Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 25:3-7
AC 9462. Verses 3-7. And this is the collection which ye shall take from them; gold, and silver, and brass; and blue, and crimson, and scarlet double-dyed, and fine linen, and goats’ wool; and skins of red rams, and badgers‘ skins, and shittim wood; oil for the luminary, spices for the oil of anointing, and for the incense of spices; onyx stones, and stones for filling, for the ephod, and for the breastplate. "And this is the collection which ye shall take from them," signifies that these things shall by all means be required; "gold and silver," signifies good and truth in general; "and brass," signifies external good; "and blue," signifies the celestial love of truth; "and crimson," signifies the celestial love of good; "and scarlet double-dyed," signifies mutual love; "and fine linen," signifies the truth thence derived; "and goats’ wool," signifies the good thence derived; "and skins of red rams, and badgers‘ skins," signifies the external truths and goods by which they are held together; "and shittim wood," signifies the goods of merit which are from the Lord, thus of the Lord alone; "oil for the luminary," signifies the internal good which is in mutual love and charity; "spices for the oil of anointing," signifies the internal truths that belong to the inaugurating good; "and for the incense of spices," signifies for acceptable perception; "onyx stones, and stones for filling," signifies spiritual truths and goods in general; "for the ephod, and for the breastplate," signifies which should be for a covering for external and internal celestial things.
AC 9463. And this is the collection which ye shall take from them. That this signifies that these things shall by all means be required, is evident from the signification of "the collection," as being the things required (n. 9459, 9461). That it signifies that they should by all means be required, is because it is here said a third time, and repetition implies necessity.
AC 9464. Gold, and silver. That this signifies internal good and truth in general, is evident from the signification of "gold," as being good, and of "silver," as being truth (n. 113, 1551, 1552, 2954, 5658, 6112, 6914, 6917, 8932). That internal good and truth are meant is because by "brass," which follows, is signified external good.
AC 9465. And brass. That this signifies external good, is evident from the signification of "brass," as being natural good, or what is the same thing, external good (n. 425, 1551). External good is the good of the external or natural man; but internal good is the good of the internal or spiritual man.
AC 9466. And blue. That this signifies the celestial love of truth, is evident from the signification of "blue" (hyacinthinum), as being the celestial love of truth. That "blue" by this signification, is because it belongs to the color of the sky, and because by this color is signified truth from a celestial origin, which is truth from the good of love to the Lord. This good reigns in the inmost heaven, and in the middle or second heaven it is presented to view as crimson and blue; the good itself as crimson, and the derivative truth as blue. For in the other life, and in heaven itself, there appear most beautiful colors, all deriving their origin from good and truth. For the sphere of the affections of good and truth is sensibly presented before the eyes of angels and spirits by means of colors, and specific things by variously colored objects. They are presented to the nostrils also by means of odors. For everything celestial, which is of good, and everything spiritual, which is of truth, is represented in the lower heavens by such things as appear in nature, thus to the very senses of the spirits and angels there. The reason why the spheres of the affection of good and truth are visibly presented by means of colors, is that the colors are modifications of heavenly light, thus of intelligence and wisdom (n. 4530, 4677, 4742, 4922).
 This then is the reason why among the things that were collected for the tabernacle, and for the garments of Aaron, were blue, crimson, scarlet double-dyed, and skins of red rams; for by the tabernacle was represented the heaven of the Lord, and by the things of which it was constructed and woven together were represented the celestial and spiritual things that belong to good and truth; in like manner by the garments of Aaron (n. 9457). This is the reason why the veil, within which was the ark of the testimony, was woven of blue, crimson, scarlet double-dyed, and fine linen (Exod. 26:31); in like manner the covering for the door of the tent (Exod. 26:36), and likewise the covering of the gate of the court (Exod. 27:16); also why the loops upon the edge of the curtain were of blue (Exod. 26:4). Therefore also it was that the ephod was of gold, blue, crimson, scarlet double-dyed, and fine linen, all interwoven; and likewise the breastplate of judgment (Exod. 28:6, 15).
