Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 22:13
AC 2828. Verse 13. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw, and behold a ram behind, caught in a thicket by his horns; and Abraham went, and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt-offering in the stead of his son. "Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw," signifies the Lord’s thought and mental view from the Divine; "and behold a ram," signifies the spiritual from the human race; "behind, caught in a thicket," signifies entangled in natural knowledge; "by his horns," signifies with all power as to the truths of faith. "And Abraham went, and took the ram," signifies their liberation by the Lord‘s Divine Human; "and offered him up for a burnt-offering in the stead of his son," signifies their sanctification and adoption.
AC 2829. Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw. That this signifies the Lord’s thought and mental view from the Divine, may be seen above (n. 2789), where are the same words. The thought and mental view from the Divine is concerning all and each of the things that will take place to eternity, with the Divine Providence.
AC 2830. And behold a ram. That this signifies the spiritual from the human race, is evident from the signification of a "ram," as explained in what follows. It is known within the church that the burnt-offerings and sacrifices in the representative Jewish and Israelitish Church signified the Lord‘s Divine Human; but the burnt-offerings and sacrifices from lambs signified one thing, those from sheep and she-goats another, and those also from kids, rams, and he-goats, and from oxen, bullocks, and calves, and from turtledoves and the young of pigeons, other things; and in like manner the meat-offerings and libations. In general they signified the Divine celestial, Divine spiritual, and Divine natural things which belong to the Lord; and hence they signified the celestial, spiritual, and natural things which are from Him in His kingdom, consequently in every one who is a kingdom of the Lord; which may also be seen from the Holy Supper, which succeeded the burnt-offerings and sacrifices. The bread and wine therein signify the Lord’s Divine Human; the bread His Divine celestial, and the wine His Divine spiritual; they consequently signify His love toward the universal human race; and on the other had the love of the human race to the Lord (n. 2343, 2359). Hence it is manifest that the burnt-offerings and sacrifices involved celestial worship from love to the Lord, and spiritual worship from charity toward the neighbor and the derivative faith in the Lord (n. 922, 923, 1823, 2180). What the celestial is, and what the spiritual, or what are the celestial and the spiritual in the Lord‘s kingdom or in His church, has been frequently stated (n. 1155, 1577, 1824, 2048, 2088, 2184, 2227, 2669, 2708, 2715).
 That a "ram" therefore signifies the Lord’s Divine spiritual, and consequently the spiritual with man, or what is the same, those of the human race who are spiritual, may be seen from the burnt-offerings and sacrifices made from rams; in that when Aaron and his sons were sanctified to perform the ministry, that is, when they were inaugurated, they were to offer one bullock for sin, the blood of which was to be sprinkled upon the horns of the altar, and the rest poured at the bottom of it; also that one ram was to be killed, and his blood sprinkled round the altar, and then the whole ram was to be burnt for a burnt-offering; and that the blood of the other ram that was killed was to be sprinkled upon the tip of Aaron‘s ear, and upon the thumb of his hand and the great toe of his foot; and that after it was waved, it was to be burnt upon the burnt-offering (Exod. 29:1-35; Lev. 8:1-36; 9:2-24). That all these rites were holy is evident; but they were holy from their representing and signifying holy things. Otherwise to slaughter a bullock and to sprinkle his blood upon the horns of the altar and pour the rest at its base, and to slaughter one ram and sprinkle his blood round the altar and then to burn him, and to sprinkle the blood of the other ram upon the tip of Aaron’s ear and the thumb of his hand and the great toe of his foot, also to wave it, and to burn it upon the burnt-offering - all these things would have had no holiness and thus would have effected no worship unless they had represented holy things. But what each particular represented can be evident to no one except from the internal sense. That the bullock which was for sin signified the Lord‘s Divine natural, and the rain His Divine spiritual, and that it signified also those who are spiritual of the human race, may be seen from the signification of a "bullock" and a "ram" in the Word. Inaugurations into the priesthood were made by spiritual things, for by spiritual things a man is introduced into celestial things; or what is the same, by the truths of faith into the good of love. In like manner when Aaron entered into the holy place, he was to offer a bullock for sin, and a ram for a burnt-offering (Lev. 16:2, 3).
