LEVITICUS 12
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Leviticus Chapter 12

Summary of the Spiritual Sense

  1. Instruction is given to the man of the church that in the insemination, conception and birth of truth with him there is impurity in the proprium, and purity internally, even as is the case in the course of regeneration, vers. 1-2.
  2. But when the state of regeneration is completed there is purity even in the ultimate; and this state of purification is accomplished according to the laws of Order, vers. 3-4.
  3. Also in the reception and acknowledgement of good the state of purification involves the conjunction of good with truth, and is according to the laws of Order, ver. 5.
  4. And when the state of purification and regeneration is completed, then the Lord will be worshiped from the good of innocence; there will be reconciliation with the Lord, or of the External with the Internal; and this takes place both with celestial and spiritual men, vers. 6-8.

The Contents of each Verse

  1. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
  1. There is revelation from the Lord by Divine Truth giving perception, [more]
  1. Speak to the children of Israel, saying, If a woman conceive seed, and bear a man child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of the impurity of her sickness shall she be unclean.
  1. To the man of the Spiritual Church, and instructing him, that when, in the church, universal, general or particular, truth from the Lord is inseminated, and conceived and born, then there is a state of impurity in the proprium or External, and of holiness from the Lord in the Internal, even as, in the course of regeneration, when good is, as yet, separated from truth, there is impurity. [more]
  1. And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.
  1. But when the state of regeneration is completed, and the new state of spiritual life commences, all impurity is removed, even in the ultimate of the Natural, or in the natural degree. [more]
  1. And she shall continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled.
  1. And the state of purification following the reception and acknowledgement of truth, must be completed according to order; nor can truth be fully realized or good be fully enjoyed until purification from evil is perfect. [more]
  1. But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her impurity: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six-days.
  1. But in the case of the reception and acknowledgement of good the state of purification must involve the conjunction of good with truth; and the process of purification following must also be completed according to, order. [more]
  1. And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, to the door of the tent of meeting, to the priest:
  1. And when purification from evil is completed for the reception and acknowledgement of truth or of good, then the worship of the Lord from the good of innocence will be complete and perpetual, and the remission or removal of falsity and evil by a state of innocence accordingly will take place; or the Lord will be worshiped from the good of innocence internally and externally, by the acknowledgement of Him and of His operation through the heavens from a state of good. [more]
  1. And he shall offer it before the Lord, and make atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the fountain of her blood. This is the law for her that bear-eth, whether a male or a female.
  1. And in his state of worship the reconciliation or agreement of man with the Lord, or of the External with the Internal, will be effected, because all impurity will be removed. And this is the law of regeneration with regard to the reception, acknowledgement, and realization of truth and of good. [more]
  1. And if her means suffice not for a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves, or two young pigeons; the one for a burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean.
  1. But if the regenerating member of the church is unable in completing life's work to worship the Lord from celestial good, and thus to become an angel of the third heaven, he shall do so from spiritual good, and become an angel of the second or of the ultimate heaven, by the worship of the Lord from charity, and by the removal of evil according to that state. And thus also there will be complete purification. [more]

References and Notes

  1.  This is evident, because by Jehovah is denoted the Divine Being as to His love, 2001; by speaking is denoted influx, 2951; by Moses Is represented Divine Truth, or the Word, 7010, 6752; and by saying is denoted perception, 1791, 1822.

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  2.  Moses speaking to the children of Israel and saying denotes instruction to the man of the Spiritual Church, 7304, 3654; seed denotes truth inseminated from the Lord, 255, 256, 880; natural conception and birth correspond to spiritual conception and birth, 2586; a man child denotes truth, 725; to be unclean denotes spiritual impurity, 10130; the woman denotes the proprium, or External, 253, and the husband, the Lord, or the Internal, 4434; seven days denotes the whole course of regeneration, 2044; and "the impurity of her sickness" denotes the spiritual impurity arising from the separation of good and truth, 4161, and marginal reading of R.V.

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  3.  In the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin being circumcised denotes that when the state of regeneration is completed, and the new state of spiritual life commences, all impurity is removed, even in the ultimate of the Natural, or in the natural degree, 9227, 92965, 2039, 2041.

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  4.  Continuing in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days denotes that the state of purification following the reception and acknowledgement of the truths must be completed according to Order, as appears from the signification of three and its multiples, which denote all things of truth and good in the aggregate, or, in other words, completeness of truth and good, 4495, 10262, 6024; and touching no hallowed thing, nor coming into the sanctuary until the days of her purification are fulfilled, denotes that truth cannot be fully realized, nor good be fully enjoyed, until purification from evil is perfect, as appears from the signification of touching a holy thing, which denotes the realization of truth, 10130, 4575, and of going into the sanctuary, which denotes the enjoyment of good, 10129, 9903; and of the days being fulfilled, which denotes the completion of purification, as above explained.

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  5.  This is true, because bearing a maid child denotes the reception and acknowledgement of good, 6677; being unclean two weeks denotes a course of purification involving the conjunction of good with truth, 10130, 5194, 4177; and threescore and six days denote complete purification according to Order, in the same way as three and thirty days, 4495, 10262, 6024.

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  6.  When the days of her purification are fulfilled for a son or for a daughter denotes when purification is completed for the reception and acknowledgement of truth or of good, 4495, 10262, 6024, 725; bringing a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering denotes the worship of the Lord from the good of innocence complete and perpetual, 10132, 7839; bringing a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering denotes the remission of evil by a state of innocence accordingly, 10132; to the door of the tent of meeting denotes by the acknowledgement of the Lord and of His operation through the heavens, 2356, 35403; and the priest denotes a state of good, 9946.

