Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 28:39-40
AC 9941. Verses 39, 40. And thou shalt checker the tunic of fine linen, and thou shalt make a miter of fine linen, and a belt thou shall make with the work of the embroiderer. And for Aaron‘s sons thou shall make tunics, and thou shalt make for them belts; and tiaras shall thou make for them, for glory and for comeliness. "And thou shalt checker the tunic of fine linen," signifies the inmost things of the spiritual kingdom that proceed from the truths of celestial love; "and thou shalt make a miter of fine linen," signifies the wisdom there; "and a belt," signifies a bond, and separation from the external things of this kingdom; "thou shalt make with the work of the embroiderer," signifies by means of the knowledges of good and truth; "and for Aaron’s sons," signifies the Divine truths that proceed from the Lord‘s Divine good in the heavens; "thou shalt make tunics," signifies the things which are of faith there; "and thou shalt make for them belts," signifies a holding together in connection; "and tiaras shalt thou make for them," signifies the intelligence there; "for glory and for comeliness," signifies the truth of the spiritual church
AC 9942. And thou shalt checker the tunic of fine linen. That this signifies the inmost things of the spiritual kingdom that proceed from the truths of celestial love, is evident from the signification of Aaron’s garments in general, as being the spiritual kingdom joined to the celestial kingdom (n. 9814), and as the tunic was the inmost of these garments, therefore by it are signified the inmost things of this kingdom (that "Aaron‘s tunic" denotes the Divine truth in the spiritual kingdom that proceeds immediately from the Divine celestial, (n. 9826); and from the signification of "fine linen," as being truth from a celestial origin (n. 9469). Of this tunic it is said that it was to be checkered, and by what is checkered is meant the work of a weaver, and by "the work of a weaver" is signified that which is from the celestial (n. 9915); the word by which "checkering" is expressed in the original tongue, means also " weaving."
 That this tunic was woven, or from the work of the weaver, is evident from what follows in the book of Exodus:--
They made tunics of fine linen, the work of the weaver, for Aaron and his sons (Exod. 39:27).
That it was checkered, that is, woven, of fine linen, was for the reason that there might be represented that which proceeds immediately from the celestial, which is relatively as it were continuous; for the things which proceed from the celestial are like those which with man proceed from his will; for all things with man that belong to the understanding proceed from his will. Those things which proceed interiorly from the will are as it were continuous relatively to those which proceed exteriorly; and therefore among those things which proceed interiorly from the will there is especially the affection of truth; for all the affection of love in the understanding flows in from the man’s will. The case is similar in the heavens, where the celestial kingdom corresponds to the will of man, and the spiritual kingdom to his understanding (n. 9835); and because the garments of Aaron represented the Lord‘s spiritual kingdom joined to His celestial kingdom (n. 9814), therefore the tunic represented that which is inmost there, thus that which proceeds most closely from the celestial kingdom, for the tunic was the inmost garment. From this it is evident why the tunic was woven or checkered, and why it was of fine linen; for by "that which is woven" is signified that which is from the will, or from the celestial (n. 9915), and by "fine linen" is signified the truth which is from celestial love (n. 9469).
 The spiritual which is from the celestial is also signified in other parts of the Word by "tunics," as by "the tunics of skin" which Jehovah God is said to have made for the man and his wife after they had eaten of the tree of knowledge (Gen. 3:20, 21). That by these "tunics" is signified truth from a celestial origin, cannot be known unless these things are unfolded according to the internal sense; and therefore this shall be unfolded. By the man and his wife is there meant the celestial church, by the man himself as a husband is meant this church as to good, and by his wife this church as to truth. This truth and that good were the truth and good of the celestial church. But when this church had fallen, which took place by means of reasonings from memory-knowledges about truths Divine, and which is signified in the internal sense by the persuasion of the serpent, this first state after the fall of that celestial church is what is there described, and its truth is described by "the tunics of skin."
