Spiritual background for GENESIS 21previous - next - text - Genesis - BM Home - Full Page
AC 2606. The Word of the Old Testament was formerly called the " Law and the Prophets." By the "Law" were meant all the historical books, which are the five books of Moses, and those of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings: by the "Prophets" were meant all the prophetical books, which are those of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zephaniah Malachi; and also the Psalms of David. The historical books of the Word are also called "Moses;" hence it is occasionally said, "Moses and the Prophets," instead of the "Law and the Prophets;" and the prophetical books are called "Elias" (n. 2135A).
AC 2607. As regards the historicals they are all historically true, except those in the first chapters of Genesis, which are made up history. Yet although they are historically true, they nevertheless have an internal sense; and in that sense, like the propheticals, treat solely of the Lord. They do indeed treat of heaven and the church, and of what belongs to heaven and the church, but as these are of the Lord, through these the historicals look to the Lord, and therefore are the Word. The historic events are all representative, and every word by which they are described is significative. That the historic events are representative is evident from what has been unfolded thus far concerning Abraham, and will be further evident from what of the Lord‘s Divine mercy is to be explained concerning Isaac, Jacob, and his twelve sons; concerning Egypt, the sojourning of the people in the wilderness, their entrance into the land of Canaan, etc.
 That every word by which these historicals are described is significative, is also evident from what has been shown for instance in regard to the names as signifying actual things; thus "Egypt" signifies memory-knowledge, "Asshur" the rational, " Ephraim" the intellectual, "Tyre" knowledges, Zion" the celestial church, "Jerusalem" the spiritual church, and so on. The same has been shown in regard to the words; as that "king" signifies truth, "priest" good, and that all other words have their respective internal significance; such as "kingdom," "city," "house," "nation," "people," "garden," "vineyard," " oliveyard," " gold," " silver," " brass," " iron," "birds," "beasts," "bread," "wine," "oil," "morning," "day," "light;" and this uniformly in both the historical and the prophetical books, although they were written by various individuals, and at different times-a uniformity that would not be possible unless the Word had come down from heaven. From this it may be known that there is an internal sense in the Word; as well as from the fact that the Divine Word cannot treat of mere men, such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their posterity (which was the worst of nations); of their kings, their wives, sons, and daughters; of harlots, plunderings, and such things, which, considered in themselves, are not worthy to be even mentioned in the Word, unless by them are represented and signified such things as are in the Lord’s kingdom: it is these things that are worthy of the Word.
AC 2608. Similar to these also are very many things in the Prophets, such as those adduced above (n. 1888); and also the following in Isaiah:--
Moab shall howl, all Moab shall howl, for the foundations of Kirhareseth shall ye mourn howbeit ye have been bruised; for the fields of Heshbon have failed, the vine of Sibmah; the lords of the nations break down the shoots, they reached even unto Jazer, they wandered in the wilderness, her offshoots have been torn away they have passed over the sea. Therefore with weeping will I weep for Jazer, for the vine of Sibmah I will water thee with my tears, O Heshbon and Elealeh for upon thy vintage and upon thy harvest the shout is fallen (Isaiah 16:7-9).
The voice of a cry from Horonaim, wasting and great destruction, Moab is broken to pieces, her little ones have caused a cry to be heard for by the ascent of Luhith with weeping a weeping goeth up; for in the going down of Horonaim the enemies have heard a cry of a breaking to pieces. Judgment is come unto the land of the plain, unto Holon, and unto Jahzah, and unto Mephaath, and upon Dibon, and upon Nebo, and upon Beth-diblathaim, and upon Kiriathaim, and upon Beth-gamul, and upon Beth-meon, and upon Kerioth, and upon Bozrah (Jeremiah 48:3, 4, 5, 21-24).
Such in very many places is the character of the propheticals of the Word, which would be of no use unless they had an internal sense; and yet the Word, being Divine, must needs contain within itself the laws of that Heavenly Kingdom into which man is to come.
