Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 34:12-17
AC 10639. Verses 12-17. Take heed to thyself, lest perchance thou make a covenant with the inhabitant of the land upon which thou comest, lest perchance it become a snare in the midst of thee. Wherefore ye shall overturn their altars, and shall break their pillars, and shall cut down their groves. Wherefore thou shalt not bow thyself to another god; for Jehovah, whose name is Jealous, a jealous God is He. Lest perchance thou make a covenant with the inhabitant of the land, and they commit whoredom after their gods, and sacrifice to their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice. And thou take of his daughters for thy sons, and his daughters commit whoredom after their gods, and make thy sons commit whoredom after their gods. Thou shalt not make for thee molten gods. "Take heed to thyself, lest perchance thou make a covenant with the inhabitant of the land upon which thou comest," signifies that there must be no adherence to any religious persuasion whatever that has evil in it; "lest perchance it become a snare in the midst of thee," signifies a consequent misleading in the Word itself; "wherefore ye shall overturn their altars," signifies that the evil of such a religious persuasion and of the consequent worship must be rejected; "and shall break their pillars," signifies that the falsities of evil must be dispersed; "and shall cut down their groves," signifies that their teachings must be utterly rejected; "wherefore thou shalt not bow thyself to another god," signifies that the Lord alone is to be worshiped from faith and love; "for Jehovah, whose name is Jealous, a jealous God is He," signifies that if another is worshiped, Divine good and Divine truth will depart; "lest perchance thou make a covenant with the inhabitant of the land," signifies in this manner a conjunction with the evil of any religious persuasion; "and they commit whoredom after their gods," signifies the consequent falsities of evil; "and sacrifice to their signifies thus worship from falsities; "and one call thee and thou eat of his sacrifice," signifies the allurement, reception, and appropriation of falsity from evil; "and thou take of his daughters for thy sons," signifies the conjunction of the affections of evil with truths; "and his daughters commit whoredom after their gods, and make thy sons commit whoredom after their gods," signifies in this manner the profanation of good and of truth; "thou shalt not make for thee molten gods," signifies the worship of self and not of the Lord.
AC 10640. Take heed to thyself lest perchance thou make a covenant with the inhabitant of the land upon which thou comest. That this signifies that there must be no adherence to any religious persuasion whatever that has evil in it, is evident from the signification of "making a covenant," as being to be conjoined (n. 10632), thus also to adhere; from the signification of "the inhabitant of the land," as being a religious persuasion that has evil in it, for by "inhabitant" is signified good (n. 2268, 2451, 2712), and consequently in the opposite sense evil; and by "land" is signified the church and whatever is of the church (n. 9325); thus also a religious persuasion; and from the signification of "upon which thou comest," as being wherever there is a religious persuasion that has evil in it, for by the nations which were in the land of Canaan, into which they were to come, are signified evils and the derivative falsities (n. 10638). From all this it is evident that by "lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitant of the land upon which thou comest," is signified that there must be no adherence to any religious persuasion whatever that has evil in it.
 As this is one of the primary things by means of which the man of the church is enlightened when he reads the Word, and as this is the subject treated of in what now follows, it shall be told how the case herein is. The man who wishes to be enlightened by the Lord must take especial care not to appropriate to himself any teaching that supports what is evil. A man appropriates it to himself when he confirms it with himself, for he thereby makes it of his faith, and still more so if he lives according to it. When this is done, the evil remains inscribed on his soul and on his heart. And when this has been done, he cannot possibly be afterward enlightened by the Word from the Lord, for his whole mind is in the faith and in the love of his principle, and what evil is contrary to it, he either does not see, or else rejects, or falsifies.