 That the Nazirite, when the days of his Naziriteship were fulfilled, was to offer a whole lamb a son of a year, for a burnt-offering, and one ewe-lamb a daughter of a year, entire, for sin, and one whole ram for peace-offerings (Num. 6:13-17), was because the Nazirite represented the celestial man, who is a likeness of the Lord (n. 51, 52, 1013). The celestial man is such that he is in celestial love, that is, in love to the Lord, and thence in celestial truth (n. 202, 337, 2069, 2715, 2718); he was therefore to sacrifice a lamb and a ewe-lamb, by which the celestial was signified; and also a ram, by which the spiritual was signified. At the festivals, bullocks, rams, and lambs were sacrificed-as on the first day of the feast of the unleavened bread, two bullocks, one rain, and seven lambs, with their meat-offering, for a burnt-offering (Num. 28:18-20). On the day of the firstfruits also, two bullocks, one ram, and seven lambs, with their meat-offering, for a burnt-offering (Num. 28:26-28). On the new moons, two bullocks, one ram, and seven lambs, with their meat-offering, for a burnt-offering (Num. 28:11, 12). In the seventh month, on the first of the month, one bullock, one ram, and seven lambs, with their meat-offering. On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, thirteen bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs. (Num. 29:1, 2, 12-14, 17, 18, 20-22, 24, 26-36). The "bullocks" and the "rams" signified spiritual things, but the "lambs" celestial things; for at the feasts they had to be sanctified and introduced by spiritual things.
 As "rams" signified the Divine spiritual of the Lord’s Divine Human, as also the spiritual things with man, therefore where the new temple and New Jerusalem, that is, the Lord‘s spiritual kingdom, is spoken of, it is said in Ezekiel, that when they had made an end of cleansing the altar there, they were to offer a bullock for a sin-offering, and a ram for a burnt-offering, and were to offer the goat of the sin-offering every day for seven days, and a bullock and a ram (Ezekiel 43:23-25); and that on this day the prince should prepare the bullock of the sin-offering for all the people, and on the seven days of the feast seven bullocks, and seven rams, with the meat-offering, for a burnt-offering (Ezekiel 45:22-24); and that on the day of the sabbath he should prepare six lambs and a ram (Ezekiel 46:4, 6).
 That by the new temple and the New Jerusalem in the universal sense is signified the Lord’s kingdom, may be seen above (n. 402, 940); in particular the New Church (n. 2117). That there are not burnt-offerings and sacrifices there, may be known to every one, which shows that by these are signified the celestial things of love, and the spiritual things of faith; for these are of the Lord‘s kingdom; and thus such things are here signified by "bullocks," " rams," and "lambs." That "bullocks" and "rams" signify spiritual things, is evident from the several particulars in the internal sense; in general from this, that by the "new temple" and the "New Jerusalem" the Lord’s spiritual kingdom is specifically signified, but by Zion" the celestial kingdom.
 That a "ram" signifies that which is spiritual, or what is the same, those who are spiritual, is plain also in Daniel; in that a ram was seen by him standing before the river, which had two horns; afterwards a he-goat of the goats, which smote him, broke his horns, and trampled him down (Daniel 8:3, 4); where nothing else is meant by the "ram" than the spiritual church, and by the "he-goat of the goats" than those who are in faith separated from charity, or in truth separate from good, who by successive steps uplift themselves against good, and at length against the Lord-which is also described. In Samuel:--
Samuel said to Saul, Hath Jehovah as great pleasure in burnt-offerings and sacrifices as in hearkening to the voice of Jehovah? behold to hearken is better than sacrifice, and to obey than the fat of rams (1 Sam. 15:22);
where because obedience is treated of, so is truth, which is spiritual; and these words were said to the king, by whom also is signified truth (n. 1672, 2015, 2069). It is not therefore said, "better than the fat of oxen," or of "lambs," but "better than the fat of rams."
