Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 4:5-7
AC 6955. Verses 5-7. In order that they may believe that Jehovah hath been seen of thee, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Jehovah said further to him, Bring now thy hand into thy bosom. And he brought his hand into his bosom, and brought it out, and behold his hand was leprous, as snow. And He said, Bring back thine hand into thy bosom; and he brought back his hand into his bosom, and brought it forth out of his bosom, And behold it was turned again as his flesh. "In order that they may believe that Jehovah hath been seen of thee," signifies that they may have faith in respect to the Lord‘s Divine Human; "the God of their fathers," signifies that it was the Divine of the Ancient Church; "the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob," signifies the Lord as to the Divine Itself and the Divine Human; "and Jehovah said further to him," signifies foresight as to what would be the quality of those of the spiritual church, if they did not have faith; "Bring thy hand into thy bosom," signifies the appropriation of truth; "and he brought his hand into his bosom," signifies the accomplishment; "and he brought it out," signifies that it was thence; "and behold his hand was leprous, as snow," signifies the profanation of truth; "and He said," signifies providence in respect to what would be the quality of those of the spiritual church if they did have faith; "Bring back thine hand unto thy bosom," signifies the appropriation of truth; "and he brought back his hand unto his bosom," signifies the accomplishment; "and he brought it forth out of his bosom," signifies that it was thence; "and behold it was turned again as his flesh," signifies that then it was good.
AC 6956. In order that they may believe that Jehovah hath been seen of thee. That this signifies that they may have faith in respect to the Lord’s Divine Human, is evident from the signification of "believing," as being to have faith - not faith that Jehovah or the Lord was seen with the eyes, but faith in the Lord in the spiritual sense of the term; and from the signification of "Jehovah seen," as being the appearing of the Lord in His Divine Human (n. 6945). Thus by "they may believe that Jehovah hath been seen of thee" is signified that they may have faith in respect to the Lord‘s Divine Human.
AC 6957. The God of their fathers. That this signifies that it was the Divine of the Ancient Church, is evident from the signification of "the God of their fathers," as being the Divine of the Ancient Church (n. 6876, 6884), where also it may be seen that this was the Lord in respect to the Divine Human.
AC 6958. The God of Abraham, the God of Israel, and the God of Jacob. That this signifies the Lord as to the Divine Itself and the Divine Human, is evident from what was shown above (n. 6847), where the same words occur.
AC 6959. And Jehovah said further to him. That this signifies foresight as to what would be the quality of those of the spiritual church if they did not have faith, is evident from the signification of "Jehovah said," as being foresight (n. 6946). The reason why these words denote what would be the quality of those of the spiritual church if they did not have faith, is that in what follows the subject treated of is what would be the further quality of those who are of the spiritual church (who are represented by the sons of Israel), if they did not have faith, namely, that they would be profaners of truth. For the first miracle of the rod becoming a serpent signifies their state, that they would become altogether sensuous and corporeal. This miracle of the hand becoming leprous signifies profanation, for this succeeds if the church persists in faithlessness.
 In their childhood, and afterward in their youth, they of the spiritual church have faith in the doctrinal things of their church, but at that time they have faith from parents and masters, and not from themselves, and therefore if they afterward recede from faith, they profane the truth only slightly, which profanation can be removed by Divine means, and thus the man be freed from the guilt of it. But if a man has faith in the doctrine of the church, and in the Word, from himself, that is, by confirmations in himself, and if be then afterward recedes, and denies in himself what he had before believed, especially if he lives contrary to the truth which he had confirmed in himself, and either explains it in his own favor, or altogether rejects it, he profanes the truth; and this because he commingles and conjoins together within himself truth and falsity. As such persons have scarcely any remains of truth and good, in the other life they finally become like skeletons; and have as little life remaining "s have the bones relatively to the organic life of the flesh. But still harder is the lot of those who profane good than that of those who profane truth, they who are of the Lord’s spiritual church can profane truth but not so much good.
