, and by the good which is of the heat of this light; which heat also is love, but the love of such things as are in the world; for all the heat of life is love. Hence it is that the state of the external man is called natural. Those things which are of life in the natural state are meant by "judgments;" but those which are of life in the spiritual state are meant by "the words of Jehovah."
 That both are from the Word is because in the Word are all things that are of life, for they have in them life itself; because in the Word is the Divine truth which has proceeded and still proceeds from the Lord, who is life itself. It is from this that all things in the Word are matters of life; and also that all things therein have relation to the life; as can be seen from the two commandments on which all things of the Word are based, of which we read in Matthew:--
Jesus said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God from all thy heart, and in all thy soul, and in all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang the law and the prophets (Matt. 22:37-40; Mark 12:29-31);
"to love God and the neighbor" is of the life, because everything of life is of love, insomuch that without love there is no life; and such as the love is, such is the life. "The law and the prophets" denote the whole Word.
AC 9384. And all the people answered with one voice. That this signifies reception with the understanding by those who are truly of the church, is evident from the signification of "answering with one voice," as being reception with the understanding, for "to answer" denotes reception (n. 2941, 2957); and the "voice" denotes the confession which comes forth from the understanding, because the things of the mouth, and from this of the speech or voice, correspond to the intellectual part, from which part also the voice or speech proceeds. But the affection itself of the speech, which is from the end that is intended, that is, from the love that vivifies, proceeds from the will part. And from the signification of the sons of Israel, who here are "the people," as being the church (n. 9340), thus those who are truly of the church. From this it is evident that by "the people answered with one voice" is signified reception with the understanding by those who are truly of the church.
AC 9385. And they said, All the words that Jehovah hath spoke we will do. That this signifies reception then in the heart, is evident from the signification of "the words that Jehovah hath spoken," as being truths from the Word that belong to the life (n. 9383); and from the signification of "doing," as being reception by the will part (n. 9282), thus reception in the heart, for "the heart" in the Word denotes the will, (n. 7542, 8910, 9050, 9113, 9300). The reason why by these words is signified reception in the will, and by the words which immediately precede, reception in the understanding, is that in each and all things of the Word there is a marriage of truth and good (n. 9263), thus the heavenly marriage, which is heaven, and in the supreme sense is the Lord Himself. Truth bears relation to the understanding, and good to the will.
AC 9386. And Moses wrote all the words of Jehovah. That this signifies an impressing thereafter on the life, is evident from the signification of "writing," as being to impress on the life; from the representation of Moses, as being the Lord in respect to the Word (n. 9372, 9382); and from the signification of "all the words of Jehovah," as being truths from the Word (n. 9383). From this it is evident that by "Moses wrote all the words of Jehovah," are signified truths Divine impressed on the life by the Lord. Truths are said to be impressed on the life, when they become of the will and from this of the act. So long as they stay merely in the memory, and so long as they are looked at only intellectually, they have not been impressed on the life; but as soon as they are received in the will, they become of the life, because the very being of man’s life is to will, and from this to act; and before this they have not been appropriated to the man.
 That "to write" denotes to impress on the life, is because the purpose of writings is remembrance to all posterity. So is it with the things impressed on a man‘s life. Man has as it were two books, in which have been written all his thoughts and acts. These books are his two memories, the exterior and the interior. The things written on his interior memory remain to all eternity, and are never blotted out, and are chiefly those which have become of the will, that is, of the love; for the things of the love are of the will. It is this memory which is meant by every man’s book of life (n. 2474).
AC 9387. And he rose up early in the morning. That this signifies joy from the Lord, is evident from the signification of "rising up," as denoting elevation toward higher things (n. 2401, 2785, 2912, 2927, 3171, 4103); and from the signification of "morning," and "early," as being the Lord, and the things which are from Him, such as peace, innocence, love, and joy (n. 2405, 2780, 7681, 8426, 8812). The reason why "morning,‘ and "early" have this signification, is that the seasons of the year, which are spring, summer, autumn, and winter, and also the times of the day, which are morning, noon, evening, and night, correspond to so many states in heaven. Thus the morning corresponds to the coming and presence of the Lord, which exists when an angel is in a state of peace, innocence, and heavenly love, and thereby in joy. Concerning these correspondences (n. 5672, 5962, 6110, 8426, 9213).