 By "blue" is signified the celestial love of truth, and by "garments of blue," the knowledges of truth from this love, in Ezekiel:--
Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was thy spread, that it might be to thee for a sign; blue and crimson from the isles of Elishah were thy covering. These were thy traders with perfect things, with bales of blue and broidered work, and with treasures of precious garments (Ezek. 27:7, 24);
speaking of Tyre, by which are signified the knowledges of truth and good (n. 1201); knowledge and the derivative intelligence are described by "broidered work from Egypt," and by "blue and crimson from the isles of Elishah;" "broidered work from Egypt" being the memory-knowledge of truth; "blue and crimson from the isles of Elishah" being the intelligence of truth and good.
 In the same:--
Two women, the daughters of one mother, committed whoredoms in Egypt in their youth, Oholah and Oholibah. Oholah committed whoredom under Me; and doted on the Assyrians her neighbors, clothed in blue, commanders and leaders; horsemen riding on horses (Ezek. 23:2-6);
"Oholah" is Samaria, "Oholibah" is Jerusalem (Ezek. 23:4). "Samaria" here denotes the spiritual church perverted; "committing whoredom in Egypt" denotes falsifying truths by means of memory-knowledges; "doting on the Assyrians her neighbors" denotes to love the consequent reasonings; "clothed with blue" denotes the appearances of the truth that is from good, because from the literal sense of the Word wrongly unfolded.
 In like manner in Jeremiah:--
Silver beaten out is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the smith and of the hands of the metal-caster; blue and crimson are their clothing; all the work of the wise (Jer. 10:9);
speaking of the idols of the house of Israel, by which are signified false doctrinal things confirmed from the external sense of the Word badly unfolded (n. 9424); "the work of the smith and of the hands of the metal-caster," and also "they are all the work of the wise," denote that it was from self-intelligence; "silver from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz" denote truth and good so appearing in the external form, because from the Word; in like manner "blue and crimson," which were "their clothing."
 In John:--
I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates as of fire and of blue and of sulphur, by whom was the third part of men killed (Rev. 9:17, 18);
where "horses and they that sat on them" denote the inverted and perverted understanding of truth; "breastplates as of fire, of blue, and of sulphur" denote the defense of falsities that are from the evils of diabolical loves. Here therefore "fire" denotes the infernal love of evil; and "blue" the infernal love of falsity; thus in the opposite sense; for most things in the Word have also an opposite sense.
AC 9467. And crimson. That this signifies the celestial love of good, is evident from the signification of "crimson," as being the celestial love of good. The reason why this is signified by "crimson," is that by a red color is signified the good of celestial love. For there are two fundamental colors from which come the rest: the color red, and the color white. The color "red" signifies the good which is of love; and the color "white" signifies the truth which is of faith. That the color "red" signifies the good which is of love, is because it comes from fire, and "fire" denotes the good of love; and the color "white" signifies the truth which is of faith, because it comes from light, and "light" denotes the truth of faith. That "fire" denotes the good of love, (n. 5215, 6314, 6832, 6834, 6849, 7324, 9434); and that "light" denotes the truth of faith, (n. 2776, 3195, 3636, 3643, 3993, 4302, 4413, 4415, 5400, 8644, 8707, 8861, 9399, 9407); that "red" denotes the good of love, (n. 3300); and "white," the truth of faith, (n. 3993, 4007, 5319).
 From this it is evident what the remaining colors signify; for in so far as they partake of red they signify the good of love; and in so far as they partake of white they signify the truth of faith; for all the colors that appear in heaven are modifications of heavenly light and flame upon these two planes. For heavenly light is real light, and in itself is the Divine truth that proceeds from the Divine good of the Lord; wherefore the modifications of this light and flame are variegations of truth and good, thus of intelligence and wisdom.
 This shows why the veils and curtains of the tent, and also the garments of Aaron, were to be woven of blue, crimson, scarlet double-dyed, and fine linen (Exod. 26:1, 31, 36; 27:16; 28:6, 15); namely, that by these things might be represented the celestial things that belong to good, and the spiritual things that belong to truth.
 Good from a celestial origin is signified by "crimson" also in Ezekiel:--
Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was thy spread, blue and crimson from the Isles of Elishah were thy covering (Ezek. 27:7);
speaking of Tyre, by which are signified the knowledges of truth and good; "blue and crimson for a covering" denote the knowledges of truth and good from a celestial origin.
