Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 4:10-12
AC 6979. Verses 10-12. And Moses said unto Jehovah, In me, my Lord, I am not a man of words, even from yesterday, even from the day before yesterday, even from now in thy speaking unto Thy servant; because heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue am I. And Jehovah said unto him, Who maketh man‘s mouth? or who hath made him dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? is it not I Jehovah? And now go, and I will be with thy mouth, and I will teach thee what thou shalt speak. "And Moses said unto Jehovah," signifies perception from the Divine; "In me, my Lord," signifies what is certain; "I am not a man of words," signifies that he has no speech; "even from yesterday, even from the day before yesterday," signifies not from eternity; "even from now in Thy speaking unto Thy servant," signifies thus neither to eternity with the Divine flowing into the Human; "because heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue am I," signifies that the voice and speech from the Divine are not heard or perceived; "and Jehovah said unto him," signifies Divine influx; "who maketh man’s mouth?" signifies utterance; "or who hath made him dumb?" signifies no utterance; "or deaf?" signifies no perception, and consequently no obedience; "or seeing, or blind?" signifies faith by means of knowledges, and no faith through lack of them; "is it not I Jehovah?" signifies that these things are by virtue of the influx of life from the Divine; "and now go," signifies life from the Divine; "and I will be with thy mouth, and will teach thee what thou shalt speak," signifies the Divine in each and all things which proceed from the Divine Human.
AC 6980. And Moses said into Jehovah. That this signifies perception from the Divine, is evident from the signification of "saying," in the historicals of the Word, as being to perceive; and from the representation of Moses, as being the Lord in respect to the Divine law in the Human when He was in the world (n. 6723, 6752, 6771, 6827). The Divine which is the source, is signified by "Jehovah." Hence, it is plain that by "Moses said unto Jehovah" is signified that the Lord from His Divine had perception in His Human.
AC 6981. In me, my Lord. That this signifies what is certain, is evident from the fact that "in me" is a form of assertion that a thing is so, consequently that it is certain.
AC 6982. I am not a man of words. That this signifies that he has no speech, is evident from the signification of "not a man of words," as being not to have the faculty of speaking, thus to have no speech. How this is shall be told. Here in the supreme sense the subject treated of is the Lord, for Moses represents the Lord as to the law Divine, thus as to truth Divine. The truth which proceeds immediately from the Divine cannot be heard by anyone, not even by any angel; for in order to be heard the Divine must first become human; and it becomes human when it passes through the heavens; and when it has passed through the heavens it is presented in human form, and becomes speech, which speech is uttered by spirits, who when they are in this state, are called the "Holy Spirit," and this is said to proceed from the Divine, because the holy of the spirit, or the holy truth which the spirit then speaks, proceeds from the Lord. From this it can be seen that the truth which proceeds immediately from the Divine cannot be presented to anyone as discourse or speech, except through the Holy Spirit. This is meant in the supreme sense by the statement that Moses, who represents the Lord as to truth Divine, says that "he is not a man of words;" and by the fact that Aaron his brother was adjoined to him, who was to him "for a mouth," and he to Aaron "for God."
AC 6983. Even from yesterday, even from the day before yesterday. That this signifies not from eternity, namely, having speech, is evident from the signification of "yesterday and the day before yesterday," as being from eternity. That "yesterday and the day before yesterday" denotes from eternity, is because it signifies time, and indeed time past; and when spoken of the Lord, or of the Divine, time does not signify time, but eternity. There are two things which are proper to nature, and which do not exist in heaven, still less in the Divine, namely space and time. That these are not in heaven, but that instead of them there are states, instead of space state as to being, and instead of time state as to coming-forth, may be seen above (n. 2625, 3938); and also that spaces and times in heaven are states (n. 1274, 1382, 2625, 2788, 2837, 3254, 3356, 3387, 3404, 3827, 4321, 4814, 4882, 4901, 4916, 5605, 6110). But in the Divine which is above the heavens, still less are there space and time, and not even state, but instead of space there is infinity, and instead of time eternity; to these two correspond the times and spaces in the world; and also states as to being and as to coming-forth in the heavens.
 That by "yesterday and the day before yesterday," in the Word, is not signified yesterday and the day before yesterday, but in general time past, is evident from the passages where they are mentioned:--
The waters of the Jordan returned into their place, and went over all its banks, as yesterday and the day before yesterday (Josh. 4:18).