 For example: he who believes that he is saved by faith alone whatever be the quality of his life, and has confirmed this with himself, and has conjoined it with all the rest of his doctrine, insomuch that he then thinks nothing about life, but only about faith, no matter how much he may read the Word, he afterward sees nothing therein about the good of life; and at last he does not know what good is, what charity, what love; and if these are mentioned he says that faith alone is all this; when yet faith alone, or faith without these, is like an empty vessel, and a thing without a soul. The spiritual life of such a man may be compared to the respiration of the lungs without any influx of blood from the heart; which is not life, except such as that of an image or an automaton. These things have been said in order that it may be known how the case is with the man who reads the Word, in that he cannot possibly be enlightened thereby if he has adhered to any religious persuasion which supports what is evil.
AC 10641. Lest perchance it become a snare in the midst of thee. That this signifies a consequent misleading in the Word itself, is evident from the signification of "being a snare," as being to be deluded and misled by one‘s own evil and falsity (n. 7653, 9348); and from the representation of Moses, as being the Word (n. 9372); consequently "in the midst of him" denotes in the Word itself. How the case herein is (n. 10640).
AC 10642. Wherefore ye shall overturn their altars. That this signifies that the evil of such a religious persuasion and of the consequent worship must be rejected, is evident from the signification of an "altar," as being the principal representative of the Lord and of the worship of Him from good (n. 921, 2777, 2811, 4541, 8935, 8940, 9388, 9389, 9714, 9964, 10242, 10245), and therefore in the opposite sense it is a representative of idolatrous worship, thus worship from evil; and from the signification of "to overturn," as being to reject; for it is said of the altars that they are to be overturned; but of the evils of worship which are signified by the altars of the nations, that they are to be rejected.
 Mention is made in this verse of "altars," "pillars," and "groves," and by these in general are signified all things of idolatrous worship; by "altars," worship from evil; by "pillars," worship from the falsity of evil; and by "groves," the teachings of these. The reason why these things were to be extirpated, was that the Lord was not worshiped by means of these representatives; but gods were worshiped that were men, as the baals, and many others. And this worship was diabolical and infernal; for to worship men instead of God Himself, who is the Lord, is diabolical, because a man is conjoined with him whom he worships.
 But the case herein is this. If a man is worshiped as a god, then some one from hell is conjoined with him, for faith and love conjoin. The faith of truth and the love of good conjoin the man with the Lord; but the faith of falsity and the love of evil conjoin the man with hell; for there are with every man spirits from hell, and also angels from heaven. Without these a man cannot live. If anyone is worshiped who had been a man, then the spirits from hell suppose that they themselves are worshiped; for everyone in hell wishes to be a god, and these spirits communicate such worship to the infernal society from which they are. In proportion therefore as these are worshiped, in the same proportion the angels who are from heaven recede; consequently the man is carried away into infernal cupidities, and finally becomes like these spirits in respect to his whole life; and moreover comes among them after death. But on the other hand, when the Lord is worshiped, who is the God of heaven and earth, then the angels from heaven who are with the man do not claim to themselves anything of worship, because they attribute all truth of faith and good of love to the Lord, and nothing to themselves; consequently there is opened through them a way even to the Lord Himself, who conjoins them with Himself in faith and love. From all this it can be seen how important it is to worship the Lord Himself, who has all power in the heavens and on earth, as He Himself says in (Matthew 28:18).
AC 10643. And ye shall break their pillars. That this signifies that the falsities of evil must be dispersed, is evident from the signification of "pillars," as being representatives of the worship of the Lord from truths (n. 4550, 4582, 9388, 9389), and in the opposite sense representatives of idolatrous worship from falsities. The reason why "pillars" were representative of worship, was that it was in use among the ancients to set up pillars and anoint them with oil and thus sanctify them. The ancients held their worship chiefly upon mountains, upon hills, and in groves, and there they set up pillars. That they held worship upon mountains was because mountains signified the heaven where celestial love reigns, which is love to the Lord; that they held it upon hills was because hills signified the heaven where spiritual love reigns, which is love toward the neighbor; and that they held it in groves was because groves signified heavenly wisdom and intelligence. All these things are from correspondences. The pillars that were set up there signified Divine truth; for the pillars were stones, and a stone signifies truth. Therefore in respect to Divine truth the Lord is called in the Word "the Stone of Israel." From this them it is that "pillars" signified the worship of the Lord from truths.