 Be it known that by the creation of heaven and earth in the first chapter of Genesis, in the internal sense, is meant and described the new creation, or regeneration, of the man of the church at that time, thus the setting up of a celestial church; and that by the paradise are meant and described the wisdom and intelligence of that church, and by eating of the tree of knowledge its fall in consequence of reasoning from memory-knowledges about Divine things. That such is the meaning may be seen from what has been shown on this subject in the explications at those chapters. For all the things contained in the first chapters of Genesis are made up historical things, in the internal sense of which, as before said, are Divine things concerning the new creation or regeneration of the man of the celestial church. This method of writing was customary in the most ancient times, not only among those who were of the church, but also among those who were outside the church, as among the Arabians, Syrians, and Greeks, as is evident from the books of those times, both sacred and profane.
 In imitation of these books, because derived from them, the Song of Songs was written by Solomon; for this book is not a holy book, because it does not contain within it heavenly and Divine things in a series, as do the holy books. The book of Job also is a book of the Ancient Church. Mention is also made of holy books of the Ancient Church which are now lost, as in Moses (Num. 21:14, 15, 27). The historical parts of these books were called "the Wars of Jehovah," and their prophetical parts were called "the Enunciations" (n. 2686, 2897). That in the historical parts of the books called "the Wars of Jehovah," the style was of this nature, is clear from what has been taken from them and quoted by Moses. In this way their historical things approached a certain prophetic style, of such a nature that the things might be retained in the memory by little children and also by the simple. That the books named above were holy, is evident from what is quoted in (Num. 21:28, 29, and 30) of the same chapter, when compared with what is found in (Jeremiah 48:45, 46), where there are similar expressions. That among people outside the church such a style was very much used at that time, and was almost the only style, is clear from the fables of those writers who were outside the church, in which they wrapped up moral things, or such as belong to the affections and life.
 In the historical things that were not made up, but were true, such as are those in the hooks of Moses after the first chapters of Genesis, and likewise in the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings, "tunics" also signified spiritual truth, and the good of truth, that proceed from celestial truth and good. Be it known that spiritual truth and good are such as are the truth and good of the angels in the middle or second heaven; but that celestial truth and good are such as are the truth and good of the angels in the third or inmost heaven, (n. 9277). It is recorded in the books of Moses that Israel the father gave to Joseph his son a tunic of various colors, and that on account of this his brethren were indignant, and afterward stripped it off and dipped it in blood and sent it so to their father (Gen. 37:3, 23, 31-33). These were true historicals, and as these in like manner contained within them, or in the internal sense, holy things of heaven and the church, thus Divine things, therefore by that "tunic of various colors" was signified the state of good and truth which Joseph represented, which was a state of spiritual truth and good that proceed from the, celestial (n. 3971, 4286, 4592, 4963, 5249, 5307, 5584, 5869, 5877, 6417, 6526, 9671). For all the sons of Jacob represented in their order such things as belong to heaven and the church (n. 3858, 3926, 4060, 4603, 6335, 6337, 6397, 6640, 7836, 7891, 7996); but in this case they represented the opposite things.
 As all things contained in the books of the Word, both the historical and prophetical, are representative and significative of Divine celestial and spiritual things, therefore the affection of this truth is described by the "king’s daughter," and the truth itself by her "garments," in David:--
The king‘s daughter is among Thy precious ones; at Thy right hand doth stand the queen in the best gold of Ophir. The daughter of Tyre shall bring an offering; the rich of the people shall entreat Thy faces. The king’s daughter is all glorious within; thy clothing (thy tunic) is of weavings (or checkering) of gold. She shall be brought to the king in broidered work (Ps. 45:9, 12-14).