It came to pass, everyone who had known Saul yesterday and the day before yesterday, when they saw that behold he prophesied with the prophets (1 Sam. 10:11).
The tribes of Israel said unto David, Both yesterday and the day before yesterday, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel (2 Sam. 5:2).
In these passages and elsewhere "yesterday and the day before yesterday" denotes formerly, or time past. Now as by "yesterday and the day before yesterday" is signified time past, and the subject here treated of in the supreme sense is the Lord, who as to the Divine law or Divine truth is represented by Moses, it is evident that by "yesterday and the day before yesterday" is signified from eternity. The eternity which is signified by "yesterday" is thus expressed in David:--
A thousand years in Thine eyes are as yesterday when it is past (Ps. 90:4).
AC 6984. Even from now in Thy speaking unto Thy servant. That this signifies thus neither to eternity with the Divine flowing into the human, is evident from the signification of "from now," or "from today," as being eternity (n. 2838, 3998, 4304, 6165), thus to eternity, because it involves time following; from the signification of "speaking," as being influx (n. 2951, 5481, 5743, 5797), that it denotes influx from the Divine, is signified by "in Thy (that is Jehovah) speaking;" and from the signification of "servant," as being the Lord‘s Human when as yet it was not made Divine (n. 2159); but when it was made Divine, because one with Jehovah, it was the Lord.
AC 6985. Because heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue am I. That this signifies that the voice and speech from the Divine are not heard or perceived, is evident from the signification of "mouth," as being voice; and from the signification of "tongue," as being speech. By "month" is signified voice, because it is the organ of the voice; and by "tongue" is signified speech, because it is the organ of speech. The difference between voice and speech is plain to everyone, also that "to be heard" is said of the voice, and "to be perceived" of speech. This cannot be expressed in the historic sense of the letter,’, where Moses is spoken of as a man, and who could speak, but with difficulty, otherwise than by being "heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue." But when this passes into the internal sense, it is perceived by the angels as being said in respect to the subject treated of; and when it is said of the Divine, it is perceived that the voice proceeding thence cannot be heard nor the speech be perceived immediately, but mediately through spirits, according to what was said above (n. 6982).
AC 6986. And Jehovah said unto him. That this signifies Divine influx, is evident from the signification of "saying," as being influx (n. 5743, 5797, 6152, 6291); that it denotes from the Divine, is because "Jehovah said."
AC 6987. Who maketh man‘s mouth? That this signifies utterance, is evident from the signification of "mouth," as being the voice (n. 6985); and as it denotes the voice, it denotes utterance. What the "mouth" specifically signifies cannot be seen except from correspondence. The mouth together with the lips corresponds to the interior speech which is of the thought. The thought of man is active and passive; man has active thought when he speaks, and this may be called speaking thought; but his thought is passive when he does not speak; and the difference between the two can be seen by him who reflects. By the "mouth" of man is thus signified active or speaking thought, thus utterance.
 As regards active thought, which is signified by the "mouth," be it known that this thought also is speaking thought in its own way, and that by the activity of this speech it excites the organs of the body corresponding thereto. It appears as if the words of the speech were in the thought, but this is a fallacy; it is only the sense of the speech which is there, the nature of which man can scarcely know, for it is the speech of his spirit, which speech is universal speech, such as is the speech of spirits in the other life. When this speech flows into the correspondent organs of the body, it presents the speech of words, which is vastly different from the thought that produces it, as is very evident from the fact that a man can think in one minute what takes him a long space of time to speak or write; and this would not be the case if this thought were composed of words, as is the speech of the mouth. It is from the correspondence of the speech of the thought and the speech of the mouth, that when a man comes after death among spirits, he knows how to speak in the universal language, thus with spirits, no matter what had been their language in the world; and that he then scarcely knows otherwise than that he speaks there as in the world, when yet the words of their speech are not words such as man uses in the body, but are the ideas which had been of his thought, one idea containing very many things. For this reason spirits can utter in a moment what a man can scarcely utter in half an hour, and even then there are many things within the same idea which cannot possibly be expressed by bodily speech.