 But when the representatives of the church which existed among the ancients began to be turned partly into idolatry and partly into magic, then such things were abrogated, especially among the Israelitish nation, which at heart was idolatrous. Hence it is that by "pillars" is signified idolatrous worship from falsities. This is the case with all worship when man becomes external, as when he regards himself and the world as the end, and the Divine things of the church as the means; for then all the things of worship, with those who remain in worship, become idols, because external things are worshiped apart from internal things. Consequently the truths of worship and of doctrine become falsities, for they are falsified by the ideas of self and of the world in them, to which are adjoined many other ideas which withdraw the Divine from these truths, and transfer them to self and to the world. This can also be seen from the altars of the nations, upon which their sacrifices were abominations, although they sacrificed in the same way as the Israelitish nation.
 That pillars were in use among the ancients, and signified what is holy of worship, is evident from the pillar set up by Jacob, of which we read in Genesis:--
And Jacob took the stone that he had placed for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar. And he said, if I return in peace to my father’s house, this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God‘s house (Gen. 28:18, 21, 22).
And from the twelve pillars set up by Moses under Mount Sinai, of which we read in Exodus:--
Moses wrote all the words of Jehovah, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar under the mountain, and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel (Exod. 24:4);
(n. 9389). And from these passages:--
In that day shall there be an altar to Jehovah in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to Jehovah (Isa. 19:19).
The sons of Israel shall sit many days without king, and without prince, and without sacrifice, and without pillar (Hos. 3:4).
In these passages by "pillars" is signified worship from truths, for the reason, as before said, that a "stone" signified Divine truth, and a "pillar anointed with oil," Divine truth from Divine good.
 But when these representatives began to be idolatrously worshiped, it was then commanded that such things should be overturned and broken, as in this verse, and also in (Exodus 23:24; Deuteronomy 7:5; 12:3). And as the Israelitish nation was at heart idolatrous, therefore lest they should set up pillars upon mountains and hills, and in groves, and should worship them idolatrously, they were forbidden to set up pillars and to plant groves, although among the ancients such things were holy things of worship. That this was forbidden to that nation is evident in Moses:--
Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any tree near the altar of Jehovah thy God, which thou shalt make for thee. And thou shalt not set thee up a pillar, which Jehovah thy God hateth (Deut. 16:21, 22).
And that it was forbidden because they worshiped these things idolatrously, is evident from these passages:--
Judah did evil in the eyes of Jehovah; they built them high places, and pillars, on every high hill, and under every green tree (1 Kings 14:22, 23).
The like is said of the sons of Israel in (2 Kings 17:10).
I will cut off thy graven images and thy pillars out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no longer adore the work of thine hands. And I will root out thy groves from the midst of thee (Micah 5:13, 14).
Ye have inflamed yourselves with gods under every green tree (Isa. 57:5).
With the hoofs of his horses shall Nebuchadnezzar tread down all thy streets; he shall slay thy people with the sword, and the pillars of thy strength shall he make to go down to the earth (Ezek. 26:11);
besides other places. From these passages also it is evident what is signified by "pillars" in the internal sense.