That a "daughter" in general signifies the affection of spiritual truth and good, thus also the church, (n. 2362, 3024, 3963, 9055); and that a "king," when said of the Lord, signifies Divine truth, (n. 2015, 2069, 3009, 4581, 4966, 5068, 6148). From this it is evident that all those things which are related in this psalm about the king‘s daughter signify such things as belong to the affection of truth and good from the Lord in the church. Its being said that "the daughter of Tyre shall bring an offering," signifies the knowledges of good and truth (that "Tyre" signifies these, (n. 1201); in like manner "the rich of the people," for by "riches" in the spiritual sense nothing else is meant than the knowledges of good and truth (n. 1694, 4508). From this it is evident what is signified by "the king’s daughter being glorious within," and that "her clothing was of the weavings of gold;" for by her "clothing" is meant a tunic, as is evident from the signification of this word in the original tongue, where it signifies the garment next the body. That it means a tunic is evident in (John 19:23, 24), where the Lord‘s tunic is described, which in David (Ps. 22:18) is called, by the same word, "clothing." So in the second book of Samuel (2 Samuel 13:18), it is said that the king’s daughters were clad in tunics of divers colors. By "the weavings of gold" in David the like is meant as by "the checkering of the tunic of Aaron," the same word being used in the original tongue. What is meant by the "broidered work" in which she was to be brought to the king, (n. 9688).
 As such things were represented by the king‘s daughter and by her garment, or tunic, therefore a king’s daughters were at that time clothed in this manner, as is evident in the second book of Samuel:--
There was upon Tamar a tunic of divers colors; for with such wraps were the king‘s daughters clothed (2 Sam. 13:18).
 Now as spiritual goods and truths were represented by tunics, it can be seen what is signified by "Aaron’s tunic," also what by "the tunics of his sons," which are spoken of in the following verse of the present chapter, where it is said that "for Aaron‘s sons they should make tunics, belts, and tiaras, for glory and for comeliness." And as their tunics represented these holy things, it was said that Nadab and Abihu the sons of Aaron, who were burnt by fire from heaven, because they offered incense from strange fire, were brought forth outside the camp in their tunics (Lev. 10:1-5); for by "strange fire" is signified love from some other source than what is celestial, for in the Word "holy fire" denotes celestial or Divine love (n. 6832, 6834, 6849, 7324, 9434). Consequently the spiritual goods and truths signified by their "tunics" were defiled, and therefore they were brought forth outside the camp in their tunics.
 The like is also signified by "tunic" in Micah:--
My people holds as an enemy by reason of a garment; ye strip the tunic from off them that pass by securely (Micah 2:8);
in this passage "tunic" is expressed in the original tongue by another word, which however signifies spiritual truth and good; "stripping the tunic from off them that pass by securely" denotes to deprive of their spiritual truths those who live in simple good; "to hold anyone as an enemy by reason of a garment" denotes to do evil to them on account of the truth which they think, when yet no one is to be injured on account of what he believes to be true, provided he is in good (n. 1798, 1799, 1834, 1844).
 From all this it can now be seen what is signified by a "tunic" in Matthew:--
Jesus said, Swear not at all; neither by the heaven, nor by the earth, nor by Jerusalem, nor by the head. Let your discourse be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay. Whatsoever is beyond these is from evil. If any man would drag thee to the law, and take away thy tunic, let him have thy cloak also (Matt. 5:34-37, 40);
be who does not know what is the state of the angels in the Lord’s celestial kingdom, cannot possibly know what these words of the Lord involve; for the subject here treated of is the state of good and truth with those who are in the Lord‘s celestial kingdom, with whom all truth is imprinted on the heart. For from the good of love to the Lord they know all truth, insomuch that they never reason about it, as is done in the spiritual kingdom; and therefore when truths are being spoken of, they only say, Yea, yea, or Nay, nay; and they do not even mention faith there. Concerning their state (n. 9277). From this then it is evident what is signified by the injunction "swear not at all;" for by "swearing" is signified to confirm truths (n. 3375, 9166), which is done in the spiritual kingdom by means of the rational, and memory-knowledges from the Word. By "dragging to the law, and desiring to take away the tunic," is meant to debate about truths, and to wish to persuade that they are not true; a "tunic" denotes truth from what is celestial; for the celestial leave to everyone his truth without further reasoning.