 As "leprosy" signifies the profanation of truth, and as this is the subject treated of in what follows, see first of all what has been before said and shown about profanation, namely: That they who are within the church can profane holy things, but not they who are without it (n. 2051, 3399): That holy things cannot be profaned, except by those who have previously acknowledged them (n. 1008, 1010, 1059, 3398, 3898, 4289): That it is also profanation to acknowledge and believe truths and goods, and yet to live contrary to them (n. 4601): That man is withheld from profanation as much as possible (n. 301-303, 1327, 1328, 3398, 3402): That the lot of profaners is the worst of all in the other life (n. 6348).
AC 6960. Bring now thy hand into thy bosom. That this signifies the appropriation of truth, is evident from the signification of "hand," as being power (n. 6947); and from the signification of "bosom," as being love; for that which is of the breast corresponds to love, because therein is the heart, which corresponds to celestial love, and the lungs, which correspond to spiritual love (n. 3635, 3883-3896, 4112, 4113, 4133). And as from this the bosom corresponds to love, by it is also signified man‘s own, for that is man’s own which is of his love. Therefore here by "bringing the hand into the bosom" is signified appropriation that it is the appropriation of truth, is plain from what follows, and also from the fact that spiritual power consists in truth (n. 6948).
 That the "bosom" denotes that very thing which belongs to man, thus his own, and from this, appropriation and conjunction by love, is evident from the following passages:--
Confide ye not in a companion, put not trust in a guide; keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom (Micah 7:5);
where "she that lieth in the bosom" denotes one who has been conjoined with him by means of love. For this also a wife is called "the wife of her husband‘s bosom" (Deut. 28:54; 2 Sam. 12:8) and a husband is called "the husband of his wife’s bosom" (Deut. 28:56); and this because one belongs to the other. And in David:--
My prayer shall fall back upon my bosom (Ps. 35:13);
meaning that it would return to himself.
Remember Lord the reproach of Thy servants, how I do bear in my bosom all the great peoples (Ps. 89:50);
meaning with himself, as his own. In Isaiah:--
He feedeth his flock like a shepherd, He gathereth the lambs in His arm, and carrieth them in His bosom (Isa. 40:11)
where the sense is the same.
 In Luke:--
Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, shall be given into your bosom (Luke 6:38);
"to be given into the bosom" denotes for themselves as their own. In the same:
And it came to pass that Lazarus died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham‘s bosom (Luke 16:22);
"to be carried into Abraham’s bosom" denotes to the Lord (who is meant by "Abraham"), from conjunction through love.
 And in John:--
There was lying in Jesus‘ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved; he, leaning on Jesus’ breast, saith unto Him, Lord who is it? (John 13:23, 25)
" to lie in the bosom" manifestly denotes to be loved, and to be conjoined through love. Again:--
No one hath ever seen God; the only-begotten son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath set Him forth (John 1:18);
"in the bosom of the Father" denotes to be one.
 The "bosom" denotes that very thing which belongs to man, and also appropriation not by love, in the following passages:--
I will recompense, I will recompense upon their bosom your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together; I will measure the price of their work upon their bosom (Isa. 14:6, 7).
Jehovah doing mercy to thousands and recompensing the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their sons after them (Jer. 32:18).
Recompense to our neighbors seven-fold into their bosom their reproach wherewith they have reproached Thee, O Lord (Ps. 79:12);
"to recompense into their bosom" denotes into themselves.
AC 6961. And he brought his hand into his bosom. That this signifies the accomplishment, namely, of the appropriation of truth, is evident from what has already been said.
AC 6962. And he brought it out. That this signifies that it was thence, is evident from the signification of "bringing the hand out of the bosom and seeing" as being to observe what was its quality, thus that it was thence.
AC 6963. And behold his hand was leprous, as snow. That this signifies the profanation of truth, is evident from the signification of "hand," as being power (n. 6947), and as being truth, because spiritual power consists in truth (n. 6948, 6960); and from the signification of "leprosy," as being profanation, specifically, the profanation of truth. In the historic Word much is said about leprosy, and about its various appearances in the skin, and about the judgment thence to be formed of its quality - whether the leper was to be shut in, or to go out of the camp, or to be set at liberty; and also about leprosy in garments, in vessels, and in the very houses. Leprosy is so much treated of, not on account of leprosy as a disease, but because it signified the profanation of truth, thus for the sake of the spiritual sense; and because the Jews and the Israelites were capable of profaning truth more than other people.