AC 2609. But as regards the Precepts of Life, such as all things in the decalogue, and many in the Law and the Prophets-these, being of service to man‘s very life, are of use in both senses, both the literal and the internal. The things contained in the literal sense were for the people and peoples of that period, who did not apprehend internal things; and the things contained in the internal sense were for the angels, who have no care for external things. Unless the precepts of the decalogue contained internal things also, they would never have been promulgated on Mount Sinai with so great a miracle; for such things as it contains, such as that parents are to be honored, that men must not steal, must not kill, must not commit adultery, must not covet what is another’s, are things which the Gentiles also know and have prescribed in their laws; and which the sons of Israel as men must have been well acquainted with, without such a promulgation. But as those precepts were for the service of life, in both senses, and were as external forms produced from internal, that corresponded to each other-this was the reason why they came down out of heaven upon Mount Sinai with so great a miracle, and in their internal sense were uttered and heard in heaven, while in their external sense they were uttered and heard on earth.
 Take as an example the promise that they who honor their parents shall have their days prolonged upon the land: by "parents" the angels in heaven perceived the Lord; by the "land," His kingdom, which those who worship Him from love and faith should eternally possess as sons and heirs; whereas by "parents" men on earth understood parents; by "land," the land of Canaan; by the "prolongation of their days," the years of their life. Take again the precept that men must not steal: by this the angels who were in heaven perceived that they should take nothing away from the Lord, and should not claim anything of righteousness and merit for themselves; whereas men on earth understood that they must not steal; from which we can see that these precepts are true in both senses. Take again the precept that men must not kill: by this the angels in heaven perceived that they should not hate anyone, and should not extinguish anything of good and truth with anyone; whereas men on earth understood that their friends must not be killed. The case is the same with all the other precepts.
CONCERNING MARRIAGES, HOW THEY ARE REGARDED IN THE HEAVENS; AND CONCERNING ADULTERIES
AC 2727. What genuine conjugial love is, and whence its origin, few at this day know, for the reason that few are in it. Almost all believe that it is inborn, and so flows from a kind of natural instinct, as they say, and this the more, because something of marriage exists also among animals; whereas the difference between conjugial love among human beings and what is of marriage among animals is such as is that between the state of a human being and the state of a brute animal.
AC 2728. And because, as was said, few at this day know what genuine conjugial love is, it shall be described from what has been discovered to me. Conjugial love takes its origin from the Divine marriage of good and truth, and thus from the Lord Himself. That conjugial love is from this, is not apparent to sense nor to apprehension; but still it may be seen from influx and from correspondence, as well as from the Word. From influx, inasmuch as heaven, from the union of good and truth, which inflows from the Lord; is compared to a marriage, and is called a marriage: from correspondence, since, when good united to truth flows down into a lower sphere, it forms a union of minds; and when into one still lower, it forms a marriage: wherefore union of minds from good united to truth from the Lord, is conjugial love itself.
AC 2729. That genuine conjugial love is from this, may be seen from the fact that no one can be in it unless he is in the good of truth and the truth of good from the Lord; also from the fact that heavenly blessedness and happiness is in that love; and they who are in it all come into heaven, or into the heavenly marriage. Also from the fact that when angels are conversing about the union of good and truth, there is then presented among good spirits in the lower sphere a representative of marriage; but among evil spirits a representative of adultery. Hence it is that in the Word the union of good and truth is called "marriage;" but the adulteration of good and the falsification of truth, "adultery" and "whoredom" (n. 2466).
AC 2730. The people of the Most Ancient Church above all on this earth lived in genuine conjugial love, because they were celestial, were in truth from good, and were in the Lord‘s kingdom together with the angels; and in that love they had heaven. But their posterity, with whom the church declined, began to love their children, and not their consorts; for children can be loved by the evil, but a consort can be loved only by the good.
AC 2731. From those most ancient people it has been heard that conjugial love is of such a nature as to desire to be altogether the other’s, and this reciprocally; and that when this is experienced mutually and reciprocally they are in heavenly happiness: also, that the conjunction of minds is of such a nature that this mutuality and reciprocity is in everything of their life, that is, in everything of their affection, and in everything of their thought. On this account it has been instituted by the Lord that wives should be affections of good which are of the will, and husbands thoughts of truth which are of the understanding; and that from this there should be a marriage such as there is between the will and the under standing, and between all things thereof with one who is in the good of truth and the truth of good.