 Like things are signified by "crimson and fine linen" in Luke:--
There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in crimson and fine linen, and fared splendidly every day (Luke 16:19);
by the "rich man" was meant in the internal sense the Jewish nation and the church among them, which was called "rich" from the knowledges of good and truth from the Word there existing; "garments of crimson and fine linen" denote these knowledges; "garments of crimson," the knowledges of good; and "garments of fine linen," the knowledges of truth; both from a celestial origin, because from the Divine. The like is also signified by "crimson" in the Revelation:--
A woman sitting upon a scarlet beast, arrayed in crimson and scarlet (Rev. 17:3, 4);
treating of Babylon, by which is signified the church wherein the holy things of the Word are applied to profane uses, that is, to such as aim at dominions in heaven and on earth; thus from the infernal love of self and of the world.
AC 9468. And scarlet double-dyed. That this signifies mutual love, is evident from the signification of "scarlet," and of "double-dyed," as being celestial truth, which is the same as the good of mutual love. There are two kingdoms into which the angelic heaven has been divided - the celestial kingdom, and the spiritual kingdom; and in each there is an internal and an external. The internal in the celestial kingdom is the good of love to the Lord, and the external is the good of mutual love. It is this latter good which is signified by "scarlet double-dyed;" by "scarlet" the good itself, and by "double-dyed" its truth. But in the spiritual kingdom the internal is the good of charity toward the neighbor, and the external is the good of obedience from faith. That "scarlet double-dyed" signifies the good of mutual love and its truth, is from its appearance in the other life; for when the sphere of this good and truth is presented to view in the lowest heaven, it appears of a scarlet color; because that which flows down from the celestial heaven and appears beneath, takes its color from flame, and beneath becomes scarlet from the shining whiteness of the light of the middle heaven, through which it passes. Hence, it is that among other colors, scarlet double-dyed was employed upon the curtains of the Habitation (Exod. 26:1); upon the veil before the ark (Exod. 26:31); upon the covering for the door of the tent (Exod. 26:36); upon the covering at the gate of the court (Exod. 27:16); upon the ephod (Exod. 28:6); upon the belt (Exod. 28:8) upon the breastplate of judgment (Exod. 28:15); and upon the fringes of the robe of the ephod (Exod. 28:33).
 That " scarlet double-dyed" signifies the good of mutual love, which is the external good of the celestial kingdom or church, is evident from the fact that a cloth of scarlet double-dyed was to be spread over the table on which were the breads of faces, and that it was to be covered next with a covering of badgers’ skins (Num. 4:8). For the inmost things that belong to the celestial kingdom or church, were signified by the things upon the table, especially by the breads; but exterior things by the coverings. From this also it is that the things to be collected are enumerated in this order; namely, the inmost things first, which were blue and crimson; the more outward things in the second place, which were scarlet double-dyed, fine linen, and goats‘ wool; and lastly the outermost things, which were skins of red rams and badgers’ skins; in like manner everywhere in what follows.
 As external celestial good and its truth are signified by "scarlet double-dyed," therefore the Word as to the external sense, and its derivative doctrine, are expressed by this color, for the reason that the Word is the Divine truth that proceeds from the Divine good of the Lord, and this appears as a flaming light in the inmost heaven, and as a shining white light in the middle heaven.
 The Word and its derivative doctrine are thus expressed in the second book of Samuel:--
David lamented a lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan; and he wrote down to teach the sons of Judah the bow. Ye daughters of Israel weep over Saul, who clothed you in double-dyed with delights, who put an ornament of gold upon your apparel (2 Samuel 1:17, 18, 24);
"to clothe in double-dyed" denotes to instruct in the truths that belong to the good of mutual love, thus in truths from a celestial origin. The subject treated of in this prophetic utterance is the doctrine of faith separated from the doctrine of love and charity; namely, that through the doctrine of faith separated, truths are extinguished, but are restored through the doctrine of love and charity. For by "the Philistines," by whom Saul and Jonathan were slain, are signified those who are in the doctrine of faith separated from the doctrine of love and charity (n. 3412, 3413, 8093, 8096, 8099, 8313); and by "teaching the sons of Judah the bow" is signified instructing in the truths of doctrine those who are in the good of love and charity. That "the sons of Judah" denote those who are in the good of love, (n. 3654, 3881, 5583, 5603, 5782, 5794, 5833, 6363); and that a "bow" denotes the doctrine of truth, (n. 2686, 2709).