AC 10644. And ye shall cut down their groves. That this signifies that their teachings must be utterly rejected, is evident from the signification of "groves," as being the doctrinal things of the church, here of the religious persuasion among idolaters. which are the teachings of falsity from evil That "groves" signify teachings is because "trees" signify the perceptions and knowledges of good and truth; perceptions, with those who are in the Lord’s celestial kingdom; and knowledges with those who are in His spiritual kingdom; and each species of tree signifies a species of perception and knowledge. From this it is that "paradises" and "gardens" signify heavenly intelligence and wisdom; and "forests," the memory-knowledge of the natural man. From all this it can be seen whence it is that "groves" signify doctrine, and whence it is that the ancients held holy worship in groves. For the church among the ancients was representative, all the external things of which represented internal things such as are in heaven, concerning the Lord, concerning love and faith in Him, and concerning such things as are of love and faith. This signification of "groves," and of "forests,‘ "gardens," and "paradises," and likewise of "trees" according to their species, originates in the representatives in the other life; for such things appear there in accordance with the intelligence and wisdom of the angels, the appearances there being from a celestial and spiritual origin. That "groves" signify doctrine, and that the ancients held holy worship in groves (n. 2722, 4552): That "paradises" signify heavenly intelligence and wisdom (n. 3220, 4528, 4529); and "gardens" in like manner (n. 100, 108, 1588, 2722): That "forests" signify the memory-knowledge which is of the natural man (n. 9011): That "trees" signify perceptions and knowledges of good and truth (n. 103, 2163, 2682, 2972, 7692, 8326): That the Ancient Church held worship in groves, and in gardens under trees, according to the significations of these (n. 2722, 4552).
AC 10645. Wherefore thou shalt not bow thyself to another god. That this signifies that the Lord alone is to be worshiped from faith and love, is evident from the signification of "bowing one’s self," as being to adore and to worship. That it is the Lord alone who is to be worshiped, and no other, is because by "Jehovah" and by "God" in the Word is meant the Lord (n. 9315, 9373); and also because the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, and also the one only God (n. 9194). It is said that the Lord is to be worshiped "from faith and love," because the worship of the Lord is either from faith, or from love. Worship from faith is called worship according to truths, for truths belong to faith; and worship from love is called worship from good, for good is of love. Those who are in the Lord‘s spiritual kingdom worship Him from faith; and those who are in His celestial kingdom worship Him from love.
 But something must here be said in regard to the worship of the Lord from faith and from love. Many suppose that they worship the Lord by faith when they believe the things of the doctrine of the church, and that they worship the Lord by love when they love Him. Yet the Lord is not worshiped by merely believing, and by merely loving, but by living according to His commandments, because these persons alone believe in the Lord and love Him. The others say that they believe in Him, and yet they do not believe; and they say that they love Him, and yet they do not love Him. The reason why those alone believe in the Lord and love Him who live according to His commandments, is that the Lord is not in the understanding of truth without the willing of it; but is in the understanding of truth together with the willing of it. For truth does not enter into a man and become his, until the man wills it and from willing does it, because the will is the man himself, whereas the understanding is only so far the man as it partakes of the will.
 Moreover the Lord is present with a man in his truths which are from good, and the truths which are from good are those which the man wills, and from this does; but not those which he understands, and does without willing them; for to do without willing is hypocrisy, because it is done before men, and not before the Lord. Moreover the Lord does not dwell with an empty man, that is, with a man who does not know His truths and do them. The Lord is present with a man in the truths which are from good, that is, which the man wills and does, for the truths which are from good make the church with a man, and make heaven with him; in a word, make the Lord Himself to be with him.
 If a man reflects, he is able from reason alone to perceive that this is so; for he is able to know that a man’s understanding is formed by means of truths, and all his will by means of goods, because all things in the universe bear relation to truth and to good, and man‘s understanding has been formed to receive truths, and his will to receive goods. Truths which are believed are called "truths of faith;" and goods which affect with delight are called "goods of love." From this it can be seen that such as are the truths of faith by means of which the understanding is formed, and such as are the goods of love by means of which the will is formed, such is the man; for man is man from the understanding and the will. If therefore his understanding has been formed by means of truths Divine, and these truths become of his faith; and if his will has been formed by means of goods which become of his love, it follows that then heaven is in the man, and that the Lord can dwell with him as in His heaven. For the Divine truths which make the understanding, and the Divine goods which make the will, are from the Lord, or are the Lord’s, and the things that are the Lord‘s are Himself. From this it is evident that to believe in the Lord is to imbue one’s understanding with the truths of faith; and that to love the Lord is to imbue one‘s will with the goods of love; and that this cannot be done except by learning truths from the Lord, by willing them, and by doing them. Whether you say willing and doing, or loving, it is the same, for that which a man loves, he wills; and that which he actually wills, he loves.