AC 2732. I have spoken with angels as to the nature of this mutuality and reciprocity, and they said that there is the image and likeness of the one in the mind of the other, and that they thus dwell together not only in the particulars, but also in the inmosts of life; and that into such a one the Lord‘s love and mercy can flow with blessedness and happiness. They said also that they who have lived in such conjugial love in the life of the body are together and dwell together in heaven as angels, sometimes with their children also; but that very few from Christendom at this day have so lived, though all so lived from the Most Ancient Church, which was celestial, and many from the Ancient Church, which was spiritual. But that they who have lived in marriage, joined together not by conjugial love, but by lascivious love, are separated in the other life, because nothing of lasciviousness is tolerated in heaven; and that still more are those separated who have lived in mutual aversion, and more still they who have hated each other. When both first come into the other life, they for the most part meet again, but after much suffering are separated.
AC 2733. There were certain spirits who from practice in the life of the body infested me with peculiar adroitness, and this by a somewhat gentle influx, like a wave, such as that of upright spirits is wont to be; but it was perceived that there was in it craftiness and the like, to captivate and deceive. I at length spoke with one of them who I was told had been in the world the commander of an army. And as I perceived that in the ideas of his thought there was lasciviousness, I spoke with him about marriage. The speech of spirits is illustrated by representatives, which fully express the sense, and many things in a moment of time.
 He said that in the life of the body he thought nothing of adulteries. But it was given to tell him that adulteries are horribly wicked--though to such men they do not appear to be so, but even allowable, owing to the delight they take in them, and the persuasion therefrom--which he might also know from the fact that marriages are the nurseries of the human race, and hence also the nurseries of the heavenly kingdom, and on that account are in no wise to be violated, but to be kept holy; as well as from the consideration that being in the other life and in a state of perception he ought to be aware that conjugial love comes down through heaven from the Lord; and that from that love, as from a parent, is derived mutual love, which is the basis of heaven; and also from the fact that when adulterers merely approach heavenly societies they become sensible of their own stench, and cast themselves down toward hell. Further, he might at least know that to violate marriages is contrary to the Divine laws, and contrary to the civil laws of all, and also contrary to the genuine light of reason, because contrary to order both Divine and human; and much more besides.
 But he answered that he had never known such things in the life of the body, nor had thought of them. He wished to reason whether they were so; but was told that in the other life truth does not admit of reasonings, for these favor one’s delights, and thus his evils and falsities; and that he ought first to think of the things that had been said, because they were true. Or he ought also to think from the principle most fully known in the world, that one must not do to another what he is not willing that the other should do to him: and thus, if anyone had in such a manner beguiled his wife, whom he loved--as every one does in the beginning of marriage--would he not himself also at that time, when in a state of wrath about it, if he spoke from that state, have detested adulteries? and at the same time, as he was of superior talent, would he not have confirmed himself against them more than others, even to condemning them to hell? and thus he might have judged himself from himself.
AC 2734. They who in the life of the body have had happiness in marriages from genuine conjugial love, have happiness also in the other life; so that with them the happiness of the one life is continued into that of the other, and becomes there a union of minds, in which is heaven. I have been told that the kinds of celestial and spiritual happiness from it, even only the most universal, cannot be numbered.
AC 2735. Genuine conjugial love is the image of heaven, and when it is represented in the other life this is done by the most beautiful things that can ever be seen by the eyes, or conceived by the mind. It is represented by a virgin of inexpressible beauty, encompassed by a bright cloud, so that it may be said to be beauty itself in essence and form. It has been said that all beauty in the other life is from conjugial love. Its affections and thoughts are represented by diamond-like auras, sparkling as it were with rubies and carbuncles, and these things are attended with delights which affect the inmosts of the mind; but as soon as anything of lasciviousness enters in, they disappear.
AC 2736. I have been instructed that genuine conjugial love is innocence itself, which dwells in wisdom. Those who have lived in conjugial love are in wisdom more than all others in heaven; and yet when viewed by others they appear like little children, in the age of bloom and spring; and whatever then befalls is joy and happiness to them. They are in the inmost heaven, which is called the heaven of innocence. Through this heaven the Lord flows into conjugial love, and angels from that heaven are present with those who live in that love. They are also present with little children in their earliest age.