 In Jeremiah:--
Thou therefore, O wasted one, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with double-dyed, though thou deckest thee with an ornament of gold, in vain shalt thou make thyself beautiful (Jer. 4:30);
the church that has been laid waste is here treated of; "clothing herself with double-dyed," and "decking herself with an ornament of gold," denotes to teach the truths of doctrine that are from a celestial origin, and the goods of life, consequently truths and gods from the Word. In like manner in the same:--
They that did eat delicacies have been laid waste in the streets; thee that were brought up upon scarlet have embraced a dunghill (Lam. 4:5);
"to be brought up upon scarlet" denotes to be instructed from the Word from infancy in the good of mutual love.
 As the things that belong to the external sense of the Word appear in heaven of a scarlet color, for the reason spoken of above, therefore they who apply the external sense of the Word to the confirmation of falsities from the evils of the love of self and of the world, and thus to those which are contrary to the truths and goods of love to the Lord and of mutual love, are said to be "clothed in crimson and scarlet;" for so do their outward things appear, because they are from the Word; but their internal things are profane. Such things are signified by "scarlet" in John:--
I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy; she was clothed in crimson and scarlet (Rev. 17:3, 4);
speaking of Babylon, by which is meant a religion in which the holy things of the Word are profaned by being applied to falsities that favor diabolical loves, which are the loves of self and of the world, thus to gaining dominion in the heavens and on earth. Again in the same:--
The great city that was clothed in fine linen, and crimson, and scarlet; and gilded with gold, and precious stone, and pearls (Rev. 18:16).
Therefore also among the merchandise of Babylon are enumerated "fine linen, crimson, and scarlet" (Rev. 18:12).
 As the external of the Word appears in heaven of a scarlet color, and as there is an influx out of heaven into man‘s memory, in which what is drawn from the Word appears of such a color, therefore scarlet was employed in relation to the remembrance of things; as in Moses:--
The sons of Israel shall make them a train upon the borders of their garments, and shall put upon the train of the border a scarlet thread, that by it they may remember all the commandments of Jehovah, and do them (Num. 15:38, 39).
 For the same reason also it was customary in ancient time when significatives were in use, to bind a scarlet thread for the remembrance or recollection of a thing, as we read of Perez the son of Tamar, upon whose hand "the midwife bound a double dyed thread" (Gen. 38:28, 30); and as we read of the harlot Rahab, who "bound a scarlet thread in the window, that the spies might remember their promise" (Josh. 2:18, 21).
 As a man cannot be withdrawn from evils and falsities except by means of the truths and goods that are with him from the Word, therefore in the cleansing of leprosy there were employed "cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop" (Lev. 14:4-7, 49-52); for "leprosy" denotes truth profaned, thus falsified (n. 6963); and "to be cleansed from" these things denotes to be withdrawn from them by means of the truths and goods which are from the Word. In like manner scarlet was employed "in the waters of separation and expiation made from a red heifer" (Num. 19:6); "the waters of separation and expiation" also signified purification and withdrawal from evils and falsities by means of truths and goods from the Word.
 As most things have an opposite sense, so also have "double-dyed" and "scarlet," and then they signify falsities and evils which are opposed to the before-mentioned truths and goods; as in Isaiah:--
Though your sins be as double-dyed, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red as scarlet, they shall be as wool (Isa. 1:18);
the case herein is the same as with "red," with "blood," with "flame," and with "fire," which in the genuine sense signify the goods of love and of faith; but in the opposite sense the evils contrary to them.
AC 9469. And fine linen. That this signifies the truth thence derived, namely, from the good which is from a celestial origin, is evident from the signification of "linen," as being truth (n. 7601); and from that of "fine linen," as being truth from the Divine (n. 5319); both in the natural man. That "fine linen" denotes truth from a celestial origin, is because of its whiteness and softness.