 From all this it can now be seen what it is to worship the Lord from faith and love. That such is the case is also evident from the fact that the Lord wills the salvation of all. To will the salvation of man is to will to bring him unto Himself in heaven. This cannot be done unless the Lord is in him, and the Lord cannot possibly be in him except in such things in him as are from Himself, which things are truths from good, thus His commandments which the man does from faith and from love, because there are no other recipients in man of the Lord and of heaven, nor can be. Heaven itself consists of no other things.
 That to believe in the Lord and to love Him is to do His commandments, the Lord also teaches in John:--
If ye love Me, keep My commandments. Be that hath My commandments, and doeth them, he it is that loveth Me. If a man love Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him. Be that loveth Me not keepeth not My words (John 14:15, 21, 23, 24).
Abide ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love. Ye are My friends if ye do whatsoever I command you (John 15:9, 10, 14).
The commandments and the precepts which are to be kept, and according to which the life must be, are taught in The Doctrine of Charity and of Faith.
AC 10646. For Jehovah, whose name is Jealous, a jealous God is He. That this signifies that if another is worshiped, the Divine good and Divine truth will depart, is evident from the signification of "Jealous," as being one who does not suffer anyone but Himself to be loved and worshiped; and from the signification of the "name of Jehovah," as being everything by means of which the Lord is worshiped (n. 2724, 3006, 6674, 9310). And as this is the Divine truth that proceeds from His Divine Human, it is the Divine Human of the Lord which in the supreme sense is meant by the "name of Jehovah" (n. 2628, 6887, 8274); for the Divine truth is the Lord Himself in heaven, because that which proceeds from Him is Himself. From the Divine, nothing else can proceed than what is Divine, and the Divine is one. From this it is evident that by, "whose name is Jealous," is signified that the Lord does not suffer anyone but Himself to be worshiped, because from Him alone come all the truth and all the good whereby is salvation. The Lord is called "Jealous" because as soon as another is worshiped, all truth and good depart; for a man is conjoined with the Lord by means of the good and truth which are from Him; and therefore as soon as another is worshiped, disjunction takes place, and then falsity succeeds in the place of truth, and evil in the place of good.
 That He is twice called "jealous" is because by "Jehovah" is meant the Divine good, and by "God" the Divine truth. That in the Word the Lord is called "Jehovah" where the Divine good is treated of, but "God" where the Divine truth is treated of, (n. 2586, 2769, 2921, 6303, 6905, 10158, 10617). And as both the Divine good and the Divine truth depart from a man when another than the Lord is worshiped, He is twice called "jealous."
 It is said that the Lord alone is to be worshiped. He who does not know how the case is with the worship of the Lord, may believe that the Lord loves to be worshiped, and desires glory from man, just like a man, who in order to be honored himself, gives others what they ask for. He who so believes has no knowledge of what love is, and still less of what love Divine is. Love Divine consists in desiring worship and glory, not for the sake of itself, but for the sake of man and his salvation; for he who worships the Lord and gives glory to the Lord is in humiliation; and what is his own departs from the man who is in humiliation; and in so far as this departs, so far the Divine is received; for what is man’s own, because it is evil and false, is that which alone obstructs the Divine. This is the glory of the Lord; and the worship of Him is for the sake of this end Glory for the sake of self is from the love of self, and heavenly love differs from the love of self as heaven differs from hell, and infinitely more does the Divine love differ from it.
AC 10647. Lest perchance thou make a covenant with the inhabitant of the land. That this signifies in this manner a conjunction with the evil of any religious persuasion, is evident from the signification of "a covenant," as being conjunction (n. 665, 666, 1023, 1038, 1864, 1996, 2003, 2021, 6804, 8767, 8778), thus "to make a covenant" denotes to be conjoined; and from the signification of "the inhabitant of the land," as being a religious persuasion in which is evil (n. 10640). Whether you say a religious persuasion in which is evil, or the evil of a religious persuasion, it is the same. Its being now again said that a covenant must not be made with the inhabitant of the land, is for the sake of the connection in the internal sense.