AC 2737. With those who live in conjugial love, the interiors of their minds are open through heaven even to the Lord; for this love flows in from the Lord through a man‘s inmost. From this they have the Lord’s kingdom in themselves, and from this they have genuine love toward little children for the sake of the Lord‘s kingdom; and from this they are receptive of heavenly loves above others, and are in mutual love more than others for this comes from that source as a stream from its fountain.
AC 2738. Mutual love, such as there is in heaven, is not like conjugial love. Conjugial love consists in desiring to be in the other’s life as a one but mutual love consists in wishing better to another than to one‘s self, as is the case with the love of parents toward their children, and as is the love of those who are in the love of doing good, not for their own sake, but because this is a joy to them. Such angelic love is derived from conjugial love, and is born from it as a child from its parent; and for this reason it exists with parents toward their children. This love is preserved by the Lord with parents, even if they are not in conjugial love, in order that the human race may not perish.
AC 2739. From the marriage of good and truth in the heavens descend all loves, which are such as the love of parents toward their children, the love of brothers for one another, and the love for relatives, and so on, according to their degrees in their order. According to these loves, which are solely from good and truth, that is, from love to the Lord and faith in Him, are formed all the heavenly societies; which are joined together by the Lord as to represent one man, and therefore heaven is also called the Grand Man. There are unutterable varieties, all of which take their origin and are derived from the union of good and truth from the Lord, which union is the heavenly marriage. Hence it is that the origin of all consanguinities and relationships on earth is derived from marriages, and that loves were derived in like manner according to their degrees mutually among themselves; but as there is no conjugial love at this day, consanguinities and relationships are indeed reckoned from marriage, but there are no consanguinities and relationships of love. In the Most Ancient Church the derivations of love were of this nature, and therefore they dwell together in the heavens distinguished as it were into nations, families, and houses, all of which acknowledge the Lord as their only Parent.
AC 2740. Genuine conjugial love is not possible except between two consorts, that is, in the marriage of one man with one wife, and by no means with more than one at the same time; for the reason that conjugial love is mutual and reciprocal, and is the alternate life of the one in the other, so that they are as it were a one. Such a union is possible between two, but not among more: more tear that love asunder. The men of the Most Ancient Church, who were celestial and in the perception of good and truth, like the angels, had but one wife. They said that with one wife they perceived heavenly delights and happiness, and that when marriage with more was merely mentioned, they were filled with horror; for as before said the marriage of one husband and one wife comes down from the marriage of good and truth, or from the heavenly marriage, which is of this nature, as is very evident from the Lord’s words in Matthew:--
Jesus said, have ye not heard that He who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh; what therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Moses, for the hardness of your heart, permitted you to put away your wives; but from the beginning it was not so. All cannot receive this word, save they to whom it is given (Matthew 19:3-12).
AC 2741. Good and truth are continually flowing in from the Lord with all, and consequently so is genuine conjugial love; but it is received in various ways and as it is received, such it becomes. With the lascivious it is turned into lasciviousness, with adulterers into adulteries, its heavenly happiness into unclean delight, thus heaven into hell. The case with this is as with the light of the sun flowing into objects, which is received according to the nature of the objects, and becomes blue, red, yellow, green, dark, and even black, according to the reception.
AC 2742. A certain semblance of conjugial love is found with some, but is not really that unless they are in the love of good and truth. It is a love appearing like conjugial love, but it is for the sake of the love of the world or of self, namely, to be served at home, or to be in security or at ease, or to be ministered to when ill and when growing old; or for the sake of the care of their children whom they love. With some this seeming love is induced from fear of the consort, or for one‘s reputation, or fear of misfortunes; and with some from lascivious love. This appears in the first period as if it were conjugial love; for at that time they behave with something like innocence, they sport like little children, they have a perception of joy as of something from heaven; but with the progress of time they do not become united more and more closely, like those who are in conjugial love, but are being separated. Conjugial love also differs with the consorts; with the one it may be more or less, with the other little or nothing; and because of this difference there may be heaven for the one, but hell for the other. The affection and the reception determine this.