AC 9470. And goats’ wool. That this signifies the good thence derived, namely, from the good of mutual love, is evident from the signification of a "she-goat," as being the good of innocence in the external or natural man (n. 3519, 7840); and from the signification of the "wool" thereof, as being the truth of this good. But as good is here signified, and not truth, therefore in the original tongue it is not said "goats‘ wool," but only "goats," as also in other passages; as in the following in Exodus:--
All the women that were wise brought that which they had spun, the blue, the crimson, the scarlet double-dyed, the fine linen. And they whose heart stirred them up, spun goats (Exod. 35:25, 26);
"to spin goats" denotes what was made from the wool of goats.
 But that "wool" denotes truth from a celestial origin, which in itself is good, is evident from the passages in the Word where it is mentioned; as in Hosea:--
She said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax. Therefore will I return, and take my grain in its time, and will rescue My wool and My flax (Hosea 2:5, 9);
the perverted church is here treated of, which is here called the "mother;" the "lovers" with whom she is said to have "committed whoredom," denote those who pervert goods and truths; "bread and water" denote the internal goods of love and truths of faith; "wool and flax" denote the same, but external.
 In Daniel:--
I beheld till the thrones were cast forth, and the Ancient of Days did sit; His garment was like the white snow, and the hair of His head was like the clean wool (Daniel 7:9);
the vastation of the church in respect to all the truth of faith, and its restoration by the Lord, are here treated of; a complete vastation is signified by "the thrones being cast forth;" "the Ancient of Days" denotes the Lord as to celestial good, such as was in the Most Ancient Church, which was a celestial church, and which in the Word is called "ancient;" its external truth is signified by the "garment that was like the white snow;" and its external good by the "hair of the head that was like the clean wool." In like manner in John:--
In the midst of the seven lampstands was one like to the Son of man; His head and His hair were white as white wool, as snow (Rev. 1:13, 14).
 Such truth, which being a form of celestial good, is in itself good, is also signified by "wool" in these passages Damascus was thy merchant in wine of Helbon, and wool of Zachar (Ezek. 27:18).
Though your sins be as double-dyed, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like scarlet, they shall be as wool (Isa. 1:18).
 As by the garments of Aaron were represented such things as belong to the Lord’s spiritual kingdom, thus the spiritual things or truth, his garments of holiness were of linen, and not of wool; for "linen" denotes spiritual truth, but "wool" celestial truth, which relatively is good. For this reason it is said in Ezekiel:--
The priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok, when they enter in at the gate‘ of the inner court, they shall put on garments of linen; and no wool shall come upon them. Linen tires shall be upon their heads, breeches of linen upon their loins (Ezek. 44:15, 17, 18).
That the garments of Aaron also were not of wool, but of linen, is evident from (Leviticus 16:4, 32).
 From all this it can be seen that "linen" signifies spiritual truth, which is the truth of the good of faith; but that "wool" signifies celestial truth, which is the truth of the good of love; and as those who are in the latter truth cannot be in the former truth, for the two differ as do the light from the sun and the light from the stars, therefore it was decreed that "a mixed garment of wool and linen was not to be worn" (Deut. 22:11). That there is such a distinction between the celestial and the spiritual, and that the two are not together in one subject, (n. 9277).
AC 9471. And skins of red rams, and badgers’ skins. That this signifies the external truths and goods by which they are held together, is evident from the signification of "skins," as being external things (n. 3540); from the signification of "rams," as being spiritual things which are of truth (n. 2830, 4170); from the signification of "red" as being good (n. 3300), thus "skins of red rains" denote the external truths that are from good; and from the signification of "badgers," as being goods. That "badgers" have this signification is evident from the fact that in the Word, where truth is spoken of, good also is spoken of, by reason of the heavenly marriage of truth and good (n. 9263, 9314). Consequently as "skins of red rams" signify external truths which are from good, "badgers‘ skins" signify the goods themselves. The reason why they denote the truths and goods by which (internal truths and goods) are held together, is that all external things keep internal things together, as is also herb evident from the use of these skins, in that they served for coverings; the skins of badgers, for coverings over things more holy than the skins of rams (Exod. 26:14; Num. 4:6, 8, 10, 12, 14).
