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Numbers Chapter 35

Summary of the Spiritual Sense

  1. There is revelation from the Lord by Divine Truth, or the Word, that doctrine is to be provided in the external man for the support of charity there, vers. 1-5.
  2. Also these doctrines must include full provision for the protection of those who sin through error or ignorance without an evil intention; and they must be acquired by a full course of temptation, and be continually renewed with every one according to the state as to charity, vers. 6-8.
  3. And several particulars are given in the remainder of the chapter concerning evils and errors committed without fault, and particularly concerning the removal of evils and falsities in the Judgement, the prevailing state of good, and the necessity for purification, vers. 9-34.

The Contents of each Verse

  1. And the lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying,
  1. There is revelation from the Lord by Divine Truth even when good is adulterated in a low state of spiritual life, when external things prevail, and when the knowledges of truth from the Word are limited. [more]
  1. Command the children of Israel, that they give to the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in; and suburbs for the cities round about them shall you give to the Levites.
  1. And this revelation is to the man of the Spiritual Church giving the perception, that doctrines and truths are to be provided in the external man for the reception of charity internally and externally there. [more]
  1. And the cities shall they have to dwell in; and their suburbs shall be for their cattle, and for their substance, and for all their beasts.
  1. For charity has its abode in truths; and the natural affections as to the good of innocence; as to delight in knowledge; and as to sensual things, are in heaven and in the church, to be supplied with appropriate nourishment. [more]
  1. And the suburbs of the cities, which you shall give to the Levites, shall be from the wall of the city and outward a thousand cubits round about.
  1. And such nourishment is properly to be distinguished from what is of the internal of the natural degree, as well as being sufficient in every respect. [more]
  1. And you shall measure without the city for the east side two thousand cubits, and for the south side two thousand cubits, and for the west side two thousand cubits, and for the north side two thousand cubits, the city being in the midst. This shall be to them the suburbs of the cities.
  1. And the quality of this provision for the external of the natural man, is to be according to good and truth interior, and according to good and truth exterior; and it is to have conjunction with the internal truths which are the immediate receptacles of charity. And thus the external of the natural man is to minister to and serve the internal as to doctrines which are receptacles of charity, [more]
  1. And the cities which you shall give to the Levites, they shall be the six cities of refuge, which you shall give for the manslayer to flee thither: and beside them you shall give forty and two cities.
  1. And also, in the doctrines and truths which are the receptacles of charity there must be a full provision against the consequences of evil committed unconsciously, when evil has been done to another without any evil intention; and besides this, the receptacles with the man of the church for charity are to be acquired and appropriated through victory in temptation, culminating in a state of holiness. [more]
  1. All the cities which you shall give to the Levites shall be forty and eight cities: them shall you give with their suburbs.
  1. And all the receptacles in the external man are to be in fullness as to good and truth, and are to be continually renewed from the internal or from charity, and this both as to the interiors of the natural and as to the exteriors thereof. [more]
  1. And concerning the cities which you shall give of the possession of the children of Israel, from the many you shall take many; and from the few you shall take few: every one according to his inheritance which he inheriteth shall give of his cities to the Levites.
  1. Moreover, this provision in the external man for the reception and support of charity, is to be according to the state of the internal; for if the internal is abundant in charity, its external will be in agreement therewith as to truths, and therefore much charity is rich in truths, and little charity is poor in truths. For the man of the church must acknowledge that he has all truths from the Lord through charity and for the sake of charity. [more]
  1. And the lord spoke to Moses, saying,
  1. Further, there is revelation from the Lord by Divine Truth giving the perception, [more]
  1. Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When you pass over Jordan into the land of Canaan,
  1. By influx into the will and by illustration in the understanding, that when the man of the church is in the heavenly state, [more]
  1. Then you shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the manslayer which kills any person unwittingly may flee thither.
  1. He recognizes that the Lord provides for such a state protection from the consequences of evil committed without evil intention. [more]
  1. And the cities shall be to you for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation for judgement.
  1. For the truth teaches that the man who sins in ignorance is without fault, and must be protected until investigation is made by truths; [more]
  1. And the cities which you shall give shall be for you six cities of refuge.
  1. And hence the protection of such persons is complete in every respect; [more]
  1. You shall give three cities beyond Jordan, and three cities shall you give in the land of Canaan; they shall be cities of refuge.
  1. And this both as to the external and internal man distinctly according; to the truths of the Word having relation to each. For the truth always protects those who are in charity and yet in ignorance. [more]
  1. For the children of Israel, and for the stranger and for the sojourner among them, shall these six cities be for refuge: that every one that kills any person unwittingly may flee thither.
  1. And the man of the internal church, as well as the man of the external, and he who is being instructed, alike need this protection, since all are liable to err without having evil intention. [more]