AC 2743. A great dog like Cerberus was seen by me, and I asked what it signified, and was told that by such a dog is signified a guard lest anyone should pass in conjugial love from heavenly delight to infernal delight, or the reverse; for they who are in genuine conjugial love are in heavenly delight; but they who are in adulteries are also in a delight which appears to them as heavenly, but is infernal. By the dog is thus represented that those opposite delights must not communicate.
AC 2744. It was shown me how the delights from conjugial love advance, on the one side to heaven, and on the other to hell. The advancement of the delights toward heaven was into blessedness and happiness continually more and more, even to what was beyond number or description; and the more interior, the more innumerable and ineffable, even to the very celestial happiness of the inmost heaven, or of the heaven of innocence; and this with the greatest freedom, for all freedom is from love; and thus the greatest freedom is from conjugial love, and is heavenly freedom itself. It was then shown how the delights of conjugial love descend toward hell--that they remove themselves little by little away from heaven, and this likewise with apparent freedom, till at last scarcely any. thing human remains in them. The deadly and infernal end to which they come has been seen, but cannot be described. A certain spirit who was then with me, and likewise saw these things, ran hastily forward to some sirens, of this character, declaring that he would show them the quality of their delight, and at first having the idea of delight; but as by little and little he came more in front, his idea was continued on, like the progress of the delight, to hell; and at length it ended in such horror. Sirens are women who have been in the persuasion that it is honorable to commit whoredom and adultery, and have also been valued by others for being so disposed, and for being in the elegancies of life. Most of them come into the other life from Christendom. They are treated of above (n. 831, 959, 1515, 1983, 2483).
AC 2745. There are women who do not love their husbands, but hold them in contempt, and at length esteem them as of no account. Their quality was represented to me by a cock, a wild cat, and a tiger of a dark color. It was said that such begin by talking much, and then proceed to scolding, and at length put on the nature of the tiger. It was said by some that such still love their children; but it was answered that such love is not human, and that it flows equally into the evil, and even into animals of whatever kind, to such a degree that these also love their offspring more than themselves. It was added that with such persons there is nothing of conjugial love.
AC 2746. There was a certain spirit in middle altitude above the head, who in the life of the body had lived wantonly, delighted with variety, so that he loved no one constantly, but passed his time in brothels, and thus had scortated with many, every one of whom he had afterwards rejected. It hence came to pass that he had beguiled many, and had thereby extinguished the desire for marriage, even for the procreation of children, and thus had contracted an unnatural nature. All these things were disclosed, and he was miserably punished, and this in the sight of the angels; and afterwards he was cast into hell. Concerning the hells of adulterers, see (n. 824-830).
AC 2747. As adulteries are contrary to conjugial love, adulterers cannot be in heaven with the angels; for the reason also that they are in what is contrary to good and truth, and thus are not in the heavenly marriage; and also because they have none but filthy ideas respecting marriage. When marriage is merely mentioned, or the idea of it occurs, instantly in their ideas are things lascivious, obscene, nay, unmentionable. It is the same when the angels are speaking about good and truth: such persons then think things that are opposite; for all affections and the derivative thoughts remain with a man after death, such as they had been in the world. Adulterers are in the desire of destroying society; many of them are cruel (n. 824), and thus in heart they are opposed to charity and mercy; laughing at the miseries of others; wishing to take away from every one what is his; and doing this as far as they dare. Their delight is to destroy friendships, and to bring about enmities. Their religious profession is that they acknowledge a Creator of the universe and a Providence--but only a universal one--and salvation by faith, and believe that nothing worse can be done to them than to others. But when they are examined as to what they are at heart, which is done in the other life, they do not believe even what they have professed; but instead of the creator of the universe they think of nature; instead of a universal Providence, they think of none; and they think nothing of faith. All this is so, because adulteries are wholly contrary to good and truth. Judge then how such can be in heaven.