 Yet the angels in heaven speak in a different way from spirits; for the angels who are in heaven have their speech from intellectual ideas, which by the philosophers are called immaterial ideas; whereas spirits have their speech from ideas of the imagination, which are called material ideas; hence in one idea of the thought of the angels there are contained very many things which spirits cannot utter by many series of their ideas, besides many things which they cannot express at all. But when a spirit becomes an angel, he is in angelic speech, just as a man when after death he becomes a spirit, is in the speech of spirits, and for a similar reason. From all this it can be seen what active thought is, namely, that it is the speech of man’s spirit.
AC 6988. Or who hath made him dumb. That this signifies no utterance, is evident from the significance of "dumb," as being no utterance; for it is opposed to "mouth," by which is signified utterance (n. 6987). By "utterance" is not here meant that of the voice, or speech, for this utterance is natural; but by "utterance" is meant confession of the Lord, and the profession of faith in Him; for this utterance is spiritual. Hence it is evident what is signified in the internal sense by the "dumb," namely, they who cannot confess the Lord, thus cannot profess faith in Him, by reason of ignorance, in which state are the nations outside the church, and also the simple within the church. That such are signified by the "dumb," is plain in Isaiah:
Then shall the lame leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing; because in the wilderness waters shall break out, and streams in the plain of the desert (Isa. 35:5, 6)
"the tongue of the dumb shall sing" denotes that they shall confess the Lord and what is of faith in Him; "in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the plain of the desert," denotes that they have the knowledges of truth and good; the "wilderness" is a state of no knowledges of faith from ignorance.
 By the dumb who were restored by the Lord are also signified the nations that by His coming into the world were delivered from falsities and the evils thence derived; as by the dumb person in Matthew:--
Behold they brought to Him a dumb man, obsessed by a demon; but when the demon was cast out, the dumb spake (Matthew 9:32, 33).
And by the dumb person in the same:--
There was brought unto Jesus one obsessed by a demon, blind and dumb; and He healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw (Matt. 12:22).
In like manner by the dumb person also obsessed by a demon, in (Mark 9:17-30).
 Be it known that the miracles wrought by the Lord all signify the state of the church, and of the human race saved by His coming into the world, namely, that those were liberated from hell who had received the faith of charity. Such things are involved in the Lord‘s miracles. In general all the miracles recorded in the Old Testament signify the state of the Lord’s church and kingdom. In this way Divine miracles are distinguished from diabolical or magical miracles, however much they may appear alike in the external form, as was the case with the miracles of the magicians in Egypt.
AC 6989. Or deaf. That this signifies no perception of truth, and consequently no obedience, is evident from the signification of the "deaf," as being those who do not perceive what truth is, and consequently do not obey; thus abstractedly, no perception of truth, and consequently no obedience. That the "deaf" have this signification is because hearing corresponds both to perception and to obedience - to perception because what is heard is inwardly perceived, and to obedience because it is thence known what ought to be done. This is the correspondence of hearing, and also of the ear, (n. 3869, 4652-4660, 5017). Hence it is evident what is signified by the "deaf." In the word by the "deaf" are also signified the nations which do not know the truths of faith, because they have not the Word, and therefore they cannot live according to these truths; nevertheless when they have been instructed, they receive them and live according to them. These are meant in Isaiah:--
Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be opened (Isa. 35:5).
Hear ye deaf, and look ye blind, seeing (Isa. 42:18).
In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book; and out of thick darkness, and out of darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see (Isa. 29:18).
Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears (Isa. 43:8);
by the "deaf" are here meant those who by the coming of the Lord came into a state of receiving the truths of faith, that is, of perceiving them and obeying them. The same are signified by the "deaf" whom the Lord healed (Mark 7:31; 9:25). Because the "deaf" signified such, it was forbidden those with whom the representative church was instituted "to curse the deaf and to put a stumbling block before the blind" (Lev. 19:14).
AC 6990. Or seeing, or blind. That this signifies faith by means of knowledges, and no faith through the lack of them, is evident from the signification of "seeing," as being to understand and have faith (n. 897, 2325, 2807, 3863, 3869, 4403-4421), thus faith from knowledges, for in the original tongue this is a word which means one who is open, namely, with his eyes, thus one who sees from knowledges, for knowledges open; and from the signification of the "blind," as being no faith from no knowledges, because one who is blind is one who does not see. That by the "blind" in the Word are also signified the nations that live in ignorance of the truth of faith, because outside the church, but who when instructed receive faith, may be seen above (n. 2383): the same are also signified by the blind whom the Lord healed (Matt. 9:27-31; 12:22; 20:29; 21:14; Mark 8:22-26; 10:46; Luke 18:35; John 9:1-11).