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  7.  Offering the sacrifice before the Lord to make atonement denotes that in this state of worship the reconciliation or agreement of man with the Lord, or of the External with the Internal, will be effected, chap 1:3, 10042 II.; being cleansed from the fountain of her blood denotes the removal of spiritual impurity, 4545; and the law for her that bears whether a male or a female denotes the law of regeneration with respect, to the reception, acknowledgement and realization of truth and of good, 2586, 725.

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  8.  Her means, probably, not sufficing for a lamb denotes inability to worship the Lord from celestial love, 10132; taking two turtledoves or two young pigeons, the one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering, denotes the worship of the Lord from charity, which is spiritual good, 10132, 1826, 1827, 10053, 3900; the priest making atonement for her denotes the reconciliation of man with the Lord, and of the External with the Internal, chap 1:3, 10042 II., 9946; and her being clean denotes a complete state of purification, 4545.

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Discussion

A consideration of this short chapter necessarily involves a consideration of the process of regeneration or of the new birth, spoken of by the Lord in so interesting a manner in John 3:1-15. "Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God"; and "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Here there is an emphatic repetition with a peculiar difference. It is now generally understood in the Christian Church what these words imply spiritually. We can all clearly discern what is meant when it is said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit," and also how perfectly distinct, and even antagonistic, are "the flesh" and "the spirit."

But this ought not to be; and truly this state of opposition is really caused by man himself, when he chooses the "old" life and rejects the "new" life. And yet when, on the other hand, he chooses the "new" life, that new life is grounded in the old; for the church is formed in the proprium or proper life of man, and cannot be otherwise formed, 252. This is the initial teaching of our chapter. It is the woman who conceives seed. But the woman here, as the church in the proprium, denotes affection. In order, therefore, that the church may be formed in us there must be the love of the truth, even the love of the truth for its own sake. In order to be regenerated we must love the truth. And when we consider the character of the proprium which thus loves we can understand what follows. The affection in which the church is formed in us at first is not a pure affection, or a pure love of the truth.

For, observe, during the whole of regeneration there is impurity more or less until it is completed. This is what the Word teaches; and it is according to the experience of him who is regenerated. And even the Lord in His glorification continued to be affected by the hereditary life derived from the mother until His resurrection. Now it may cause sadness to think of our impurity in this way; but, on the other hand, let us receive consolation from the thought that in the end this state of impurity will be certain to cease, notwithstanding the fact that in heaven itself there is not absolute purity. That is, we can never become so pure that greater purity is not possible.

And in proceeding we notice next the difference between the conception of a son and the conception of a daughter. There is first in regeneration the realization of the love of truth, and afterwards good is realized. And on the surface it may appear a strange thing that there should be such a difference in the state of legal impurity here indicated. Why should the period of uncleanness and of the remains of impurity have been doubled when the maid child was born? Correspondentially two weeks, or twice seven days, have the same general signification, and so also have sixty-six and thirty-three. But the doubling indicates an important process. It denotes, as we have seen, that when good is conceived there is the conjunction of good with truth. A man has no conjunction with the Lord by truth merely, but only communication in this way. But still the love of the truth prepares the way. The practical truth, therefore, which is here taught by this doubling is that perfect regeneration is conjunction with the Lord through the conjunction of good and truth. But what is our part in this matter? It is that we should consistently obey the truth, or live according to it, in order that this conjunction may be effected. Truth and good may, indeed, be potentially conjoined in us through the love of the truth; but good and truth are not actually-conjoined except by obedience. " If you love me," said the Lord, "keep my commandments." And thus we may see how it is that the church is really and fully formed in the proprium of man. It is because the conjunction here spoken of is not only the marriage of good and truth internally, but is also the marriage of good internally with truth externally, or it is the conjunction of the external or natural man with the internal or spiritual man, by the removal of impurity through the practice of the truth.

And now we have to consider the result of regeneration. It is a law of Divine Orders that regeneration precedes, and that purification follows, 10239. It may, indeed, appear to some that purification should precede and regeneration follow, because outwardly man must be reformed before he is regenerated. But evidently, unless a man "be first born anew he has no spiritual life, and how can one who is spiritually dead be purified? The truth is, then, that although external purification precedes complete regeneration, yet all through life regeneration comes first and purification follows successively; and this purification is represented in our chapter by circumcision on the eighth day, and by the sin offering. But here again we are to note that the offerings which represent the genuine worship of the Lord are mentioned in due order, for the burnt offering precedes the sin offering. The result of regeneration, therefore, is that there is the pure worship of the Lord from a state of heavenly good grounded in innocence both internally and externally, followed by complete purification, namely, that state of purification in heaven which precludes further temptations. For no one in heaven can be tempted, although he does continue to be more and more purified even to eternity. How, then, can we conceive what our perfect state in heaven shall be when two thousand years of earthly time shall have passed away? Surely, however, we shall be the same persons as we are now by regeneration, and shall be delighted in the performance of our heavenly function in the Grand Man, with an increase and intensity of wisdom and love of which now we can form no adequate idea. And, therefore, even now, while we are so far below in the valley, and while we are awaiting our Judgement, let us take courage, and run with patience and indomitable perseverance the race set before us. For we may depend upon it tható " All's for the best, be a man but confiding, Providence tenderly governs the rest, And the frail barque of His creature is guiding Wisely and warily, all for the best. All's for the best; then fling away terrors; Meet all your friends and your foes in the van; And, in the midst of your dangers or errors. Trust like a child, while you strive like a man."

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