AC 2748. Some spirits who in the world had lived a life of adultery, came and spoke to me. I perceived that they had not been long in the other life, for they did not know that they were there, thinking that they were still in the world, and reflection as to where they were, being taken away from them. It was given to tell them that they were in the other life; but soon forgetting it, they asked where there were houses into which they might get introduced. But they were asked whether they had no respect for spiritual things, namely, for conjugial love, which is broken up by such allurements; and they were told that such things are contrary to heavenly order. But to this they paid no attention, neither did they understand what was said. I inquired further whether they did not fear the laws, and punishments according to the laws; but these things they held in contempt. But when I said that perhaps they would be severely beaten by the servants, this alone they feared. It was afterwards given to perceive their thoughts, which are communicated in the other life. They were so filthy and obscene that the well disposed could not but be struck with horror; and yet they are made manifest as to each and every particular before spirits and angels in the other life. From all this it is evident that such cannot be in heaven.
AC 2749. With those who have by adulteries conceived a loathing and nausea for marriages, when any delight, blessedness, and happiness from the heaven of the angels reaches them, it is turned into what is loathsome and nauseous, and then into what is painful, and at length into an offensive stench, until they cast themselves down from thence into hell.
AC 2750. I have been instructed by angels that when anyone commits adultery on earth, heaven is then immediately closed to him, and he afterwards lives only in worldly and corporeal things; and although he then hears of the things of love and faith, they nevertheless do not penetrate to his interiors; and what he says about them himself does not come from his interiors, but only from the memory and the mouth, being called forth by pride or the love of gain; for his interiors are closed up, and cannot he opened except by serious repentance.
AC 2751. Above in front before the left eye were massed together such as in the life of the body had in secret and with great craftiness plotted against others. They were adulterers, and were still in the world of spirits, as they were among the newcomers. Their custom was to send forth from their troop this way and that some to plot intrigues, not only against conjugial love, but also against good and truth, and most of all against the Lord. They who are thus sent out return to them, and relate what they have heard; and so they take counsel. They also sent one to me, supposing that I was a spirit, because I spoke with the speech of spirits. When that emissary spoke, he uttered scandalous things, mostly against the Lord; so that he was as it were made up of mere scandals. But I answered that he should abstain from such things, as I knew from what band and what refuse he was; and that as regards the Lord, I knew beyond all doubt that He is one with the Father; that the universal heaven is His; that all innocence, peace, love, charity, and mercy are from Him, and all conjugial love also; and that from Him are all good and truth; all of which things are Divine; and that Moses and the Prophets, that is, all and everything in the Word, in the internal sense, treats of Him; and that all the rites of the Jewish Church represented Him; and as I was so certain of these things that I had no doubt, what more did he want? On hearing these things he withdrew with shame. These things were said, that he might tell them to the adulterers who constituted that wicked troop from which he was sent.
AC 2752. In the other life they who have been eaten up with adulteries desire more than others to obsess men, and thus through them to return into the world; but they are kept back in hell by the Lord, lest they should come among the spirits who are with men. The most who are such are from the Christian world; rarely from elsewhere.
AC 2753. There are some in the world who are carried away by the lust of seducing virgins to whoredom, wherever they may be: in nunneries, in families, or with their parents, and also wives; and they insinuate themselves by crafty modes and with flatteries. As they are accustomed to such things, and have formed their nature from them, they retain in the other life the ability to insinuate themselves into societies by flatteries and simulations; but as their thoughts lie plainly open, they are rejected. They thus pass from one society to another, but are everywhere rejected: they are also treated with severity, for they study to steal away the delights and blessedness of others. At length they are admitted into no societies, but after having endured severe punishments, are associated with their like in hell.
AC 2754. The most deceitful sometimes appear high above the head, but their hell is deep under the heel of the foot. They are the modern antediluvians. They ensnare by pretense of innocence, of pity, and of various good affections, with persuasion. When they lived in the world they were adulterers beyond others. Where there was a wife beautiful and young, there they entered without conscience and by such means seduced her. They are invisible and are unwilling to be discovered, as they act in secret. They are also cruel, having cared for themselves alone, and reckoning it as nothing even if the whole world should perish for them. There are great numbers of such spirits at this day, and it was said that they are from Christendom. Their hell is the most grievous of all.
AC 2755. The hells of adulterers are many. There they love nothing more than filth and excrement, in which they now find delight. This may also be evident from many of that sort in the life of the body, to whom it is delightful to think and talk of filthy things, abstaining only for decorum’s sake. The delight of adultery is turned into such things in the other life. It is as when the heat of the sun, even that of spring, flows into excrement or into carrion.