  1. But if he smote him with an instrument of iron, so that he died, he is a manslayer: the manslayer shall surely be put to death.
  1. But he who, by means of false doctrine, injures another deliberately from the love of evil surely brings upon himself a state of spiritual death which is vastation. [more]
  1. And if he smote him with a stone in the hand, whereby a man may die, and he died, he is a manslayer: the manslayer shall surely be put to death.
  1. Also he who by the power of falsity which is from its nature opposed to good, wilfully takes away spiritual life from another, is certainly guilty, and brings upon himself a state of vastation. [more]
  1. Or if he smote him with a weapon of wood in the hand, whereby a man may die, and he died, he is a manslayer: the manslayer shall surely be put to death.
  1. Or again, he who wilfully and forcibly does injury to another by persuading that good is meritorious, because selfish love desires reward, is guilty and brings upon himself vastation. [more]
  1. The avenger of blood shall himself put the man-slayer to death: when he meeteth him, he shall put him to death.
  1. For evil punishes itself, and he who indulges therein brings upon himself the consequences thereof. [more]
  1. And if he thrust him of hatred, or hurled at him, lying in wait, so that he died;
  1. Or still again, he who from hatred of good and truth ] does injury thereto either openly or by deceit; [more]
  1. Or in enmity smote him with his hand, that he died: he that smote him shall surely be put to death; he is a manslayer: the avenger of blood shall put the manslayer to death, when he meeteth him.
  1. Or in enmity exercises the power of falsity against them, brings upon himself his own vastation, because he who wilfully uses falsity as a means of doing evil is guilty, and brings upon himself his own punishment more intensely. [more]
  1. But if he thrust him suddenly without enmity, or hurled upon him any thing without lying in wait,
  1. But on the other hand, when he who is interiorly in good, does injury to another from mistaken zeal, either as to the will or understanding, and without deceit; [more]
  1. Or with any stone, whereby a man may die, seeing him not, and cast it upon him, so that he died, and he was not his enemy, neither sought his harm:
  1. Or by falsity which causes spiritual death, from ignorance or wilfulness, when yet there is no intention from evil or from injury, [more]
  1. Then the congregation shall judge between the smiter and the avenger of blood according to these judgements:
  1. Then the truths of the church are decisive in a doubtful case, according to Divine Order. [more]
  1. And the congregation shall deliver the manslayer out of the hand of the avenger, of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to his city of refuge, whither he was fled: and he shall dwell therein until the death of the high priest, which was anointed with the holy oil.
  1. And he who is in good interiorly is delivered from the consequences of evil or error, and is protected by the doctrine of the church, which excuses and protects the innocence of ignorance until, in the Judgement, good is clearly manifested, evil is fully rejected, and there is the conjunction of truth with good. [more]
  1. But if the manslayer shall at any time go beyond the border of his city of refuge, whither he flees;
  1. But if he, who from ignorance has violated charity, afterwards deliberately passes beyond the limits of the truth which defends him; [more]
  1. And the avenger of blood find him without the border of his city of refuge, and the avenger of blood slay the manslayer; he shall not be guilty of blood:
  1. And thus brings upon himself the consequences of actual evil, he must needs suffer; and guilt is not imputed to him who resists evil from good, and restrains it by punishment. [more]
  1. Because he should have remained in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest: but after the death of the high priest the manslayer shall return into the land of his possession.
  1. For only the innocence of ignorance excuses wrong doing, from the consequences of which the good are delivered by the Judgement; for then genuine good is manifested and evil is rejected, and the external man becomes the true expression of the internal. [more]
  1. And these things shall be for a statute of judgement to you throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
  1. And these laws of Divine Order in relation to the man of the church, are eternal in every change of state, and as to every state of good. [more]
  1. Whoever kills any person, the manslayer shall be slain at the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person that he die.
  1. For injury done to good must inevitably bring vastation through the combined testimony of various truths; but one truth is not sufficient to decide. [more]
  1. Moreover you shall take no ransom for the life of a manslayer, which is guilty of death: but he shall surely be put to death.
  1. But evil confirmed by falsity under all circumstances is incapable of redemption, because it is guilty, and vasta-tion is the result of this confirmation. [more]
  1. And you shall take no ransom for him that is fled to his city of refuge, that he should come again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest.
  1. Moreover, even he who has committed evil without an evil intention, cannot be in freedom and full redemption so long as good is not conjoined with truth in him, or until, by the Judgement, he is delivered from falsity, and confirmed in the truth which agrees with his own good. [more]
  1. So you shall not pollute the land wherein you are: for blood, it polluteth the land: and no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.
  1. For the heavenly state must not be polluted with falsity; and falsity always causes pollution; and there is no redemption for the man who has confirmed himself in evil and falsity; and he must needs therefore suffer vastation. [more]
  1. And you shall not defile the land which you inhabit, in the midst of which I dwell: for I the lord dwell in the midst of the children of Israel.
  1. And therefore falsity as well as evil is at all times, or in all states, to be rooted out, because it does not agree with Divine Good; and Divine Good is the essential life of the man of the church. [more]