 In David:--
When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language, Judah became His sanctuary, Israel His dominion. The sea saw it, and fled, and the Jordan turned back; the mountains leaped like rams, the hills like the sons of the flock. What aileth thee, O thou sea, that thou fleest? thou Jordan, that thou turnest back? ye mountains, that ye skip like rams? ye hills, like the sons of the flock? Thou travailest, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob who turned the rock into a pool of waters, and the flint into a fountain of waters (Ps. 114:1-8);
here in the internal sense the subject treated of is spiritual good after regeneration, and it is described in respect to its quality; its celestial spiritual by the "mountains leaping like rams;" and its celestial natural by the " hills like the sons of the flock." That "mountains" are the celestial things of love, see (n. 795, 1430). Every one may know that in these, as in the rest of the words of David, there are holy things, but in the internal sense; and that something is signified by the mountains skipping like rams, and the hills like the sons of the flock, and by the earth travailing at the presence of the Lord; which things, without the internal sense, are words of no meaning.
 So with these words in Moses:--
He maketh him ride on the high places of the earth, and to eat the increase of the earth, and He maketh him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flint of the rock butter of kine and milk of the flock, with fat of lambs, and of rams the sons of Bashan, and he-goats with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and of the blood of grapes thou shalt drink unmixed wine (Deut. 32:13, 14);
"rains the sons of Bashan" denotes celestial spiritual things. What celestial spiritual things are, see (n. 1824). In David:--
I will offer unto Thee burnt-offerings of fatlings with the incense of ram, I will offer bullocks with goats (Ps. 66:15);
"burnt-offerings of fatlings" denotes the celestial things of love; and the "incense of rams," the spiritual things of faith.
 In Ezekiel:--
Arabia and all the princes of Kedar were the merchants of thy hand: in lambs, in rams, and he-goats (Ezekiel 27:21);
where Tyre is treated of, by which those are signified who are in the knowledges of good and truth (n. 1201); "Arabia" denotes their wisdom; the "princes of Kedar," their intelligence; "lambs," celestial things; "rams," spiritual things; and "he-goats," natural things, which follow in order. In Isaiah:--
All the flock of Kedar shall be gathered together unto Thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto Thee; they shall come up with acceptance on Mine altar, and I will adorn the house of My adornment (Isaiah 60:7);
here the Lord‘s Divine Human is treated of; the "flock of Kedar" denotes Divine celestial things; and the "rams of Nebaioth," Divine spiritual things. From all this it is now evident that a " ram" in the internal sense signifies the Lord’s Divine spiritual, and hence the spiritual in men, or what is the same, those of the human race who are spiritual.
AC 2831. Behind, caught in a thicket. That this signifies entangled in natural knowledge, is evident from the signification of being "caught," as here being entangled; and from the signification of a "thicket" or "tangle," as being memory-knowledge - explained in what follows. That the spiritual are held entangled in natural knowledge in regard to the truths of faith, is as follows. The spiritual have not perception of good and truth, as the celestial have, but instead of it conscience formed from the goods and truths of faith which they have imbibed from infancy from their parents and masters, and afterwards from the doctrine of faith into which they were born. They who have no perception of good and truth have to be confirmed by knowledges. Every one forms for himself some idea respecting the things he has learned, and also respecting the goods and truths of faith; for without an idea, nothing remains in the memory otherwise than as an empty thing. Confirmatory things are added thereto, and fill up the idea of the thing, from other knowledges, even from memory-knowledges. The confirmation of the idea itself by many things causes not only that it sticks in the memory, so that it can be called forth into the thought, but also that faith can be insinuated into it.
 As regards perception in general, since few know what perception is, this must be declared. There is perception of what is good and true in celestial and spiritual things; there is perception of what is just and equitable in civil life; and there is perception of what is honorable in moral life. As regards the perception of what is good and true in celestial and spiritual things, the interior angels have this perception from the Lord, the men of the Most Ancient Church had it, and the celestial, who are in love to the Lord, have it. These know at once, from a kind of internal observation, whether a thing is good and whether it is true; for this is insinuated by the Lord, because they are conjoined with Him by love. Spiritual men however have no such perception of good and truth in celestial and spiritual things, but instead of it have conscience which dictates but as before said, this conscience is formed from the knowledges of good and truth which they have imbibed from their parents and masters, and afterwards from their own study in doctrine and in the Word; and in these, even though not entirely good and true, they put their faith. Hence it is that men can have conscience from any doctrine whatever; even the Gentiles have something not unlike conscience from their religion.