AC 9388. And he built an altar under the mountain. That this signifies a representative of the Divine Human of the Lord in respect to the Divine good from Him, is evident from the signification of "an altar," as being a representative of the Divine Human of the Lord (n. 921, 2777, 2811, 4489), and from this the main representative of the worship of the Lord (n. 4541, 8935, 8940); and from the signification of "the mountain," as being the good of love (n. 4210, 6435, 8327, 8658, 8758), here the Divine good of love proceeding from the Lord, because it was Mount Sinai, where the Lord then was. That "Mount Sinai" denotes the Divine good united to the Divine truth from the Lord, (n. 8805).
AC 9389. And twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. That this signifies a representative of the Divine Human of the Lord in respect to the truth Divine which is from Him, in its whole complex, is evident from the signification of "a pillar," as being a representative of the Divine Human of the Lord in respect to truth. That this is signified by "a pillar" is because by "an altar" is signified a representative of the Divine Human of the Lord in respect to good, and in the representative sense "a pillar" denotes the holiness of the truth which is from the Lord (n. 4580, 4582); and from the signification of "twelve," and of the "twelve tribes," as being all truths and goods in the complex (n. 577, 2089, 3858, 3913, 3926, 3939, 4060, 6335, 6337, 6397, 6640, 7973), thus all that are from the Lord. That the Divine Human of the Lord is signified by "an altar," and by "pillars," is because in the supreme sense all the representatives of the church that are treated of in the Word, have regard to the Lord Himself. Wherefore also in its inmost and supreme sense the Word treats of the Lord alone, and especially of the glorification of His Human. From this comes all the holiness of the Word. But this supreme sense is especially presented in the inmost or third heaven, where are those who are in love to the Lord, and from this in wisdom above all others.
AC 9390. And he sent youths of the sons of Israel. That this signifies the things of innocence and charity, is evident from the signification of "youths of the sons of Israel," as being the things of innocence and charity with those who are of the church; for by "sucklings," "little children," and "youths," are signified those who are in innocence and charity, or abstractedly from persons, the things of innocence and charity (n. 430, 5236); and by "the sons of Israel" are signified those who are of the church, or abstractedly from persons, the things of the church (n. 9340).
AC 9391. And they offered burnt-offerings, and sacrificed peace sacrifices of bullocks to Jehovah. That hereby is signified a representative of the worship of the Lord from good and from the truth which is from good, is evident from the representation of burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as being worship of the Lord in general (n. 922, 6905, 8936), specifically by burnt-offerings the worship of the Lord from the good of love, and by sacrifices the worship of the Lord from the truth of faith which is from good (n. 8680); and from the signification of "bullocks," as being the good of innocence and of charity in the external or natural man. That beasts that were sacrificed signified the quality of the good and truth from which was the worship, (n. 922, 1823, 2180, 3519). That gentle and useful beasts signify the celestial things of the good of love, and the spiritual things of the truth of faith, and that on this account they were employed in the sacrifices, (n. 9280). That "a bullock" signifies the good of innocence and of charity in the external or natural man, is because animals of the herd signified affections of good and truth in the external or natural man, and those of the flock, affections of good and truth in the internal or spiritual man (n. 2566, 5913, 6048, 8937, 9135). The animals of the flock were lambs, she-goats, sheep, rams, he-goats; and those of the herd were oxen, bullocks, and calves. "Lambs" and "sheep" signified the good of innocence and of charity in the internal or spiritual man; consequently "calves" and "bullocks," being of a more tender age than oxen, signified the like in the external or natural man.
 That "bullocks" and "calves" signify this good, is evident from the passages in the Word where they are mentioned; as in Ezekiel:--
The feet of the four living creatures, a straight foot; and the sole of their feet as the sole of a calf’s foot; and they glittered like the appearance of burnished brass (Ezek. 1:7);
speaking of the cherubs, which are described by the four living creatures. That the "cherubs" denote the guard or providence of the Lord to prevent any approach to Himself except through good, (n. 9277). External or natural good was represented by the straight foot, and by the sole of the foot being like the sole of a calf‘s foot; for the "feet" signify the things of the natural man; the "straight foot" those which are of good, and the "sole of the feet" those which are ultimate, in the natural man. That the "feet" have this signification, (n. 2162, 3147, 3761, 3986, 4280, 4938-4952, 5327, 5328); also that the "heels," "soles," and "hoofs" denote the ultimate things in the natural man, (n. 4938, 7729). The reason why the soles of the feet glittered like the appearance of burnished brass, was that "brass" signifies natural good (n. 425, 1551), and "brass glittering as though burnished," signifies good resplendent from the light of heaven, which is truth Divine proceeding from the Lord. From what has been said it is evident that by "a calf" is signified the good of the external or natural man.
