Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 27:20-21
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AC 9778. Verses 20, 21. And thou shalt command the sons of Israel, and let them take unto thee olive oil pure, beaten, for the luminary, to cause the lamp to go up continually. In the Tent of meeting, without the veil which is over the Testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening until morning before Jehovah; a statute of an age for their generations with the sons of Israel. "And thou shalt command the sons of Israel," signifies the church through the Word from the Lord; "and let them take unto thee olive oil," signifies the good of charity and of faith; "pure, beaten," signifies consequently genuine and clear; "for the luminary," signifies the spiritual heaven; "to cause the lamp to go up continually," signifies the consequent faith, and through faith intelligence of truth and wisdom of good from the Lord; "in the Tent of meeting," signifies where is the presence of the Lord; "without the veil which is over the Testimony," signifies where there is communication, and, through the uniting intermediate, conjunction with the Lord in the inmost heaven; "Aaron and his sons shall order it," signifies perpetual influx from the Lord; "from evening until morning before Jehovah," signifies continually in every state; "a statute of an age," signifies Divine order; "for their generations with the sons of Israel," signifies what is eternal in the spiritual kingdom.

AC 9779. And thou shalt command the sons of Israel. That this signifies for the church through the Word from the Lord, is evident from the representation of Moses, who is meant by "thou," as being the Lord in respect to the Word, or the Word which is from the Lord (n. 4859, 5922, 6752, 7014, 7089, 9372); and from the representation of the sons of Israel, as being those of the spiritual church (n. 9340). From this it is plain that by "Moses commanding the sons of Israel" is signified that it was commanded for the church through the Word by the Lord.

AC 9780. And let them take unto thee olive oil. That this signifies the good of charity and of faith, is evident from the signification of "olive oil," as being the good of celestial love (n. 886), but here the good of spiritual love, which is the good of charity toward the neighbor and the good of faith. That this good is here signified by "olive oil," is because it was for the luminary, that is, for the lampstand, and by the "lampstand" is signified the spiritual heaven (n. 9548). The spiritual heaven on earth is the spiritual church. "Oil," and "the olive-tree," in the Word signify both celestial good and spiritual good; celestial good where the subject treated of is the celestial kingdom or the celestial church, and spiritual good where it is the spiritual kingdom or the spiritual church. These kingdoms or churches are distinguished by their goods. The goods of the celestial kingdom, or of the celestial church, are the good of love to the Lord and the good of mutual love; and the goods of the spiritual kingdom, or of the spiritual church, are the good of charity toward the neighbor and the good of faith (n. 9741). These goods and the truths therefrom are treated of in the Word throughout, for the Word is the doctrine of good, because it is the doctrine of love to the Lord and of love toward the neighbor (Matt. 22:35-40); and all good is of love, even the good of faith, for this comes forth from the good of love, and not without it.

[2] As the Word is the doctrine of good, therefore in order that the Word may be understood, it must be known what good is; and no one knows what good is unless he lives in good according to the Word; for when anyone lives in good according to the Word, then the Lord insinuates good into his life, from which the man perceives it and feels it, and consequently apprehends the nature of it; otherwise it does not appear, because it is not perceived. From this it can be seen in what state they are who merely know what is in the Word, and persuade themselves that it is so, and yet do not do it. They have no knowledge of good, consequently none of truth; for truth is known from good, and never without good, except as memory-knowledge devoid of life, which perishes in the other life.

[3] That "oil" and also "the olive" denote good, is evident from the passages in the Word where they are mentioned, as in Zechariah:--

I saw a lampstand of gold. Two olive-trees were beside it; one on the right side of the flask, and the other on the left side thereof. These are the two sons of oil that stand beside the Lord of the whole earth (Zech. 4:2, 3, 14);

where "the two olive-trees," and "the two sons of oil," denote the good of love to the Lord, which is on His right, and the good of charity toward the neighbor, which is on His left. In like manner in John":--

The two witnesses prophesied a thousand two hundred and sixty days. These are the two olive-trees and the two lampstands that stand before the God of the earth (Rev 11:3, 4);

where "the two olive-trees and the two lampstands" denote these same goods, which, being from the Lord, are called "the two witnesses."

[4] Again:--

I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, Hurt not the oil and the wine (Rev. 6:6);

where "the oil" denotes the good of love and charity, and "the wine," the good and truth of faith. Again:--

I will set in the wilderness the cedar of Shittah, and the myrtle, and the wood of oil (Isa. 41:19)

They shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together unto the good of Jehovah, to the wheat, and to the new wine, and to the oil (Jer. 31:12).

The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the grain is wasted, the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth (Joel 1:10).

The floors are full of pure grain, and the presses overflow with new wine and oil (Joel 2:24).