AC 9472. And shittim wood. That this signifies the goods of merit which are from the Lord and thus of the Lord alone, is evident from the signification of "wood," as being the good of merit (n. 1110, 2784, 2812, 4943, 8740). The good of merit is the good that proceeds from the Divine Human of the Lord, which is Christian good, or spiritual good with man. It is this good by which man is saved; for good which proceeds from any other source is not good, because the Divine is not in it, thus neither is heaven in it, consequently salvation is not in it. Shittim wood was the wood of the most excellent cedar; and by the "cedar" is signified the spiritual of the church. That shittim wood was a species of cedar, is evident in Isaiah:--
I will set in the wilderness the cedar of Shittah, and the myrtle, and the wood of oil (Isa. 41:19);
where "the cedar of Shittah" denotes spiritual good, and "the wood of oil" celestial good. As the good of merit that belongs to the Lord alone is the only good that reigns in heaven, and that makes heaven, therefore this wood was the only wood employed in the construction of the tabernacle (by which heaven was represented); as for instance for the ark itself, in which was the testimony; for its staves; for the table upon which were the breads of faces, and its staves; for the planks of the Habitation; for the bars and pillars of the covering; and also for the altar and its staves; as is evident from (verses 10, 13, 23, 28) of this chapter; from (Exod. 26:15, 26, 37) of the following chapter; and (Exod. 27:1 and 6).
AC 9473. Oil for the luminary. That this signifies the internal good which is in mutual love and in charity, is evident from the signification of "oil," as being the good of love (n. 886, 4582, 4638); and from the signification of "the luminary," as being mutual love and charity. That "the luminary" denotes mutual love, is from its flame, by which this love is signified; and that it denotes charity, is from the heat and light from it; for spiritual heat is the good of charity, and spiritual light is the truth of faith.
 It shall here be briefly stated what is meant by the internal good in mutual love, and in charity. Nothing comes forth from itself, but from what is prior to itself. This is the case also with truth and good. That from which another thing comes forth is internal; and that which comes forth is its external. Each and all things that come forth are like cause and effect. No effect can come forth without an efficient cause. The efficient cause is the internal of the effect, and the effect is its external. They are also like endeavor and motion. No motion can come forth without endeavor, insomuch that when the endeavor ceases the motion ceases. Wherefore the internal of motion is endeavor, or moving force. The case is similar with living endeavor, which is will; and with living motion, which is action. No action can come forth without will, insomuch that when will ceases action ceases; and therefore the internal of action is will. From all this it is evident that in each and all things there must be an internal, in order that they may come forth, and that they may afterward subsist; and that without an internal they are not anything.
 So also it is with the good which is of love; unless there is an internal good in it, it is not good. The internal good in the good of faith is the good of charity, which is spiritual good; but the internal good in the good of charity is the good of mutual love, which is external celestial good; and the internal good in the good of mutual love is the good of love to the Lord, which is the good of innocence; and this good is internal celestial good. But the internal good in the good of love to the Lord, that is, in the good of innocence, is the good Divine itself that proceeds from the Divine Human of the Lord, and consequently it is the Lord Himself. This last good must be in all good, in order that it may be good; and therefore there is not any good unless its internal is from this source; for unless its internal is from this source, it is not good but evil, because it is from the man himself, and that which proceeds from man is evil; for man regards himself in all the good that he does, and also regards the world, and thus not the Lord nor heaven. If the Lord and heaven are thought of by him, they are to him as means to serve his own honor and his own profit. Consequently these goods are like whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear beautiful; but inwardly are full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness (Matt. 23:27, 29).