AC 10648. And they commit whoredom after their gods. That this signifies the consequent falsities of evil, is evident from the signification of "committing whoredom after the gods of the nations," as being to be conjoined with falsities of evil, for by "committing whoredom" is signified to be unlawfully conjoined; and by "the gods of the nations" are signified the falsities of evil. That "gods" denote falsities, (n. 4402, 4544, 7873, 8867); and that "nations" denote evils, (n. 10638). It is said "the consequent" falsities of evil, because all falsities come forth from evil. The falsities which are not from evil are indeed falsities in the external form, but not in the internal form. For there are falsities with those who are in the good of life, but within these falsities there is good, which causes the evil of the falsity to be removed; consequently before the angels this falsity does not appear as falsity, but as a species of truth; for the angels look at the interiors of faith, and not at its exteriors. From this it is that everyone can be saved, from every religion whatever, and even the Gentiles who have no truths from the Word, provided they have regarded as their end the good of life (n. 2589-2604).
 In the Word frequent mention is made of "committing whoredom," and thereby is signified an unlawful conjunction with truth; and by "committing adultery" is signified an unlawful conjunction with good. Consequently by "committing whoredom" is signified the falsification of truth; and by "committing adultery," the adulteration of good. The falsification of truth is done in three ways. First: If a man is in evil of life and acknowledges the truths of doctrine; for in this case evil is within the truths, and evil falsifies truth, because evil disperses what is heavenly and Divine out of the truths, and implants what is infernal; from which comes the falsification.
 Second: If a man is at first in truths as to doctrine, and afterward accedes to the falsity of some other doctrine; which takes place with those only who are in evil of life; for evil seeks falsity, and eagerly seizes on it as truth. Third: If a man who is in evil as to life and in falsities as to doctrine seizes on the truths of some other doctrine, he also falsifies truths, because he does not acknowledge the truths for their own sake; but for the sake of something of gain, honor, or reputation.
 All these falsifications are called in the Word "whoredoms" and "harlotries," for the reason that by "marriage" is meant a lawful conjunction, which is that of good and truth (n. 2727-2759). Consequently unlawful conjunctions are meant by "whoredoms." That this is so can be seen from many passages in the Word, of which I will here adduce only these two:--
Jerusalem, thou didst commit whoredom because of thy name, and pouredst out thy whoredoms on everyone that passed by. Thou didst take of thy garments, and madest for thee high places of divers colors, and didst commit whoredom upon them. Thou didst take the vessels of thine adornment of My gold and of My silver, which I had given thee, and madest for thee images of a male, and didst commit whoredom with them. Thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto Me; and these hast thou sacrificed unto them. Is this a little thing of thy whoredoms? Thou hast committed whoredom with the sons of Egypt, thy neighbors, great of flesh; and hast multiplied thy whoredom to provoke Me. Thou hast committed whoredom with the sons of Asshur, and hast committed whoredom with them and wast not sated; and thou hast multiplied thy whoredom unto the land of traffic, unto, Chaldea (Ezek. 16:15-17, 20, 26, 28, 29).
Two women, the daughters of one mother, committed whoredom in Egypt; they committed whoredom in their youth. Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem. Oholah committed whoredom under Me, and she doted on her lovers, the Assyrians her neighbors. She bestowed her whoredoms upon them, she forsook not her whoredoms from Egypt, for they lay with her in her youth. Oholibah was more corrupt in her love than she, and multiplied her whoredoms above the whoredoms of her sister; she doted upon the sons of Asshur, she added to her whoredoms, and saw the images of the Chaldeans, she doted upon them with the look of her eyes; the sons of Babel came to her for the lying together of loves (Ezek. 23:2-17).