I will give the rain of your land in its season, that thou mayest gather in thy grain, thy new wine, and thine oil (Deut. 11:14).

[5] "Grain, new wine, and oil" are here spoken of, but that these things are not meant can be seen by everyone who considers; for the Word, being Divine, is spiritual, not worldly, and therefore it does not treat of the grain, the new wine, and the oil of the earth, in so far as these are of service to the body for foods, but in so far as they are of service to the soul; for all foods in the Word signify heavenly foods, as do the bread and the wine in the Holy Supper. What "the grain" and "the new wine" signify in the passages here quoted, may be seen above (n. 3580, 5295, 5410, 5959); from this it is evident what "the oil" signifies.

[6] The case is the same with all things spoken by the Lord while He was in the world, as when He said of the Samaritan that "he came to the man who was wounded by thieves, and bound up his wounds and poured in oil and wine" (Luke 10:33, 34). Here are not meant oil and wine, but the good of love and of charity, by "oil" the good of love, and by "wine" the good of charity and of faith; for the subject treated of, is the neighbor, thus charity toward him. That "wine" has this signification, (n. 6377).

[7] In like manner what the Lord said of the ten virgins, of whom "five took their lamps and no oil with them, and five took also oil," and that the latter were admitted into heaven, but the former rejected (Matt. 25:3, 4), and following verses); "oil in the lamps" denotes the good of love and of charity in the truths of faith; "the virgins who took their lamps and no oil" denote those who hear the Word, read it, and say that they believe, and yet do no good in consequence, and if they do any good, it is not done from the love of good or of truth, but from the love of self and of the world.

[8] As "oil" signified the good of charity, therefore also the sick were anointed with oil and were healed, as we read of the Lordís disciples, who "went forth and cast out demons, and anointed with oil them that were sick, and healed them" (Mark. 6:13). And in David:--

Thou wilt make fat my head with oil; my cup shall run over (Ps. 23:5);

where "to make fat the head with oil" denotes to endow with celestial good. In Moses:--

Jehovah fed him with the produce of the fields; He made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the stone of the rock (Deut. 32:13);

speaking of the Ancient Church; where "sucking oil out of the stone of the rock" denotes to be imbued with good through the truths of faith.

[9] In Habakkuk:--

The fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall produce be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall lie, and the fields shall yield no food (Habakkuk 3:17);

here neither fig-tree, nor vine, nor olive, nor fields are meant, but heavenly things to which they correspond; as also everyone is able to acknowledge from himself who acknowledges that the Word treats of such things as belong to heaven and the church, thus as belong to the soul. But they who think of nothing but worldly, earthly, and bodily things, do not see the internal things, and even do not wish to see them, for they say within themselves, What are spiritual things? What are celestial things? and so, What is heavenly food? That these are such things as belong to intelligence and wisdom they indeed know when it is so said; but that they belong to faith and love, they do not desire; for the reason that they do not imbue their life with such things, and therefore do not attain to the intelligence and wisdom of heavenly truths and goodnesses.

[10] In Ezekiel:--

I washed thee with waters, and I washed away thy bloods from upon thee, and I anointed thee with oil. I clothed thee with broidered word Thy garments were fine linen, silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil. But thou didst take thy broidered garments, and coveredst images; and didst set Mine oil and Mine incense before them (Ezek. 16:9, 10, 13, 18);

who cannot see that in this passage are not meant garments of broidered work, fine linen, and silk, nor oil, honey, or fine flour; but Divine things which are of heaven and the church; for the subject treated of is Jerusalem, by which is meant the church; and therefore by the several things mentioned are meant such things as are of the church. That by each particular is meant some special thing of the church, is evident; for in the Word, which is Divine, there is not a word that is worthless. That "Jerusalem" denotes the church, (n. 3654); also what is meant by " broidered work," (n. 9688); by "fine linen," (n. 5319, 9469); by "fine flour," (n. 2177); by "honey," (n. 5620, 6857); by "washing with waters," (n. 3147, 5954, 9088); and by "washing away bloods," (n. 4735, 9127).

[11] In Hosea:--

Ephraim feedeth on wind, they make a covenant with the Assyrian, and oil is carried down into Egypt (Hosea 12:1);

these things are quite unintelligible unless it is known what is meant by "Ephraim," what by "the Assyrian," and what by "Egypt;" yet there is here described the understanding of the man of the church, which is perverted through reasonings from memory-knowledges; for "Ephraim" denotes this understanding (n. 3969, 5354, 6222, 6238, 6267); "the Assyrian," reasoning (n. 1186); and "Egypt," memory-knowledge (n. 9391); consequently "to carry down oil into Egypt" denotes to defile in this way the good of the church.