AC 2756. There are those who have held as a principle community of wives. These in the other life speak as if they were good, but they are malignant and deceitful. Their punishment is horrible. They are bound together as if into a bundle, and by representation a serpent appears wound around them, which binds them all as it were into a great ball, and thus they are cast out.
AC 2757. When I was being conducted through several abodes, I came to one where heat seized my feet and loins, and it was said that those were there who have indulged in pleasures, but still have not extinguished the natural desire of procreating offspring.
AC 2758. That genuine conjugial love is heaven, is represented in the kingdoms of nature; for there is nothing in all nature that does not in some way represent the Lord‘s kingdom in general, since the natural kingdom derives all its origin from the spiritual. What is without an origin prior to itself is nothing. Nothing exists that is unconnected with a cause, and thus with an end. What is unconnected falls away in a moment, and becomes nothing; from this then are the representatives of the Lord’s kingdom in the kingdoms of nature. That conjugial love is heaven, is manifest from the transformation of little worms into nymphs and chrysalides, and thus into winged insects for when their time of nuptials comes--which is when they put off their earthly form, or their worm-like form, and are embellished with wings and become flying creatures--they are then elevated into the air, which is their heaven; and there they sport with each other, perform their marriage rites, lay eggs, and nourish themselves on the juices of flowers. They are then also in their beauty; for they have wings decorated with golden, silver, and other elegantly marked colors. Such things does the marriage principle produce among such vile little worms.
AC 2759. On the right side there rose up from the lower earth as it were a roll; and it was said that they were many spirits from the lower class of people, untaught but not depraved. They were peasants and other simple people. I spoke with them, and they said that they know the Lord, to whose name they commend themselves. Further than this they knew little of faith and its mysteries. Afterwards others rose up who knew some little more. It was perceived that their interiors were capable of being opened; for in the other life this can be manifestly perceived. They had conscience, which was communicated to me, that I might know it; and it was said that they lived in conjugial love in simplicity. They said that they loved their consorts and abstained from adulteries. That this was from conscience was evident from their saying that they could not do otherwise, because it was contrary to their will. Such persons are instructed in the other life and are perfected in the good of love and truth of faith, and are at length received among the angels.
How greatly they are deluded who remain in the sense of the letter alone, and do not search out the internal sense from other passages in the Word in which it is explained, is very evident from the many heresies, every one of which proves its dogmas from the literal sense of the Word especially is this manifest from that great heresy which the insane and infernal love of self and the world has drawn from the Lord‘s words to Peter:--
I say unto thee that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of the heavens, and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth shall be bound in the heavens, and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth shall be loosed in the heavens (Matt. 16:15-19).
 They who press the sense of the letter think that these things were said of Peter, and that power so great was given him; although they are fully aware that Peter was a very simple man, and that he by no means exercised such power; and that to exercise it is contrary to the Divine. Nevertheless, as owing to the insane and infernal love of self and the world they desire to arrogate to themselves the highest power on earth and in heaven, and to make themselves gods, they explain this according to the letter, and vehemently defend it; whereas the internal sense of these words is, that Faith itself in the Lord, which exists solely with those who are in love to the Lord and in charity toward the neighbor, has that power; and yet not faith, but the Lord from whom faith is. By "Peter" there is meant that faith, as everywhere else in the Word. Upon this is the Church built, and against it the gates of hell do not prevail. This faith has the keys of the kingdom of the heavens, and it shuts heaven lest evils and falsities should enter in, and opens heaven for goods and truths. This is the internal sense of these words.
 The twelve apostles, like the twelve tribes of Israel, represented nothing else than all the things of such faith (n. 577, 2089, 2129, 2130). Peter represented faith itself, James charity, and John the goods of charity (n. 2135a); in like manner as did Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, the firstborn sons of Jacob, in the representative Jewish and Israelitish Church, which is plain from a thousand passages in the Word. And as Peter represented faith, the words in question were said to him. From this it is manifest into what darkness those cast themselves, and others with them, who explain all things according to the letter; as those who so explain these words to Peter, by which they derogate from the Lord and arrogate to themselves the power of saving the human race.previous - next - text - Genesis - BM Home - Full Page