 That the spiritual have no perception of the good and truth of faith, but say and believe that to be true which they have learned and apprehended, is sufficiently evident from the fact that every one says that his own dogma is true, heretics more than others; and that they are not able to see the truth itself, still less to acknowledge it, although thousands of things should declare it. Let every one explore himself and see if he is able to perceive from any other source whether a thing is true; and if when a thing most true is made manifest to him he still does not fail to acknowledge it. As for example, one who makes faith the essential of salvation, and not love: even if all should be read before him which the Lord spoke concerning love and charity (n. 2373), and if he should know from the Word that all the Law and the Prophets hang upon love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor, he will nevertheless remain in the idea of faith, and will say that this alone saves. It is otherwise with those who are in celestial and spiritual perception.
 As regards the perception of what is just and equitable in civil life however, those in the world who are rational have this, and also the perception of what is honorable in moral life. These two perceptions distinguish one man from another, but by no means do such men for this reason have the perception of the good and truth of faith, because this perception is higher or more internal, and flows in from the Lord through the inmost of the rational.
 The reason also why the spiritual have no perception of the good and truth of faith, is that good and truth are not implanted in their will part, as with celestial men, but in their intellectual part (n. 863, 875, 927, 1023, 1043, 1044, 2256). Hence it is that the spiritual cannot arrive at the first degree of the light in which the celestial are (n. 2718), but have what is obscure in comparison (n. 1043, 2708, 2715). That the spiritual are entangled in natural memory-knowledge in respect to the truths of faith, follows from this.
 That a "thicket" or "tangle" in the internal sense signifies natural memory-knowledge, that is, that knowledge which sticks fast in the exterior memory, may also be seen from other passages in the Word. In Ezekiel:--
Behold, Asshur was a cedar in Lebanon, with beautiful foliage, and a shady grove, and lofty in height, and his branch was among the tangled boughs (Ezekiel 31:3);
where Egypt, which is memory-knowledge, is treated of (n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462); "Asshur" denotes the rational (n. 119, 1186); which is also the "cedar," and also "Lebanon," in the Word; "among the tangled boughs" means among memory-knowledges, for the human rational is founded on its memory-knowledges.
 In the same:--
Thus saith the Lord Jehovih, Because thou art exalted in stature, and he hath set his branch among the tangled boughs, and his heart is lifted up in its height, strangers, the violent of the nations, shall cut him down, and cast him out (Ezek. 31:10, 12);
concerning Egypt; to "set the branch among the tangled boughs" denotes sticking fast in memory-knowledges, and regarding spiritual, celestial, and Divine things from them. In the same:--
To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves in their stature, neither set their branch among the tangled boughs, nor that all that drink waters stand over them in their height, for they shall all be delivered unto death, to the lower earth in the midst of the sons of man, to them that go down to the pit (Ezek. 31:14);
here those are treated of who by reasonings from memory-knowledges desire to enter into the mysteries of faith. That they are made altogether blind, see (n. 215, 232, 233, 1072, 1911, 2196, 2203, 2568, 2588). To reason from memory-knowledges is to "set the branch among the tangled boughs." In the same:--
She had plants of strength for the scepters of them that bare rule, and her height was exalted among the tangled boughs (Ezek. 19:11);
this has a similar meaning.
 In the same:--
The slain of Israel shall be among their idols, round about their altars, and under every green tree, and under every tangled oak (Ezek. 6:13);
this treats of the worship which those form to themselves who have faith in themselves, and thus in the things which they hatch out from their memory-knowledges; the "tangled oak" denotes the memory-knowledges in such a state. That "oaks" are apperceptions from memory-knowledges, see (n. 1442, 1443, 2144). The like is found elsewhere in the same Prophet:--
They saw every high hill, and every tangled tree, and there they sacrificed their sacrifices (Ezek. 20:28);
a "tangled tree" denotes the things which are dictated not by the Word, but by one‘s own memory-knowledge. That worship was performed in groves, and was significative according to the qualities of the trees, see (n. 2722).