 In like manner in John:--
Round about the throne were four animals full of eyes before and behind. And the first animal was like a lion, and the second animal like a calf, and the third animal had a face like a man, and the fourth animal was like a flying eagle (Rev. 4:6, 7);
here also by the "four animals" which are cherubs, is signified the guard and providence of the Lord to prevent His being approached except through the good of love; the guard itself is effected by means of truth and its derivative good, and by means of good and its derivative truth. Truth and its derivative good, in the external form, are signified by the "lion" and the "calf;" and good and its derivative truth, in the internal form, are signified by the "face of a man" and by the "flying eagle." That "a lion" denotes truth from good in its power, (n. 6367), consequently the " calf" denotes the good itself thence derived.
 In Hosea:--
Return ye unto Jehovah; say unto Him, Take away all iniquity, and accept good, and we will repay the bullocks of our lips (Hosea 14:2);
no one can know what is meant by "repaying the bullocks of the lips" unless he knows what is signified by "bullocks" and by "lips." That it denotes confession and thanksgiving from a good heart, is evident; for it is said, "return ye unto Jehovah, say unto Him accept good," and then, "we will repay the bullocks of our lips," denoting to confess Jehovah from the goods of doctrine, and to give thanks to Him; for the "lips" denote the things of doctrine (n. 1286, 1288).
 In Amos:--
Ye draw the dwelling of violence; they lie upon beds of ivory, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall (Amos 6:3, 4);
here are described those who are in abundance of the knowledges of good and truth, and yet live an evil life; "eating the lambs out of the flock" denotes to learn and appropriate to one’s self the goods of innocence that belong to the internal or spiritual man; "eating the calves out of the midst of the stall" denotes to learn and appropriate to one‘s self the goods of innocence that belong to the external or natural man. That "eating" denotes to appropriate (n. 3168, 3513, 3596, 3832, 4745); and that "lambs" denote the goods of innocence, (n. 3519, 3994, 7840). And as "lambs" denote the interior goods of innocence, it follows that "calves out of the midst of the stall" denote the exterior goods of innocence; for in the Word, especially in the prophetic Word, it is usual to treat of truth wherever good is treated of, on account of the heavenly marriage (n. 9263, 9314); and also to speak of external things where internal things are spoken of. Moreover the "stall" (used for fattening) and "fat" signify the good of interior love (n. 5943).
 In like manner in these passages:--
Unto you that fear My name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; that ye may go forth, and grow like calves of the stall (Mal. 4:2).
The father said of the prodigal son who had returned repentant in heart, Bring forth the chief robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be glad (Luke 15:22, 23);
one who apprehends only the sense of the letter, will believe that nothing deeper is hidden here; when yet each particular infolds heavenly things; as that they should put on him the chief robe; that they should put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and should bring the fatted calf, and kill it, so that they might eat and be glad. By the "prodigal son" are meant those who have been prodigal of heavenly riches, which are the knowledges of good and truth; by his "return to his father," and his confession that he was "not worthy to be called his son," is signified repentance of heart and humiliation; by the "chief robe" which was to be put upon him are signified general truths (n. 4545, 5248, 5319, 5954, 6914, 6917, 9093, 9212, 9216); and by the "fatted calf" general goods corresponding to these truths. The like is signified by "calves" and "bullocks" in other passages (Isa. 11:6; Ezek. 39:18; Ps. 29:6; 69:31), also in the burnt-offerings and sacrifices (Exod. 29:11-14; Lev. 4:3-12 and 13-21; 8:14-17; 9:2; 16:3; 23:18; Num. 8:8-12; 15:24-26; 28:19, 20; Judges 6:25-28; 1 Sam. 1:25; 16:2; 1 Kings 18:23-26, 33).