 By a "tunic" is signified the truth from what is celestial in another passage also in Matthew:--
Jesus sent the twelve to preach the kingdom of the heavens, saying that they should not possess gold, nor silver, nor brass in their girdles; nor a scrip for the journey; neither two tunics, nor shoes, nor staves (Matt. 10:5, 7, 9, 10).
by these words was represented that those who are in goods and truths from the Lord possess nothing of good and truth from themselves, but that they have all truth and good from the Lord. For by the twelve disciples were represented all who are in goods and truths from the Lord, and in the abstract sense all goods of love and truths of faith from the Lord (n. 3488, 3858, 6397). Goods and truths from self, and not from the Lord, are signified by "possessing gold, silver, and brass in the girdles," and by a "scrip;" but truths and goods from the Lord are signified by "a tunic, shoe, and staff;" by "the tunic," interior truth, or truth from the celestial; by "the shoe," exterior truth, or truth in the natural (n. 1748, 6844); and by "the staff," the power of truth (n. 4876, 4936, 6947, 7011, 7026). But by "two tunics," "two pairs of shoes," and "two staves," are signified truths and their powers from both the Lord and self. That they were allowed to have one tunic, one pair of shoes, and one staff, is evident in (Mark 6:8, 9; Luke 9:2, 3).
 When it is known from these examples what is signified by a "tunic," it is manifest what is signified by "the Lord’s tunic," of which we read in John:--
They took the garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part, and the tunic; and the tunic was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said, Let us not divide it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the Scripture might be fulfilled which saith, They divided My garments among them, and upon My tunic did they cast a lot. These things the soldiers did (John 19:23, 24; Ps. 22:18);
who cannot see, if he thinks from reason at all enlightened, that these proceedings signified Divine things, and that otherwise they would not have been foretold by David? But what they signify cannot be known without the internal sense, thus without knowledge therefrom as to what is signified by "garments;" by "casting lots" upon, or "dividing" them; by a "tunic;" and by its being "without seam," that is, woven throughout; and by "soldiers." From the internal sense it is plain that by "garments" are signified truths, and by "the Lord‘s garments," Divine truths; by "casting a lot," and "dividing" them is meant to pull these truths asunder and disperse them (n. 9093); by the "tunic" is signified Divine spiritual truth from the Divine celestial, the like as by "Aaron’s tunic," because Aaron represented the Lord; so also by its being "without seam," and "woven from the top throughout," the like is signified as by the "checkered," or woven, "work," in Aaron‘s tunic. That the tunic was not divided signified that the Divine spiritual truth which proceeds most nearly from Divine celestial truth could not be dispersed, because this truth is the internal truth of the Word, such as is with the angels in heaven.
 Its being said that "the soldiers did this," signifies that it was done by those who should fight for truths, thus by the Jews themselves, with whom was the Word, and who nevertheless were of such a nature that they dispersed it. For they had the Word, and yet they were not willing to know from it that the Lord was the Messiah and the Son of God who was to come, nor anything internal of the Word, but only what is external; which they also wrested to their loves, which were the loves of self and of the world, thus to favor the lusts which spring from these loves. These things were signified by "the dividing of the Lord’s garments;" for whatever they did to the Lord represented the state of Divine truth and Divine good among them at that time; thus that they treated Divine truths in the same way as they treated Him. That the Lord while in the world was the Divine truth itself, (n. 9199, 9315).
AC 9943. And thou shalt make a miter of fine linen. That this signifies the wisdom there, is evident from the signification of "a miter," as being intelligence, and when said of the Lord, who is here represented by Aaron, as being wisdom (n. 9827); and from the signification of" fine linen," as being truth from a celestial origin (n. 9469); for the wisdom which is here signified by "the miter" comes from this truth. For all wisdom and intelligence are from the Divine truth that proceeds from the Lord‘s Divine good. There are no other wisdom and intelligence that really are such, because there are none from any other source. Intelligence is to know and understand truths Divine, and afterward to have faith in them; and wisdom is to will and love these truths, and from this to live according to them.