[12] That the Lord so often went up the Mount of Olives (Luke 21:37; 22:39), was because "oil" and "the olive" signified the good of love, as also does a "mountain" (n. 6435, 8758). The reason was that while the Lord was in the world all things respecting Him were representative of heaven; for thereby the universal heaven was adjoined to Him; wherefore whatever He did and whatever He said was Divine and heavenly, and the ultimate things were representative. The Mount of Olives represented heaven in respect to the good of love and of charity; as also can be seen in Zechariah:--

Jehovah shall go forth, and fight against the nations. His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before the faces of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives shall be cleft asunder, that a part thereof shall recede toward the east, and toward the sea, with a great valley; and a part of the mountain shall recede toward the north, and a part of it toward the south (Zech. 14:3, 4);

[13] here the Lord and His coming are the subject treated of; by "the Mount of Olives" is signified the good of love and of charity; thus the church, for these goods make the church. That the church would recede from the Jewish nation, and would be set up among the Gentiles, is signified by "the mountain being cleft asunder toward the east, toward the sea, and toward the north, and the south;" in like manner as by the words of the Lord in Luke:--

Ye shall be cast down outside; whereas they shall come from the east, and the west, and from the north, and the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God (Luke 13:28, 29).

In a universal sense by "Jehovah going forth and fighting against the nations," and by "His feet standing upon the Mount of Olives which is before the faces of Jerusalem," is meant that the Lord from Divine love would fight against the hells; for "the nations" denote evils which are from the hells (n. 1868, 6306), and "the Mount of Olives," on which were His feet, denotes the Divine love.

AC 9781. Pure, beaten. That this signifies genuine and clear, is evident from the signification of "pure," when said of the good which is signified by "oil," as being genuine; for the more celestial good is -- thus the more genuine -- so much the purer it is; and from the signification of "beaten," when said of the good which is signified by "oil," as being clear. Good is said to be clear when it becomes truth; for good appears by means of truth, because truth is the form of good; and good does not appear in light except in n form. The better therefore that good is presented in a form, the more clearly it appears, for the result is that good itself shines forth, even so as to affect both the understanding and at the same time the will of others. For as is the case with good and truth, so it is with the will and the understanding in man, because the will has been appointed for the reception of good, and the understanding for the reception of truth; and the will does not appear in light except through the understanding, for it is understanding which gives form to what is of the will, and presents it in clearness. That which is formed is as it were divided into parts, and among these parts, which are analytically associated together, there are established various regards or relations. In this manner good is presented to view in the understanding and is rendered clear. When good has been rendered clear in the understanding, it is the truth of this good. From this then it is that the oil was to be beaten, as also the frankincense, of which it is said that it shall be pure, and that some of it shall be beaten very small, and thus burned as incense (Exod. 30:34-36). The like that is signified by "beaten" is also signified by being "ground in a mill," as can be seen from the signification of "wheat" and of "fine flour;" "wheat" signifying good, and "fine flour" its truth. Just as that which is beaten and ground signifies in the genuine sense good made clear, so what is beaten and ground, in the opposite sense signifies evil made clear. This is signified by Moses beating the golden calf, and grinding it very small; and when it was as fine as dust, casting it into the brook that descended from the mountain (Deut. 9:21): (n. 9391).

AC 9782. For the luminary. That this signifies the spiritual heaven, is evident from the signification of "the luminary," or "lampstand," as being the spiritual heaven (n. 9548).

AC 9783. To cause the lamp to go up continually. That this signifies the consequent faith, and through faith the intelligence of truth and wisdom of good from the Lord, is evident from the signification of a "lamp," as being faith and the consequent intelligence of truth and wisdom of good (n. 9548). That a "lamp" denotes faith, is because the Divine truth that proceeds from the Lord is light in the heavens; this light, when received by the angels who are there, or by man, is like a lamp, for it illuminates all things of the mind, and imparts intelligence and wisdom. This light when received is faith. But be it known that faith is not a lamp, that is, does not illuminate the mind, unless it is from charity; thus unless it is charity. The case with faith and charity is the same as with truth and good; truth is the form of good, that is, it is good so formed as to appear in light. So faith is the form of charity, or charity formed. Moreover truth pertains to faith, and good to charity; for that which is true is believed, and becomes of faith; and that which is good is loved, and becomes of charity. The truth and good itself which are loved are the neighbor, and the love of these is charity.

AC 9784. In the Tent of meeting. That this signifies where is the presence of the Lord, is evident from the fact that the Tent was made in order that the Lord might there meet Moses and Aaron, and also the sons of Israel. Therefore also what is holy of worship was instituted there, as can be seen from the following passages in Exodus:--

They shall make a continual burnt-offering at the door of the Tent of meeting before Jehovah; where I will meet with you, to speak there with thee. And there I will meet with the sons of Israel; and it shall be sanctified by My glory. And I will sanctify the Tent of meeting, and the altar. Aaron also and his sons will I sanctify, that they may minister to Me in the priesthood. And I will dwell in the midst of the sons of Israel (Exod. 29:42-45).