 The reason why the sons of Israel made for themselves a golden calf, and worshiped it instead of Jehovah (Exod. 32), was that the Egyptian idolatry remained in their hearts, although they confessed Jehovah with their mouths. Chief among the idols of Egypt were heifers and bull-calves of gold, for the reason that a female calf signified memory-truth, which is the truth of the natural man; and a bull-calf the good of this truth, which is the good of the natural man; and also because gold signified good. This good and this truth were effigied there by male and female calves of gold. But when the representatives of heavenly things there had been turned into idolatries, and at last into magic, then in Egypt, as in other places, the very effigies which had been representative became idols, and began to be worshiped. Hence came the idolatries of the ancients, and the magical arts of Egypt.
 For the Ancient Church, which succeeded the Most Ancient Church, was a representative church, all the worship of which consisted in rites, statutes, judgments, and commandments that represented Divine and heavenly thing, which are the interior things of the church After the flood this Ancient Church was spread through much of the Asiatic world, and was also in Egypt. But in Egypt the memory-knowledges of this church were cultivated, where by the Egyptians excelled all others in the knowledge of correspondences and representations, as can be seen from the hieroglyphics, and from the magical arts and idols there; and also from the various things related about Egypt in the Word. Hence it is that by "Egypt" in the Word is signified memory-knowledge in general, both as to truth and as to good; also the natural, for memory-knowledge belongs to the natural man. The same was signified also by a female and a male calf.
 That the Ancient Church, which was a representative church, was spread through many kingdoms, and was also in Egypt, (n. 1238, 2385, 7097); that the memory-knowledges of the church were especially cultivated in Egypt, and that therefore by "Egypt" in the Word is signified memory-knowledge in both senses, (n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462, 4749, 4964, 4966, 5700, 5702, 6004, 6015, 6125, 6651, 6679, 6683, 6692, 6693, 6750, 7779, 7926); and as memory-truth and its good are the truth and good of the natural man, therefore by "Egypt" in the Word is also signified the natural, (n. 4967, 5079, 5080, 5095, 5160, 5276, 5278, 5280, 5288, 5301, 6004, 6015, 6147, 6252).
 From all this it is now evident that female and male calves were among the chief idols of Egypt, for the reason that female and male calves signified memory-truth and its good, which belong to the natural man, in like manner as does Egypt itself; so that "Egypt" and "a calf" had the same signification, wherefore it is said of Egypt in Jeremiah:--
Egypt is a very beautiful she-calf; destruction is come out of the north. Also her hired men in the midst of her are like he-calves of the stall (Jer. 46:20, 21);
a "she-calf" denotes the memory-truth of the natural man; the "hired men" who are "he-calves" denote those who do what is good for the sake of profit (n. 8002); thus "he-calves" denote such good as in itself is not good, but is the delight of the natural man separate from the spiritual. This is the delight in which were the sons of Jacob, being in itself idolatrous; and therefore they were permitted to make this known and testify it by the adoration of a calf (Exod. 32).
 This is also described in David:--
They made a calf in Horeb, and bowed themselves to a molten image; and they changed their glory into the effigy of an ox that eateth the herb (Ps. 106:19, 20);
by "making a calf in Horeb and bowing themselves to a molten image" is signified idolatrous worship, which is that of rites, statutes, judgments, and commandments, in the external form only; and not at the same time in the internal. That that nation was in external things without anything internal, (n. 9320, 9373, 9377, 9380, 9382); and that therefore they were idolatrous in their hearts, (n. 3732, 4208, 4281, 4825, 5998, 7401, 8301, 8871, 8882). By their "changing their glory into the effigy of an ox that eateth the herb" is signified that they estranged themselves from the internal things of the Word and of the church, and worshiped what is external, which is mere memory-knowledge devoid of life; for "glory" denotes what is internal of the Word and of the church (n. 2135a, 5922, 8267, 8427); "the effigy of an ox" denotes a semblance of good in the external form, for "an effigy" denotes a semblance, thus that which is devoid of life; and "an ox" denotes good in the natural, thus good in the external form (n. 2566, 2781, 9134); "to eat the herb" denotes to appropriate this to one’s self as a mere matter of memory; for "to eat" denotes to appropriate (n. 3168, 3513, 3596, 4745); and "the herb" denotes memory-knowledge (n. 7571).