 In Isaiah:--
Wickedness burneth as the fire; it devoureth the briars and thorns, and kindleth in the thickets of the forest (Isa. 9:18);
the "briars and thorns" denote falsity and cupidity; the "thickets of the forest," memory-knowledges. In the same:--
Jehovah Zebaoth shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one (Isaiah 10:34);
the "thickets of the forest" denote memory-knowledges and "Lebanon," things rational. In Jeremiah:--
Set up a standard toward Zion, for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction a lion is gone up from his thicket, and a destroyer of nations; he is on his way, he is gone forth from his place, to make thy land a waste thy cities shall be destroyed, without inhabitant (Jeremiah 4:6, 7);
"from his thicket" denotes from memory-knowledge; and that which ascends into Divine arcana from this makes the "land a waste," that is, lays waste the church.
 The reason why in the Word memory-knowledges are called "thickets," is that they are comparatively of such a character, especially when the cupidities of the love of self and of the world, and the principles of falsity, seek for them. Celestial and spiritual love is that which disposes into order the knowledges which are of the exterior memory; and the love of self and of the world is that which perverts the order, and disturbs all things in it. These things the man does not take notice of, because he places order in perverted order, good in evil, and truth in falsity. On this account these things are in entanglement; and also on this, that the things of the exterior memory, where these knowledges are, compared with those in the interior memory, where rational things are, are as in a thicket, or as in a dark forest. How shady, opaque, and dark it is there in comparison, a man cannot know so long as he is living in the body; for he then supposes that all wisdom and intelligence are from this source; but he will know in the other life, when he comes into the things of his interior memory. That in the exterior memory, which is proper to man while he is living in the world, nothing is less to be found than the light of intelligence and wisdom; but that all is relatively dark, disorderly, and entangled there, may be seen above (n. 2469-2494).
AC 2832. By his horns. That this signifies with all power in regard to the truths of faith, is evident from the signification of "horns." "Horns" are mentioned in many places in the Word; and there signify the power of truth from good; and in the opposite sense the power of falsity from evil; here the meaning is that the spiritual who are signified by the "ram" are entangled in natural memory-knowledge with all their might in regard to truth, and hence that they are deprived of the power of perceiving truths. For the more anyone consults natural memory-knowledges, and sticks fast in them in his animus and mind in regard to the things which are truths of faith, the more does he lose the light of truth, and with the light, the life of truth. Every one may know this from experience, if he attends and reflects, from those who say that they can believe nothing unless they comprehend that it is so by means of the things of sense, or of memory-knowledge. If you explore their quality, you will find that they believe nothing; and moreover that nothing seems to them more wise than to ascribe everything to nature. There are many also who say that they believe although they do not comprehend; when nevertheless, in secret with themselves, they reason equally as others do from the things of sense and memory-knowledge concerning the truths of faith, as to whether a thing is so. These either have a kind of persuasion breathed in from the love of self and the world, or they do not believe at all. Their quality is manifest from their life. Both classes are indeed in the Lord’s spiritual church, but they are not of the church. They who are of the church are in a life of good, and have faith in truths; but the spiritual have faith in other truths besides those which have been impressed on them from infancy, and which they have afterwards confirmed to themselves from doctrine or from some other source. Such is the state of the spiritual, which state is here described by the "ram caught in the thicket by his horns" (n. 2831).