And that the Lord met with them there, that is, that He was present there, can be seen from this passage:--

When all things were finished, the cloud covered the Tent of meeting, and the glory of Jehovah filled the Habitation. And Moses could not enter into the Tent of meeting, because the cloud dwelt upon it, and the glory of Jehovah filled the Habitation. The cloud of Jehovah was upon the Habitation by day; and there was fire therein by night, in the eyes of all the house of Israel (Exod. 40:33-38).

From all this it can be seen that by "the Tent of meeting" is signified where the presence of the Lord is. The reason was that the Tent represented heaven, and heaven is heaven by virtue of the presence of the Lord in it, on which account also it was called "the Habitation of Jehovah."

AC 9785. Without the veil which is over the Testimony. That this signifies where there is communication, and, through the uniting intermediate, conjunction with the Lord in the inmost heaven, is evident from the signification of "the veil," as being the intermediate that unites the inmost heaven and the middle heaven (n. 9670, 9671), thus where there is communication and conjunction; and from the signification of "the Testimony," as being the Lord in respect to Divine truth.

AC 9786. Aaron and his sons shall order it. That this signifies perpetual influx from the Lord, is evident from the signification of "ordering," when said of the Lord, who was represented by Aaron, as being influx; for all communication of Divine good and Divine truth from the Lord, and all conjunction with Him, are effected through influx. Angels and men are recipient forms. That perpetual influx is signified, is because the subject treated of is the ordering of the lamp from evening until morning, by which is signified continually and perpetually. That the influx is from the Lord, is because by Aaron was represented the Lord as to Divine good, and by his sons the Lord as to Divine truth.

AC 9787. From evening until morning before Jehovah. That this signifies continually in every state, is evident from the signification of "evening," as being the end of one state (n. 8426); and from the signification of "morning," as being the beginning of another (n. 8427). That it denotes continually in every state, is because "evening" involves every state of shade which is signified by the following night; and "morning" involves every state of light which is signified by the following day; for with the Lord things following and future are together in the present, because everything which the Lord ordains, that is, provides with man and angel, is eternal. From this it can be seen that by the "ordering of the lamp from evening until morning" is signified the perpetual influx of good and of truth from the Lord continually in every state.

AC 9788. It shall be a statute of an age. That this signifies the Divine order, is evident from the signification of "a statute," as being Divine order (n. 7884, 7995, 8357); and from the signification of "age," as being what is eternal; moreover what is Divine is eternal.

AC 9789. For their generations with the sons of Israel. That this signifies what is eternal in the spiritual kingdom, is evident from the signification of "generations," as being what is eternal; and from the signification of "the sons of Israel," as being the spiritual church (n. 9340), and therefore the spiritual kingdom; for the spiritual kingdom of the Lord in the heavens is the spiritual heaven, and on earth it is the spiritual church. "Generations" denote what is eternal, because by them in the internal sense are meant the generations of faith and charity (n. 613, 2020, 2584, 6239, 9042, 9079), thus the things which are of heaven and the church, which are eternal. Moreover by "the sons of Israel," of whom the "generations" are predicated, is signified the church (n. 9340). That by " generations" is signified what is eternal, is plain from the following passages in the Word:--

My righteousness shall be to eternity, and My salvation unto generations of generations. Awake as in the days of antiquities, the generations of eternities (Isa. 51:8, 9).

I will set thee for a magnificence of eternities, a joy of generation and generation (Isa. 60:15).

The smoke thereof shall go up to eternity; from generation to generation it shall be laid waste, none shall pass through it for everlasting of everlastings (Isa. 34:10).

The counsel of Jehovah shall stand to eternity, the thoughts of His heart to generation and generation (Ps. 33:11).

I will praise Thy name to eternity and forever, generation to generation shall praise Thy works (Ps. 145:2, 4).

They shall fear Thee with the sun, and before the moon, from generation of generations (Ps. 72:5).

This is My name to eternity, and this My memorial unto generation and generation (Exod. 3:15);

besides many other passages. It is said "to eternity," and "to generation and generation," and "eternity" is predicated of the Divine celestial, or good; and "generation," of the Divine spiritual, or truth; for in the Word, especially in the prophetic Word, there are for the most part two expressions relating to one and the same thing, as in the passages above quoted, "to eternity," and "to generation and generation;" and this on account of the heavenly marriage in each and all things of the Word. The heavenly marriage is the marriage of good and truth, or the conjunction of the Lord and heaven (n. 9263).