 As such things were signified by the "golden calf," that was worshiped by the sons of Israel instead of Jehovah, therefore Moses proceeded with it in the following manner:--
Your sin, the calf which ye made, I took, and burnt it with fire, and crushed it, grinding it well, until it was as fine as dust; and I cast the dust thereof into the brook that came down from the mountain (Deut. 9:21);
no one knows why the golden calf was so dealt with, unless he knows what is signified by being " burned with fire," "crushed," "ground," and "made as fine as dust;" and what by "the brook that came down from the mountain," into which the dust was cast. There is here described the state of those who worship external things without anything internal; namely, that they are in the evils of the loves of self and of the world, and in the falsities thence derived, in respect to what is from the Divine, thus in respect to the Word. For the "fire" by which the calf was burned denotes the evil of the love of self and of the world (n. 1297, 1861, 2446, 5071, 5215, 6314, 6832, 7324, 7575); the "dust" into which it was crushed, denotes the consequent falsity confirmed from the sense of the letter of the Word; and the "brook from Mount Sinai" denotes truth Divine, thus the Word in the letter, for this comes down from it. For those who are in external things without anything internal explain the Word in favor of their own loves, and see therein earthly things, and nothing of heavenly things, like the Israelites and Jews of old, and also of this day.
 Similar things were also represented by the calves of Jeroboam in Bethel and in Dan (1 Kings 12:26-33; 2 Kings 17:16), of which we read in Hosea:--
They have made a king, but not by Me; they have made princes, and I knew it not; their silver and their gold have they made into idols, that they may be cut off. Thy calf, O Samaria, hath deserted, for this also is from Israel, the workman made it, and it is no God, for the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces (Hosea 8:4-6);
the subject here treated of is the perverted understanding and distorted unfolding of the Word by those who are in external things without anything internal; for they remain in the sense of the letter of the Word, which they wrest so as to favor their own loves and the principles taken from them.
 "Making a king, but not by Me; and making princes, and I knew it not" denotes to hatch truth and primary truths from their own light, and not from the Divine, for in the internal sense "a king" denotes truth (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4581, 4966, 5044, 5068, 6148); and "princes" denote primary truths (n. 1482, 2089, 5044); "making their silver and their gold into idols" denotes to pervert the memory-knowledges of truth and good from the literal sense of the Word, in favor of their own cupidities, and still to worship them as holy, although, being from their own intelligence, they are devoid of life; for "silver" denotes the truth, and "gold" the good, that are from the Divine, thus that belong to the Word (n. 1551, 2954, 5658, 6914, 6917, 8932); and "idols" denote doctrinal things from man‘s own intelligence which are worshiped as holy, and yet have no life in them (n. 8941) from which it is evident that by a "king" and "princes," and also by "silver" and "gold," are signified falsities from evil; for those things which are from man’s own are from evil, and consequently are falsities, although outwardly they appear like truths, because taken from the literal sense of the Word. From this it is evident what is signified by the "calf of Samaria which the workman made," namely, good in the natural man and not at the same time in the spiritual man; thus that which is not good, because applied to evil. "The workman made it, and it is no God," denotes that it is from man‘s own, and not from the Divine; to be "broken in pieces" denotes to be dispersed.
 Similar things are meant by "calves" in Hosea:--
They sin more and more, and make them a molten image of their silver, even idols in their own intelligence, wholly the work of the craftsmen; talking to them, sacrificing men, kissing calves (Hosea 13:2).
From all this it is now evident what is signified by a "calf," and a "bullock," in the following passages:--
The unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with strong ones, and their land shall be drunken with blood, and their dust shall be made fat with fatness (Isa. 34:7).
The defenced city is solitary, the habitation is abandoned and forsaken like a wilderness; there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof; the harvest thereof shall wither (Isa. 27:10).
From the cry of Heshbon even unto Elealeh, even unto Jahaz, have they uttered their voice, from Zoar even unto Horonaim, a she-calf of three years old; for the waters of Nimrim also shall become desolations (Jer. 48:34).
My heart crieth out for Moab; her fugitives are even unto Zoar, a she-calf of three years old; for in the ascent of Luhith with weeping he shall go up (Isa. 15:5).
Ephraim is a she-calf that is taught, that loveth to thresh (Hos. 10:11).