 That a "horn" signifies the power of truth from good, is evident from the following passages. In David:--
Thou art the glory of their strength, and in Thy good pleasure wilt Thou exalt our horn for our shield belongeth unto Jehovah, and our king to the Holy One of Israel. My truth and My mercy shall be with him, and in My name shall his horn be exalted I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers (Ps. 89:17, 18, 24, 26);
where "our horn" and "his horn" manifestly denote the power of truth. The Lord‘s spiritual kingdom is there treated of; "our king belongs to the Holy One of Israel" denotes that Divine truth belongs to the Lord. That a "king" is truth, and that the Lord’s royalty is the Divine Truth, see (n. 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069); to "put his hand in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers" denotes that strength is in the memory-knowledges and the knowledges of truth. That the "hand" and the "right hand" denote strength, see (n. 878); and also that the "sea" and the "rivers" denote memory-knowledges and knowledges, (n. 28, 2702). In the same:--
I will love Thee, O Jehovah, my strength; Jehovah is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my strong rock in whom I trust, my shield, and the born of my salvation (Ps. 18:1, 2; 2 Sam. 22:2, 3);
the "horn of salvation" denotes truth as to power; in this passage "strength," "rock," "fortress," " God," " strong rock," and "shield," are all significative of the power of truth.
 In the same:--
In Zion will I make a horn to bud unto David, I will prepare a lamp for Mine anointed; His enemies will I clothe with shame (Ps. 132:17, 18);
where the Lord is treated of, who is "David" (n. 1888); a "horn" denotes the power of truth; a "lamp," the light of truth. In Samuel:--
My heart hath exulted in Jehovah, my horn is exalted in Jehovah, my mouth is enlarged against mine enemies, because I have been glad in Thy salvation. Jehovah will give strength unto His king, and will exalt the horn of His anointed (1 Sam. 2:1, 10);
this is the prophecy of Hannah; the "horn" denotes the power of truth.
 In Moses:--
The firstling of his ox, honor is his, and his horns are the horns of the unicorn with them shall he push the peoples all of them, to the ends of the earth (Deut. 33:17);
this is the prophecy of Moses concerning Joseph, where the "horns of the unicorn" denote the great power of truth, as is manifest also from its being said that he shall "push the peoples with them to the ends of the earth." So too in David:--
My born shalt Thou exalt like the unicorn‘s (Ps. 92:10).
And in the same:--
O Jehovah, save me from the mouth of the lion, and answer me from the horns of the unicorn (Ps. 22:21);
Divine truths, from their height, are called the "horns of unicorns;" hence the "horn" is so often said to be "exalted," for exaltation signifies power from the interior. That what is internal is represented by what is high, see (n. 1735, 2148).
 In Jeremiah:--
The Lord hath cut off in fierce anger all the horn of Israel, He hath drawn back His right hand from before the enemy (Lam. 2:3);
to "cut off all the horn of Israel" denotes to deprive of truth which has power, which is also to "draw back the right hand from before the enemy." In Ezekiel:--
In that day will I make a horn to grow for the house of Israel, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them (Ezekiel 29:21);
to "make the horn to grow for the house of Israel," denotes to multiply the truths of the spiritual church, which is "Israel;" the "opening of the mouth" denotes the confession of them.
 In Habakkuk:--
God will come from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran; His honor covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise and His brightness shall be as the light He had horns out of His hand, and there was the hiding of His strength (Habakkuk 3:3, 4);
where the Lord is treated of. That "He had horns out of His hand, and there was the hiding of His strength," plainly denotes the power of truth; that "Mount Paran" is the Divine Spiritual or the Divine Truth of the Lord’s Human, may be seen above (n. 2714), which also is the "brightness" and the "light."
 The Divine Truth of the Lord‘s Human is thus described in John:--
I saw and behold in the midst of the throne, and of the four animals, a Lamb standing as if slain, having seven horns, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth (Rev. 5:6);
the "seven horns" denote holy or Divine truths. That "seven" means holy, see (n. 716, 881). The "seven spirits sent forth into all the earth," are the holy preachings of the same truths.
 The "horns of the altars" signified nothing else than truth in which is power. Of these it is said in Moses:--
Thou shalt make horns upon the four corners of the altar out of it shall its horns be (Exod. 27:2; 38:2).
So too upon the altar of incense, out of which were to be horns (Exod. 30:2; 37:25). That the altar was a principal representative of the Lord and of His worship, see (n. 921). The altar was a representative of His Divine Good; the horns were the representatives of His Divine Truth; that truth was from good was represented by the horns being out of it, or out of the altar. That there is no other truth than that which is from good, see (n. 654, 1162, 1176, 1608, 2063, 2261, 2429). It is manifest from this that "horns" in the genuine sense signify the power of truth which is from good.