AC 6991. Is it not I Jehovah? That this signifies that these things are from the influx of life from the Divine, is evident from the fact that such things as are signified by the "dumb," by the "deaf," and by the "blind," as also by the "mouth" and by "seeing," arise with man from the influx of life from Jehovah or the Lord. For thence arise both evils and goods with everyone; but evils from man, and goods from the Lord. That evils arise from man, is because the life which flows in from the Lord, that is, good and truth, is turned by man into evil and falsity, thus into what is contrary to life, which is called spiritual death. The case herein is like that of light from the sun, which becomes of a color in accordance with its reception by objects, some being lively and bright, and some being as it were dead and dusky. But as it appears as if the Lord brings in evil also, because He gives life, therefore from the appearance evil is attributed in the Word to Jehovah, or the Lord, as can be seen from many passages. So also in this passage it is said that "Jehovah makes what is dumb, deaf, and blind," of which, because they arise from the influx of life from the Divine, it is said that "Jehovah makes" them; but the internal sense sets forth and teaches the thing as it is in itself, and not as it appears.
AC 6992. And now go. That this signifies life from the Divine, is evident from the signification of "going," as being life (n. 3335, 4882, 5493, 5605); that it is from the Divine is because by Moses is represented the Lord.
AC 6993. And I will be with thy mouth, and will teach thee what thou shalt speak. That this signifies the Divine in each and all things which proceed from the Divine Human, is evident from the signification of "being with the mouth," when said by Jehovah, as being to be with what He utters. By the "mouth" is signified utterance, (n. 6987, 6988), and as these things are said to Moses, by whom is represented the Lord as to the law Divine in the Divine Human, therefore by "I will be with thy mouth" is signified the Divine in the things which proceed from the Divine Human; and from the signification of "teaching thee what thou shalt say," as being to proceed; for by "teaching" and by "speaking" is signified to flow in, and when said of the Divine of the Lord, it signifies to proceed. For from the Lord‘s Divine Human itself proceeds Divine truth, which is called the "Holy Spirit;" and because when the Lord was in the world He was Himself the Divine truth, He Himself taught the things that were of love and faith, and at that time not by the Holy Spirit, as He Himself teaches in John:--
The Holy Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:39).
But after the Lord even as to the Human was made Jehovah, that is, Divine good, which was after the resurrection, then He was no longer Divine truth, but this proceeded from His Divine good. That the "Holy Spirit" is the Divine truth which proceeds from the Lord’s Divine Human, and not any spirit or spirits from eternity, is very evident from the Lord‘s words in the passage above cited, namely, that "the Holy Spirit was not yet;" also that a spirit cannot himself proceed, but the holy of the spirit, that is, the holy which proceeds from the Lord, and which a spirit utters (n. 6788).
 From all this then it follows that the whole trinity, namely, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is perfect in the Lord, and thus that there is one God, and not three, who being distinct as to persons, are said to constitute one Divine. That in the Word mention has been made of " Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," was that men might acknowledge the Lord and also the Divine in Him. For man was in such thick darkness, as he also is at this day, that otherwise he would not have acknowledged any Divine in the Lord’s Human; for this, being wholly incomprehensible, would have been to him above all belief. And moreover it is a truth that there is a Trine, but in one, namely, in the Lord; and it is also acknowledged in Christian churches that the Trine dwells perfectly in Him. Moreover the Lord openly taught that He was one with the Father (John 14:9-12); and that the holy, which the Holy Spirit speaks, is not of the Spirit, but of the Lord, in John:--
The Paraclete, the Spirit of truth, shall not speak from Himself, but what things soever He shall hear, He shall speak. He shall glorify Me, for He shall take of Mine, and shall announce to you (John 16:13, 14).
That the "Paraclete" is the Holy Spirit, is said in (John 14:26).EXODUS 4:10-12 previous - next - text - summary - Exodus - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|