Rebuke the wild beast of the reed, the congregation of the strong ones, among the calves of the peoples, trampling under foot the fragments of silver; He hath scattered the peoples, they desire wars (Ps. 68:30);
 the subject here treated of is the arrogance of those who wish to enter from memory-knowledges into the mysteries of faith, and who are not willing to acknowledge anything but that which they themselves hatch therefrom. As they do not see anything from the light of heaven which is from the Lord, but only from the light of nature which is from man’s own, they seize on shadows instead of light, on fallacies instead of realities, and in general on falsity instead of truth. As they think insanely, because from the lowest things, they are called "the wild beast of the reed;" and as they reason with vehemence, they are called "the congregation of the strong ones;" and as they disperse the truths that are still remaining and scattered among the goods of those who are in the truths of the church, it is said of them that "they trample under foot the fragments of silver among the calves of the peoples," and further that "they scatter the peoples," that is, the church itself with its truths; the lust of attacking and destroying these truths is meant by "desiring wars." From all this it is again evident that "calves" denote goods.
 In (Zechariah 12:4) it is said, "I will smite every horse of the peoples with blindness;" and by the "horse of the peoples" are signified the intellectual things of truth with those who are of the church, because a "horse" denotes the understanding of truth (n. 2761). But it is here said, "trampling under foot the fragments of silver, and "scattering the peoples among the calves of the peoples;" and by "trampling under foot" and "scattering" is signified to cast down and disperse (n. 258). By "silver" is signified truth, (n. 1551, 2954, 5658, 6112, 6914, 6917, 7999, 8932); and by "peoples" those of the church who are in truths, (n. 2928, 7207), therefore the truths of the church, (n. 1259, 1260, 3295, 3581). Thus by "the calves of the peoples" are signified the goods of the will with those who are of the church.
 Moreover, that "calves" signify goods, is evident in Jeremiah:--
I will give the men that have transgressed My covenant, who have not established the words of the covenant which they have made before Me, of the calf which they cut in twain, that they might pass between the parts thereof; the princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the royal ministers and the priests, and all the people of the land, who have passed between the parts of the calf; I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, that their carcass may be for food to the bird of the heavens, and to the beast of the earth (Jer. 34:18-20);
no one can know what is meant by "the covenant of the calf," and what by "passing between the parts thereof," unless knows what is signified by a "covenant," by a "calf," by its being "divided into two parts;" also what is signified by "the princes of Judah and of Jerusalem," by "the eunuchs," " the priests," and "the people of the land." It is evident that some heavenly secret is infolded. Nevertheless this secret can appear to the understanding when it is known that a "covenant" denotes conjunction, a "calf" good, a "calf cut in twain" good proceeding from the Lord on the one side, and good received by man on the other; and that "the princes of Judah and of Jerusalem, with the royal ministers and the priests, and the peoples of the land," denote the truths and goods of the church from the Word; and that "to pass between the parts" denotes to conjoin. From all these things, when they are known, it is evident that the internal sense of these words is, that there was no conjunction of the good proceeding from the Lord with the good received by man through the Word, consequently through the truths and goods of the church with that nation; but that there was disjunction, for the reason that they were in external things without anything internal.
 The like was involved in the covenant of the calf with Abram, of which we read in the book of Genesis:--
Jehovah said unto Abram, Take thee a she-calf of three years, and a she-goat of three years, and a ram of three years, and a turtle-dove, and a young pigeon. And he took him all these and divided them in the midst, and laid each part of it over against the other; and the birds he did not divide. And the fowls came down upon the bodies, and Abram drove them away. And it was when the sun was setting, that a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and behold a terror of great darkness falling upon him. And in that day Jehovah made a covenant with Abram (Gen. 15:9-12, 18);
"a terror of great darkness falling upon Abram" signified the state of the Jewish nation, in that they were in the greatest darkness in respect to the truths and goods of the church from the Word, because they were in external things without anything internal, and consequently were in idolatrous worship. For one who is in external things without anything internal is in idolatrous worship, because when he is in worship, his heart and soul are not in heaven, but in the world; and he does not worship the holy things of the Word from heavenly love, but from earthly love. This state of that nation is what is described in the prophet by "the covenant of a calf which they had cut into two parts," and "between which they passed."EXODUS 24:3-5 previous - next - text - summary - Exodus - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|