AC 9474. Spices for the oil of anointing. That this signifies the internal truths that belong to the inaugurating good, is evident from the signification of "spices," as being interior truths, which are the truths of internal good; from the signification of "oil," as being the good of love (n. 9473); and from the signification of "anointing," as being inauguration to represent; for the things that were to represent holy things were anointed with perfumed oil, and so were inaugurated; as is evident from the following words in Exodus:--
Take unto thee of the chief spices, noble myrrh, perfumed cinnamon, sweet-scented calamus, cassia, olive oil. And thou shalt make it an oil of anointing of holiness, an ointment of ointment; it shall be an oil of anointing of holiness, with which thou shalt anoint the tent and all the vessels thereof, the lampstand and the vessels thereof, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt-offering and all the vessels thereof, and the laver and the base thereof. Thus thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be the holy of holies. And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons (Exod. 30:23-31).
The reason why these things were holy after they had been anointed, was that they then represented holy things; from which it is evident that the anointing was an inauguration to represent.
 That the anointing was done with oil was because "oil" signified celestial good; and celestial good is the good of love from the Lord, and consequently the good of love to the Lord. This good is the very essential in each and all things of heaven and eternal life. The reason why this oil was made perfumed by spices was that it might represent that which is acceptable; for "odor" signifies perception; and an agreeable and sweet odor, an acceptable perception (n. 925, 1514, 1517-1519, 3577, 4624-4634, 4748). And as all the perception of good is by means of truth, therefore spices were employed, by which are signified interior truths (n. 4748, 5621).
 It shall be briefly stated further why the oil of anointing, and also the incense, were to be made sweet-scented. "Oil," as before said, signifies the good of love; and "spice," internal truth. The good which is of love does not come to perception except through truths, for truth is the witness of good, and is also the revelation of good, and may be called the form of good. The case herein is as with the will and the understanding in man. The will can manifest itself only through the understanding, for the understanding receives the good of the will, and makes it clear. Moreover the understanding is the form of the will, and truth belongs to the understanding, and good to the will. From all this it can be seen why the oil of anointing was made perfumed, and also the incense. But the difference between them is that the perfume of the oil of anointing signifies the acceptableness of internal perception, whereas the perfume of the incense signifies the acceptableness of external perception; for the perfume of the oil of anointing was unaccompanied by smoke, thus it presented its sweet odor without any external appearance; but the perfume of the incense was accompanied with smoke.
AC 9475. And for the incense of spices. That this signifies for acceptable perception, is evident from the signification of "incense," as being the things of worship which are acceptably perceived, such as confessions, adorations, prayers, and the like; and from the signification of "spices," as being the truths of faith which are acceptable because from good; for sweet odors signify what is acceptable, in accordance with their perfumes, and whatever is acceptable is so from good through truths. It is for this reason that by "the incense of spices" is signified the acceptable perception of truth from good. The spices of which this incense was compounded are enumerated, and its preparation is described, in these words:--
Take unto thee spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; sweet spices, and pure frankincense. Thou shalt make them an incense salted, pure, holy. Thou shalt beat some of it very small, and put some of it before the testimony in the tent of meeting; it shall be to you the holy of holies. The incense shall be to thee holy for Jehovah (Exod. 30:34-37).
The altar of incense, and the burning of the incense itself, are thus described:--
Thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon. Thou shalt overlay it with pure gold. Thou shalt put it before the veil that is over the ark of the testimony, before the propitiatory, that Aaron may burn thereon incense of spices every morning; when be dresseth the lamps, he shall burn it; and between the evenings (Exod. 30:1-8; 37:25-29; 40:26, 27).
When Aaron shall come into the holy place, he shall take a censer full of coals of fire from off the altar; and his fists full of incense of spices beaten small; then he shall bring it within the veil, so that he may put the incense upon the fire before Jehovah, and the cloud of the incense may cover the propitiatory that is upon the testimony (Lev. 16:3, 12, 13).
 As by "incense" were signified such things of worship as are from good through truths - as are all the things that belong to the faith that is from the good of love - therefore fire was taken from the altar; for by "the fire of the altar" was signified the good of Divine love (n. 934, 4906, 5071, 5215, 6314, 6832, 6834, 6849, 7324, 7852); and therefore when fire was taken from any other source, they were smitten with a plague, and died (Lev. 10:1, 2; Num. 17:10-13); for by fire from some other source, or strange fire, was signified love not Divine.