 For if they had known the internal things of the Word, and the truths themselves which were represented by the rites of the church among them, and had faith in them, and yet had lived according to their inclination, namely in the love of self and the love of the world, in hatred and revenge among themselves, and in cruelty toward the Gentiles, they must needs have profaned the truths in which they once had faith; for to believe in truths and to live contrary to them, is to profane them. And therefore they were withheld as far as possible from the knowledges of internal truth (n. 3398, 3489); insomuch that they did not even know that they would live after death; neither did they believe that the Messiah would come to save souls eternally, but to exalt that nation above all others in the universe. And because that nation was such, and also is such at this day, therefore they are still withheld from faith, even though they live in the midst of Christendom. Hence then it is that the nature of leprosy was so particularly described.
 That "leprosy" signifies the profanation of truth, is plain from the statutes concerning leprosy that are recorded by Moses in Lev. 13. In this description there is contained in the internal sense the whole nature of the profanation of truth - as what the nature of this profanation is if recent, what if old, what if inward in man, what if also outward, what if curable, what if incurable, what are the means of cure, and other particulars, which cannot be at all known to anyone, except by means of the internal sense of the Word.
 But as it is profanations which are described by "leprosy," it is not allowable to explain in detail what is contained in the description of it. Moreover heaven is horrified at the bare mention of what is profane. I may quote this passage only:--
If the leprosy effloresce fully in the skin, and the leprosy cover the whole skin of him that hath the plague, from his head even to his heel, under every look of the priest‘s eyes; and the priest see, and behold the leprosy hath covered all his flesh, then he shall pronounce the plague clean; it is all turned white, he is clean. But in the day that there shall appear in him living flesh, he shall be unclean (Lev. 13:12-14);
unless it is known from the internal sense how the case herein is, namely, that he is clean who is all leprous from his head even unto his heel, it must appear like a paradox; but by "one leprous from his head to his heel" is meant one who knows internal truths, but does not acknowledge or believe them. Such a one is not inwardly in profanation, but outwardly, which profanation is removed, and therefore he is clean. But if he knows the truths of faith, and believes them, and yet lives contrary to them, he is in profanation inwardly, as is the case also with one who has once believed, and afterward denies. Therefore it is said, "in the day that there shall appear in him living flesh, he shall be unclean;" by "living flesh" is meant acknowledgment and faith (n. 6959).
AC 6964. And he said. That this signifies providence in respect to what would be the quality of those of the spiritual church if they did have faith, is evident from the signification of "Jehovah said," as being providence (n. 6951); that it denotes what their quality would be if they did have faith, is plain from what follows. For by "his hand turned again as his flesh" is signified that then they would have spiritual good; the opposite of which is that the hand became leprous by being brought into his bosom, by which is signified that they who are of the spiritual church would be in the profanation of truth, if they did not have faith (n. 6959, 6963).
AC 6965. Bring back thy hand unto thy bosom. That this signifies the appropriation of truth, is evident from the signification of "bringing the hand into the bosom," as being the appropriation of truth (n. 6960).
AC 6966. And he brought back his hand unto his bosom. That this signifies the accomplishment, may be seen above (n. 6961).
AC 6967. And he brought it forth out of his bosom. That this signifies that it was thence, may also be seen above (n. 6962).
AC 6968. And behold it was turned again as his flesh. That this signifies that then it was the good of truth, is evident from the signification of "flesh," as being what is man’s own of his will, made alive by what is the Lord‘s own of His Divine Human, that is, what is one’s own that is heavenly (n. 3813); and because this is signified by "flesh," it is the good of love to the Lord and toward the neighbor which is signified. But with those who are of the spiritual church, it is the good of truth, because their good is from truth, and is according to the truth of the doctrine of their church. When this truth becomes of the life it is called good. EXODUS 4:5-7 previous - next - text - summary - Exodus - Full Page
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