Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 25:1-2
AC 9456. Verses 1, 2. And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the sons of Israel, and let them take for Me a collection; from every man whom his heart hath moved willingly ye shall take My collection. "And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying," signifies instruction concerning the holy things of heaven that were to be represented; "Speak unto the sons of Israel," signifies the representative church; "and let them take for Me a collection," signifies the interior things of worship that were to be represented, and that are the things required; "from every man whom his heart hath moved willingly," signifies that all things should be from love and thus from freedom; "ye shall take My collection," signifies the things required for worship.
AC 9457. And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying. That this signifies instruction concerning the holy things of heaven that were to be represented, is evident from what follows; for by "what Jehovah spake unto Moses" are signified the holy things of heaven that were to be represented. For among the Israelitish people there was instituted a church in which were to be representatively presented in an external form the celestial things of the good of love and the spiritual things of the good and truth of faith, such as are in heaven, and such as must be in the church. From this it is evident that by "Jehovah spake," is signified instruction concerning the holy things of heaven that were to be represented. Inasmuch as the things that follow are representative of the celestial and spiritual things which are in the heavens from the Lord, it shall be told what a representative church is, and why it was instituted.
 There are three heavens: the inmost or third; the middle or second; and the ultimate or first. In the inmost heaven reigns the good of love to the Lord; in the middle heaven, the good of charity toward the neighbor; and in the ultimate heaven are represented the things which are thought, said, and come forth in the middle and inmost heavens. The representatives in this heaven are countless, consisting of paradises, gardens, forests, fields, plains; also of cities, palaces, houses; likewise of flocks and herds, animals and birds of many kinds, besides numberless other things. These things appear before the eyes of the angelic spirits there more clearly than similar things appear in the light of noon on earth; and wonderful to say, their signification also is perceived.
 Such things appeared also to the prophets when their interior sight, which is the sight of the spirit, was opened; as horses to Zechariah (Zech. 6:1-8); animals that were cherubs, and afterward the new temple with all things belonging to it, to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1, 9, 10, 40, 48); a lampstand, thrones, animals that also were cherubs, horses, the New Jerusalem, and many other things, to John, as described in the Revelation; in like manner horses and chariots of fire to the young man of Elisha (2 Kings 6:17). Things like these appear constantly in heaven before the eyes of spirits and angels, and they are natural forms in which the internal things of heaven terminate, and in which they are portrayed, and are thus presented to view before the very eyes. These things are representations.
 A church is therefore representative when the internal holy things of love and faith from the Lord and to the Lord are presented to view by means of forms visible in the world; as in this chapter and the following by the ark, the propitiatory, the cherubs, the tables there, the lampstand, and all the other things of the tabernacle. For this tabernacle was so constructed as to represent the three heavens and all things therein; and the ark, in which was the Testimony, so as to represent the inmost heaven and the Lord Himself therein. Therefore its form was shown to Moses in the mountain, Jehovah then saying that they should "make for Him a sanctuary, and He would dwell in the midst of them" (verse 8). Everyone who has some capacity of thinking interiorly can perceive that Jehovah could not dwell in a tent, but that He dwells in heaven; and that this tent could not be called a sanctuary unless it referred to heaven, and to the celestial and spiritual things therein. Consider what it would be for Jehovah, the Creator of heaven and earth, to dwell in a small habitation of wood, overlaid with gold and surrounded with curtains, unless heaven and the things of heaven had been there represented in a form.
 For the things represented in a form do indeed appear in a like form in the lowest or first heaven before the spirits who are there; but in the higher heavens are perceived the internal things which are represented, and which as before said are the celestial things of love to the Lord, and the spiritual things of faith in the Lord. Such were the things that filled heaven when Moses and the people were in a holy external, and adored this tent as the habitation of Jehovah Himself. From this it is plain what a representative is, and also that through it heaven, thus the Lord, was present with man.
 Therefore when the Ancient Church ceased, a representative church was instituted among the Israelitish people, in order that by means of such representatives there might be the conjunction of heaven, thus of the Lord, with the human race; for without the conjunction of the Lord through heaven, man would perish, because he has his life by virtue of this conjunction. These representatives however were only external means of conjunction, with which the Lord miraculously conjoined heaven (n. 4311). But when the conjunction through these things also perished, the Lord came into the world and opened the internal things themselves that were represented, which are those of love and faith in Him. These internal things now effect the conjunction; nevertheless at the present day the only means of conjunction is the Word, because it has been so written that each and all things therein correspond, and thus represent and signify the Divine things that are in the heavens.
AC 9458. Speak unto the sons of Israel. That this signifies the representative church, is evident from the representation of the sons of Israel, as being the church, specifically the spiritual church (n. 8805, 9340), but here the representative church, because such things are treated of as represented the holy things of the church and of heaven, namely, the ark, the propitiatory, the cherubs, the table upon which were the breads of faces, the lampstand; and in following chapters the tabernacle, the garments of Aaron, the altar, and the sacrifices, all of which were representative. That the spiritual church is signified by "the sons of Israel" is because it was represented by them. But that with that people a representative church could not be instituted; but only the representative of a church, (n. 4281, 4288, 4311, 4444, 4500, 6304, 7048, 9320).
AC 9459. And let them take for Me a collection. That hereby are signified the interior things of worship that were to be represented, and that are the things required, is evident from the signification of "a collection," as being the things required for worship, here the interior things that were to be represented; for such are signified by the things collected for the tent, for the tables, for the lampstand, and also for the garments of Aaron; namely, gold, silver, brass, blue, crimson, scarlet double-dyed, fine linen, goats‘ wool, and many other things; as is evident from their signification, which is treated of in what follows.
AC 9460. From every man who in his heart hath moved willingly. That this signifies that all things should be from love, and thus from freedom, is evident from the signification of "whom his heart hath moved willingly," as being from freedom. That it denotes from love, is because all freedom is of love, for that which a man does from love, he does from freedom. That the "heart" denotes that which is of the love because of the will, (n. 7542, 8910, 9050, 9113, 9300); and that all freedom is of love or of affection, (n. 2870-2893, 3158, 9096); consequently that worship must be from freedom, (n. 1947, 2880, 2881, 7349).
AC 9461. Ye shall take My collection. That this signifies the things required for worship, is evident from the signification of a "collection," as being the interior things of worship which were to be represented, and which are required (n. 9459). EXODUS 25:1-2 - next - text - summary - Exodus - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|