 That such things as belong to the faith that is from the good of love and charity - as for instance confessions, adorations, and prayers - are signified by "incense," is evident in the following passages:--
Accepted are my prayers as incense before Thee (Ps. 141:2).
The four animals, and the four and twenty elders, fell down before the Lamb, having each one of them a harp, and golden vials full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints (Rev. 5:8).
Another angel came, having a golden censer, and there was given unto him much incense, that he should add it to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. The smoke of the incense went up from the prayers of the saints (Rev. 8:3, 4).
 The reason why such things are signified by "incense" is that they belong to the thought and thence to the mouth; but the things which belong to affection, and thence to the heart, are signified by the "meat-offering" in Malachi:--
From the rising of the sun even to its going down, the name of Jehovah shall be great among the nations, and in every place shall Incense be offered to My name, and a clean meat-offering (Mal. 1:11);
and by "the burnt-offering‘ in Moses:--
The sons of Levi shall teach Jacob Thy judgments, and Israel Thy law; they shall put incense in Thy nostrils, and a burnt-offering upon Thine altar (Deut. 33:10);
here "incense" denotes such things as belong to the thought and the mouth, and that bear relation to the truths of faith; and the "meat-offering" and "burnt-offering" denote such things as belong to the affection and the heart, and bear relation to the goods of love. Consequently in the opposite sense worship from falsities of faith is meant by "burning incense to other gods" (Jer. 1:16; 44:3, 5); and by "burning incense to idols" (Ezek. 8:11; 16:18); and by "burning incense to the Baals" (Hosea 2:13).
AC 9476. Onyx stones and stones for filling. That this signifies spiritual truths and goods in general, is evident from the signification of " onyx stones," as being the truths of faith that are from love, or spiritual truths; for the truths of faith which are from love are spiritual truths; and from the signification of "stones for filling," as being the goods of faith, or spiritual goods. That "stones for filling" denote the goods of faith, and "onyx stones" the truths of faith, is because the stones for filling were for the breastplate, and by "the breast plate" upon the ephod was signified the good of faith, or spiritual good; but the onyx stones were upon the shoulders of the ephod, and by "the shoulders" of the ephod are signified the truths of faith, or spiritual truths. That by precious stones in the Word are signified the truths and goods of faith, or spiritual truths and goods, (n. 114, 643, 3858, 6335, 6640). And as the truths and goods of faith are signified by precious stones, intelligence and wisdom are also signified by them, for intelligence is from the truths of faith, and wisdom is from the goods of faith. So in Ezekiel:--
Full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty, thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the ruby, the topaz, the diamond, the tarshish, the onyx (Ezek. 28:12, 13, 15);
speaking of the king of Tyre, by whom is signified intelligence from the knowledges of the truth of faith (n. 1201).
AC 9477. For the ephod, and for the breastplate. That this signifies which should be for a covering for external and internal celestial things, is evident from the signification of "the ephod," as being that which covers celestial good; for by Aaron as high priest was represented the Lord as to the good of love; by his garments, and especially the ephod, was represented the truth of faith which is from the good of love. The good of love is celestial, and the truth of faith is its covering, for truths cover goods; wherefore truths are signified in the Word by "garments" (n. 4545, 5248, 5319, 5954, 9093, 9212). For the celestial things that belong to the good of love are represented in heaven naked, and therefore those who are from the Lord’s celestial kingdom appear without clothing; but those who are from the spiritual kingdom (who are those introduced by the Lord into the good of charity through the truths of faith) appear clothed with garments. This kingdom is beneath the celestial kingdom, and that which is beneath is a covering for that which is above; for that which is lower is exterior, and that which is higher is interior (n. 2148, 3084, 4599, 5146, 8325). From this it is plain what is signified by "the ephod" when by Aaron is represented the Lord as to the Divine celestial. That priests represented the Lord as to Divine good, and kings as to Divine truth, (n. 6148). But be it known that by "the ephod" was signified the covering for external celestial things, and by "the breastplate" the covering for internal celestial things. But more shall be said of these in what follows, where the ephod, and the breastplate in which were the Urim and Thummim, are treated of. EXODUS 25:3-7 previous - next - text - summary - Exodus - Full Page
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