Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 25:8-9
AC 9478. Verses 8, 9. And let them make for Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in the midst of them. According to all that I show thee, the form of the Habitation, and the form of all the vessels thereof, even so shall ye make it. "And let them make for Me a sanctuary," signifies a representative of the Lord, and thus of heaven; "that I may dwell in the midst of them," signifies the consequent presence of the Lord in the representative church; "according to all that I show thee, the form of the Habitation," signifies a representative of heaven where the Lord is; "and the form of all the vessels thereof," signifies a representative of all the celestial and spiritual things that are from Him; "even so shall ye make it," signifies a sure and genuine representative.
AC 9479. And let them make for Me a sanctuary. That this signifies a representative of the Lord, and thus of heaven, is evident from the signification of "a sanctuary," as being the Lord, and as being heaven; but here a representative of the Lord and of heaven, because it was a tabernacle made of wood and covered all round with curtains, and this could not have been a sanctuary except by means of the representation. For "a sanctuary" denotes holiness itself, and nothing is holy except the Divine alone, thus the Lord alone (n. 9229). That heaven is "a sanctuary," is because heaven is heaven from what is Divine there; for the angels who are there make heaven in proportion as they have (something) from the Divine of the Lord; but in proportion as they have (anything) from themselves, they do not make heaven. From this it is plain how it is to be understood that the Lord is the all in all of heaven. That the Lord dwells in His own, thus in the Divine with the angels, and thus in heaven, (n. 9338).
 That in the supreme sense "the sanctuary" denotes the Lord, because He alone is holy, and that alone is holy which proceeds from Him; and also that "the sanctuary" denotes heaven, and likewise the church, and that those things are "sanctuaries" which are in heaven and in the church from the Lord, is evident from the passages in the Word in which "a sanctuary" and "sanctuaries" are spoken of; as in Ezekiel:--
The Lord Jehovah said, I will scatter them in the lands, and I will be to them a little sanctuary in the lands whither they shall come (Ezek. 11:16);
where "a sanctuary" denotes the Lord Himself; for "the Lord Jehovih," and "Jehovah," in the Word, denote the Lord (n. 9373). Again:--
Look forth from the heavens, and behold from the habitation of Thy holiness (Isa. 63:15).
As the throne of glory, the height from eternity, is the place of the sanctuary (Jer. 17:12);
in which passages "the habitation of holiness," and "the sanctuary," denote heaven.
Little is lacking but that Thou wilt possess the people of Thy holiness; our adversaries have trodden down Thy sanctuary (Isa. 63:18).
The nations have come into His sanctuary (Lam. 1:10).
The Lord hath cast off His altar, He hath abhorred His sanctuary (Lam. 2:7).
The Lord Jehovih said, Behold I will profane My sanctuary, the magnificence of your strength, the desire of your eyes (Ezek. 24:21).
I will make your cities a waste, and will desolate your sanctuaries (Lev. 26:31).
In these passages "the sanctuary" denotes the church, and "sanctuaries," the things that belong to the church. From all this it is evident why the tabernacle is called "a sanctuary," namely, from the fact that by it was represented heaven and the church, and that by the holy things therein were represented Divine things that are from the Lord in heaven and in the church.
AC 9480. That I may dwell in the midst of them. That this signifies the consequent presence of the Lord in the representative church, is evident from the signification of "dwelling in the midst," when said of the Lord, as being His presence; for by "dwelling" is signified to be and to live (n. 1293, 3613, 4451); and therefore "dwelling in the midst" denotes to be present, and to live present. That it signifies presence in the representative church, is because the presence of the Lord with that people was not in the internal things that belong to love and faith; but only in the external things that represented these. As to the nature of this presence, (n. 4311, 9320, 9380).
AC 9481. According to all that I show thee, the form of the Habitation. That this signifies a representative of heaven where the Lord is, is evident from the signification of "the form of the Habitation," as being a representative of heaven; for a "form" denotes a representative, and "the Habitation" denotes heaven. That a "form" denotes a representative, is because the Divine things in the heavens are also presented to view in a form. These visible things are representatives. That "the Habitation" denotes heaven where the Lord is, (n. 8269, 8309). The nature of the representatives that appear in heaven is evident from the prophets; as from John in the Revelation:--the lampstands (Rev. 1:12); a throne with four and twenty thrones around it, and four animals before the throne (Rev. 4:2); a book sealed with seven seals (chap. 5); horses going forth when the seals were opened (chap. 6); angels variously arrayed, with vials (chap. 4, 10, 15); a white horse (chap. 19); and lastly the New Jerusalem, of which the walls, gates, foundation, and its height, breadth, and length are described (chaps. 21, 22). There are similar things in other prophets.
 All these things are representatives such as continually appear before the angels in the heavens, and present in a visible form the Divine celestial things that belong to the good of love, and the Divine spiritual things that belong to the good of faith. The sum total of such things was represented by the tabernacle and the things that were in it; as by the ark itself; by the table on which were the breads; by the altar of incense; by the lampstand; and by all other things. As these things were forms of Divine celestial and spiritual things, therefore when they were seen by the people at the time they were in holy worship, there were then presented in heaven the things that were represented; which as before said were the Divine celestial things that belong to the good of love to the Lord, and the Divine spiritual things that belong to the good of faith in the Lord. Such an effect in heaven had all the representatives of that church. Be it known that there are always spirits and angels with man, and that he cannot live without them; in like manner that through them man has connection with the Lord, and that in this way the human race and also heaven subsist. From this it can be seen to what end the representatives, and also the rituals, of the church, were instituted among the Israelitish nation; also to what end the Word was given, wherein all things of the literal sense correspond to Divine things which are in heaven; thus wherein all the things are representative, and all the words significative. From this, man has connection with heaven, and through heaven with the Lord. Without this connection man would have no life whatever, for without connection with the very Being of Life from whom comes all the manifestation of life, no one has any life.
 But these things are not apprehended by those who believe that life is in man himself; and that he lives independently of spirits or angels; thus without any influx through heaven from the Divine; when yet everything unconnected with the Divine perishes and becomes nothing; and nothing can possibly exist without what is prior to itself, thus without the Divine, which is the First, and the Very Being from Itself, that is, Jehovah; and consequently neither can it subsist, for to subsist is to perpetually come forth. As the "Habitation" signifies heaven where the Lord is, it also signifies the good of love and of faith, for these make heaven; and because all good is from the Lord, and heaven is called heaven from love and faith in the Lord, therefore also in the supreme sense the "Habitation" signifies the Lord; as is plain in (Isa. 63:15; Jer. 25:30; Ezek. 37:26, 27; Ps. 26:8; 43:3; 90:1; 91:9; Exod. 15:13; Deut. 12:5). From this it is evident that the tabernacle was called "the sanctuary," and "the Habitation of Jehovah," because of this representation.
AC 9482. And the form of all the vessels thereof. That this signifies a representative of all the celestial and spiritual things which are from the Lord, is evident from the signification of a "form," as being a representative (n. 9481); and from the signification of "vessels," as being truths (n. 3068, 3079, 3316, 3318), here the celestial and spiritual things which are from the Lord; for by "the vessels" are meant all things that were in the tabernacle, and constituted it, and by these are signified celestial and spiritual things when by the tabernacle itself is signified heaven where the Lord is (n. 9479), and by the testimony that was in the ark, the Lord Himself.
AC 9483. Even so shall ye make it. That this signifies a sure and genuine representative, is evident from the signification of "so making it," when it is repeated, and becomes the conclusion, as being what is sure and genuine. EXODUS 25:8-9 previous - next - text - summary - Exodus - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|