 That Aaron and his sons when initiated in the ministry, took of the blood of the bullock, and put it upon the horns of the altar with the finger (Exod. 29:12; Lev. 8:15); and that Aaron made expiation upon the horns of the altar once in the year (Exod. 30:10); and that when a priest sinned, he offered a bullock, and put of the blood upon the horns of the altar of incense (Lev. 4:3, 7); also that when a prince sinned, he offered a burnt-offering, and the blood was sprinkled upon the horns of the altar of burnt-offering (Lev. 4:22, 25); and that it was the same when a soul sinned (Leviticus 4:27, 30, 34); as also when the altar was expiated (Lev. 16:18, 19)-all these things signified truths from good; for all sanctifications, inaugurations, and expiations were made by truths, because truths introduce to good (n. 2830). That the "horns of the altar" signified truths which are from good, may also be seen in John:--
The sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God (Rev. 9:13);
the "horns of the golden altar" manifestly denote truths from good, for thence came the voice. That "gold" is good, see (n. 113, 1551, 1552); and still more the "golden altar".
 In Amos:--
In the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him, I will visit upon the altars of Bethel, and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and shall fall to the ground (Amos 3:14);
that the "horns of the altar were to be cut off," was because truth from good was no longer represented there; "Bethel" is the Divine Good, and is therefore called the "king’s sanctuary," and the "house of the kingdom" (Amos 7:13). The kings being "anointed with oil from a horn" (1 Sam. 16:1, 13; 1 Kings 1:39) represented in like manner truth from good. The "oil" was good, (n. 886); but the "born," truth; the "royalty" itself in the internal sense is such truth, (n. 1728, 2015), in which is power).
 That a "horn" in the opposite sense signifies the power of falsity which is from evil, is evident from the following passages. In Amos:--
Ye who rejoice in a thing of naught, who say, Have we not taken to us horns by our own strength? (Amos 6:13);
"horns" here denote the power of falsity. In Zechariah:--
I lifted up mine eyes and saw, and behold four horns; and I said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these? And he said to me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah; Israel, and Jerusalem. And Jehovah showed me four smiths and I said, What come these to do? and He said, saying, These are the horns which scattered Judah, so that no man doth lift up his head and these are come to terrify them, to cast down the horns of the nations, which lifted up their horn against the land of Judah, to scatter it (Zechariah 1:18-21);
the "horns" denote the power of falsity, which vastates the church. In Ezekiel:--
Ye thrust with side and with shoulder, and push all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad (Ezekiel 34:21);
here the shepherds who seduce by falsities are treated of; the "horns" denote the power of falsity; the "shoulder," all power (n. 1085). In Jeremiah:--
Jehovah hath destroyed, and hath not pitied, and He hath caused the enemy to rejoice over thee He hath exalted the horn of thine adversaries (Lam. 2:17).
In the same:--
The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken (Jer. 48:25);
"horn" here denotes powerful falsity.
 In David:--
I said to them that were glorying, Glory ye not, and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn; lift not up your horn on high, speak not with a stiff neck. All the horns of the wicked will I cut off, the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up (Ps. 75:4, 5, 10);
the "horns of the wicked" denote the power of falsity from evil; the "horns of the righteous," the power of truth from good.
 In Daniel:--
A fourth beast was seen, terrible and powerful and strong exceedingly, and it had iron teeth; it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet, and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold another little horn came up among them, and three of the first horns were rooted up before it; and behold in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the born spake I desired certitude concerning the fourth beast, and concerning the ten horns that were on his head, and concerning the other which came up, and three fell before it; and concerning the same horn that had eyes, and a mouth speaking great things; I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints. And he said, As for the fourth beast, it shall be a fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And as for the ten horns, out of this kingdom shall ten kings arise, and another shall arise after them, and he shall be diverse from the former ones, and he shall humble three kings; he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints; afterwards the judgment shall sit (Daniel 7:7, 8, 11, 19-26).