See also in many other passages, which may be seen explained along with these in (n. 2466, 8904).
AC 10649. And sacrifice to their gods. That this signifies thus worship from falsities, is evident from the signification of "sacrificing," as being worship in general (n. 6905, 8680, 8936); and from the signification of "the gods of the nations," as being the falsities of evil (n. 10648).
AC 10650. And one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice. That this signifies the allurement, reception, and appropriation of falsity from evil, is evident from the signification of "calling," as being allurement and reception, for he who follows and obeys when he is called, is allured and receives; from the signification of "eating," as being appropriation (n. 3168, 3596, 4745); and from the signification of a "sacrifice," as being worship from falsities (n. 10649), thus also the falsities of worship. That the falsities of evil are meant, is because all falsity which is falsity, is from evil (n. 10648).
AC 10651. And thou take of his daughters for thy sons. That this signifies the conjunction of the affections of evil with truths, is evident from the signification of "taking," when said of marriage, as being to be conjoined; from the signification of "daughters," as being the affections of good, and in the opposite sense the affections of evil (n. 2362, 3963); and from the signification of "sons," as being truths (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 3373, 4257, 9807, 10490).
AC 10652. And his daughters commit whoredom after their gods, and make thy sons commit whoredom after their gods. That this signifies in this manner the profanation of good and of truth, is evident from the signification of "committing whoredom," as being unlawful conjunction (n. 10648); from the signification of "his daughters," or the daughters of the inhabitant of the land, as being the affections of evil; from the signification of "their gods," as being the falsities of the affections of evil conjoined with truths, for by "their gods" are meant the gods of the daughters of the inhabitant of the land conjoined with sons of the Israelitish nation (n. 10651), which conjunction is the profanation of good; and from the signification of "making thy sons commit whoredom after their gods," as being the conjunction of truth with falsities, which is the profanation of truth. That "gods" denote falsities, (n. 4402, 4544, 7873, 8867); and that "sons" denote truths, (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 3373, 4257, 9807, 10490).
 These things are so said because the first conjunction of the affections of evil with truths, which is signified by "taking the daughters of the inhabit of the land for thy sons," is not as yet profanation; but the second conjunction is profanation, because this takes place when evil is applied to truth, and truth to evil, which is done by means of a wrong interpretation of truth, and the application of it to evil, and thus by the insertion of the one into the other. From this, truth no longer remains truth; but is killed and profaned.
 This profanation is also signified by "the whoredom of the people with the daughters of Moab," of which we read in Moses:--
Israel settled in Shittim, where the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab, and they called the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people did eat, and bowed themselves down to their gods. Therefore Jehovah said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up to Jehovah before the sun. And the people were smitten; and there died from this plague twenty-four thousand (Num. 25:1, 2, 4, 5, 9);
by "Moab" are signified those who adulterate goods (n. 2468, 8315); and by his "daughters," the affections of this evil; and by "whoredom with them," profanation; consequently the penalty was the hanging of the heads of the people before the sun, and the death of twenty-four thousand. For the sun of the world denotes the love of self (n. 10584); "hanging before it" denotes the total extinction of heavenly good; and "twenty-four thousand" denotes all the truths and goods of truth in the complex, in like manner as "twelve thousand" (n. 2089, 3913, 7973); their death denotes the extinction of all truths. This takes place with those who profane.
AC 10653. Thou shalt not make for thee molten gods. That this signifies the worship of self, and not of the Lord, is evident from the signification of "making molten gods," as being to institute worship in accord with the love of self (n. 10406, 10503); and worship that is in accord with the love of self is the worship of self, and not of the Lord; for the worship of self is the end, and the worship of the Lord is the means to this end. That which is the end rules, and that which is the means serves, nor is the means regarded by the end in any other way than as a servant is regarded by his lord. Such is the worship with those who regard the holy things of the church as means, and dominion as the end. EXODUS 34:12-17 previous - next - text - summary - Exodus - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|