AC 9944. And a belt. That this signifies a bond, and separation from the external things of this kingdom, is evident from the signification of "a belt," as being the external bond that holds together all things of love and faith in their connection and form, so that they look to one end (n. 9341, 9828, 9837). That it also signifies separation from the external things, is because in this way it gathers up and holds together the internal things, and that which gathers up and holds together the internal things, also separates them from the external things. The internal things of the spiritual kingdom are signified by "the tunic," because this was the inmost clothing, and its external things are signified by "the robe," and "the ephod," because these were the outer garments. That by the garments of Aaron was represented the spiritual kingdom, (n. 9814); by the ephod its external, (n. 9824); by the robe its interior, (n. 9825); and by the tunic the inmost, (n. 9826).
AC 9945. Thou shalt make with the work of the embroiderer. That this signifies by means of the knowledges of good and truth, is evident from the signification of "the work of the embroiderer," as being that which is from memory-knowledges (n. 9688). It is said "by means of the knowledges of good and truth," because by these knowledges are meant interior memory-knowledges such as are those of the church concerning faith and love. That these memory-knowledges are here signified by "the work of the embroiderer," is because by "the belt" of the tunic, which was of the work of the embroiderer, is signified the inmost bond of the spiritual kingdom; and because all things in the spiritual world are held together in connection by means of knowledges, and the affections thence derived.
AC 9946. And for Aaron’s sons. That this signifies the Divine truths that proceed from the Lord‘s Divine good in the heavens, is evident from the representation of the sons of Aaron, as being the Divine truths that proceed from the Lord’s Divine good (n. 9807). That "in the heavens" is signified, is because what is Divine of the Lord in the heavens is that which is represented by the priesthood of Aaron and his sons; Divine good in the heavens by the priesthood of Aaron, and Divine truth from Divine good there by the priesthood of his sons. It is said "in the heavens," because the Lord Himself is above the heavens, for He is the Sun of heaven; and yet His presence is in the heavens, and is as if He Himself were there. He Himself in the heavens, that is, His Divine good and His Divine truth there, can be represented; but not His Divine which is above the heavens, for the reason that the latter cannot fall into human minds, and not even into angelic minds, because it is infinite: but the Divine in the heavens which is from it, is accommodated to reception.
AC 9947. Thou shalt make tunics. That this signifies the things which are of faith there, is evident from the signification of a "tunic," when said of Aaron, as being Divine truth inmostly in the spiritual kingdom, thus that which proceeds immediately from the celestial (n. 9826, 9942); but when it is said of Aaron‘s sons, the "tunic" denotes that which is of faith, for it denotes that which proceeds from the spiritual which is from the celestial. This proceeding is what is called "the faith of truth."
AC 9948. And thou shalt make for them belts. That this signifies a holding together in connection, is evident from the signification of "belts," as being external bonds which hold together in connection the truths and goods of faith and love (n. 9341, 9828, 9837, 9944).
AC 9949. And tiaras shalt thou make for them. That this signifies the intelligence there, is evident from the signification of a "miter," and in general of a covering for the head, as being intelligence and wisdom (n. 9827); consequently also a "tiara;" for the covering of the head for the sons of Aaron was called "a tiara."
AC 9950. For glory and for comeliness. That this signifies the truth of the spiritual church, is evident from the signification of "for glory and for comeliness," as being to present, in an internal and an external form, Divine truth such as it is in the spiritual kingdom joined to the celestial kingdom (n. 9815); but here it denotes the truth of the spiritual church which is thence derived; for by Aaron is represented Divine good in the heavens, and by his sons the Divine truth thence derived. Moreover the Divine good there is as a father, and the Divine Truth from it is as a son; and because this is so by "father" in the Word is signified good, and by "sons" truths. And indeed truths are born from goods when the man is being born anew, that is, when he is being regenerated. EXODUS 28:39-40 previous - next - text - summary - Exodus - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|