Here in the internal sense the perverted state of the church is treated of. The things which were here seen by Daniel, as the beast, the teeth of iron, the horn in which were eyes, and the horns that spoke, and those which made war with the saints, and that which spoke against the Most High, signify the state of falsity and of heresies within the church. That "horns" signify falsity powerful and prevailing, is evident from the mere fact that eyes are attributed to them, that is, understanding (n. 2701); and that they spoke, even against the Most High. By the "kingdoms" and "kings" are not signified kingdoms and kings, but doctrinal things O, falsity; as may be seen from their signification in the Word as being doctrinal things of truth, and in the opposite sense of falsity (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 2547).
 Again in Daniel:--
A ram was seen by him standing before the river, which had two horns; and the horns were high, but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. I saw the ram pushing with his horn westward, and northward, and southward, so that no beasts could stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and magnified himself. As I was considering, behold a be-goat of the goats came from the west over the face of the whole earth; this he-goat had a horn between his two eyes; he came to the ram the lord of the horns, and ran upon him In the fury of his power, and note him, and brake his two horns; and there was no power in the ram to stand before him. Afterwards the he-goat of the goats magnified himself exceedingly and when he was strong, his great horn was broken, and there came up four horns in place of it. Soon out of one of them went forth a little horn, and grew exceedingly toward the south, and toward the east, and toward beauty and it grew even to the army of the heavens, and some of the army and of the stars it cast down to the earth, and trampled upon them. The ram with the two horns, they are the kings of Media and Persia; the he-goat is the king of Greece; the four horns in place of one are four kingdoms out of the nation (Daniel 8:1-27).
Here in the spiritual sense the state of the spiritual church is treated of, which is the " ram" (n. 2830); and the state of that church is described, how it gradually declines and is perverted. The "he-goat of the goats" denotes those who are in faith separate from charity, or in truth separate from good, who begin to uplift themselves against good, and at length against the Lord. The "horns of the ram" are the truths of the spiritual church both internal and external; the "horns of the he-goat of the goats" are truths which have gradually degenerated into falsities; and by the "kingdoms" and "kings" here mentioned are not signified kingdoms and kings, but truths and falsities, as already said; for the Lord‘s Word in its essence does not treat of worldly and earthly, but of spiritual and heavenly things.
 In John:--
And there was seen another sign in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns, and upon his heads seven diadems; his tail drew a third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth (Rev. 12:3, 4).
I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten diadems, and upon his heads names of blasphemy. It was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. And then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb (Rev. 13:1, 2, 7, 11).
Again in the same:--
I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy having seven heads and ten horns; it was the great Babylon. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth and they are seven kings; the ten horns are ten kings (Rev. 17:3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 13).
That by the "horns" here in like manner as in Daniel are signified the powers of falsity, is evident.
AC 2833. And Abraham went, and took the ram. That this signifies their liberation by the Lord’s Divine Human, is evident from the representation of Abraham, as being here the Lord as to His Divine Human (for when Jehovah, or the angel of Jehovah, speaks with Abraham, then "Jehovah," or the "angel of Jehovah," is the Divine Itself, and "Abraham" is the Divine Human); and also from the signification of a "ram," as being the spiritual (n. 2830). It is hence manifest that Abraham‘s going and taking the ram caught in the thicket by his horns, signifies the liberation of the spiritual by the Lord’s Divine Human. That without the Lord‘s coming into the world the spiritual could not possibly have been saved, see (n. 2661, 2716); and that they have salvation and liberation by the Lord’s Divine Human, (n. 2716).
AC 2834. And offered him up for a burnt-offering in the stead of his son That this signifies their sanctification and adoration, is evident from the signification of "offering for a burnt-offering," as being to be sanctified (n. 2776), and from the signification of "in the stead of his son," as being adoption, namely, by the Lord‘s Divine Human, which here is "Abraham" (n. 2833). The adoption of the spiritual is described in John:--
Jesus said, I am the vine, ye are the branches he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing (John 15:5).
That a "vine" is the spiritual church, see (n. 1069).GENESIS 22:13 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|