References and Notes

  1.  The Lord speaking to Moses in the plains of Moab, by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, denotes that there is revelation from the Lord by Divine Truth, even when good is adulterated, in a low state of spiritual life, when external things prevail, and when the knowledges of truth from the Word are limited, 2001, 2951, 7010, 2418, 2468, 1585, 932510, 1822.

    [Back to 1]

  2.  "Command the children of Israel that they give to the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in; and suburbs, or pasture-lands, for the cities round about them shall you give to the Levites," denotes that this revelation is to the man of the Spiritual Church giving the perception that doctrines and truths are to be provided in the external man for the reception of charity internally and externally there, 5486, 3654, 10227, 3877, 2658, 2029, 492, 1293, 7407, 6078, 2973.

    [Back to 2]

  3.  "And the cities shall they have to dwell in," denotes that charity has its abode in truths, 402, 3877, 1293, 2268; "and their suburbs shall be for their cattle, and for their substance, and for all their beasts," denotes that the natural affections as to the good of innocence; as to delight in knowledge, and as to sensual things are in heaven and in the church, to be supplied with appropriate nourishment, 7407, 6078, 6134, 4105, 987.

    [Back to 3]

  4.  "And the suburbs, or pasture-lands, of the cities which you shall give to the Levites, shall be from the wall of the city and outward a thousand cubits round about," denotes that such nourishment is to be properly distinguished from what is of the Internal of the natural degree, as well as being sufficient in every respect, 7407, 6078, 402, 10227, 3877, 6419, 10185, 2973, 648, 2575.

    [Back to 4]

  5.  "And you shall measure without the city for the east side two thousand cubits, and for the south side two thousand cubits, and for the west side two thousand cubits, and for the north side two thousand cubits," denotes that the quality of this provision for the External of the natural man is to be according to good and truth interior, and according to good and truth exterior, 648, 2973, 402, 3708, 5194, 2575; "the city being in the midst," denotes that it is to have conjunction with the internal truths which are the immediate receptacles of charity, 5194, 402, 200, 3877; and "this shall be to them the suburbs, or pasture-lands of the cities," denotes that thus the External of the natural man is to minister to and serve the Internal as to doctrinals which are receptacles of charity, 7407, 6078, 402, 3877.

    [Back to 5]

  6.  "And the cities which you shall give to the Levites they shall be the six cities of refuge which you shall give for the manslayer to flee thither," denotes that in the doctrines and truths which are the receptacles of charity, there must be a full provision against the consequences of evil committed unconsciously, when evil has been done to another without any evil intention, 402, 10227, 3877, 3239, 9011; and "beside them you shall give forty and two cities," denotes that the receptacles with the man of the church for charity are to be acquired and appropriated through victory in temptation, culminating in a state of holiness, 10227, 402, 3877, 730, 97418.

    [Back to 6]

  7.  "All the cities which you shall give to the Levites shall be forty and eight cities: them shall you give with their suburbs," denotes that all the receptacles in the external man are to be in fullness as to good and truth, and are to be continually renewed from the Internal, or from charity, and this both as to the interiors of the Natural and as to the exteriors thereof, 402, 10227, 3877, 730, 2044, 7407, 6078.

    [Back to 7]

  8.  "And concerning the cities which you shall give of the possession of the children of Israel; from the many you shall take many; and from the few you shall take few: every one according to his inheritance which he inheriteth shall give of his cities to the Levites," denotes that this provision in the external man for the reception and the support of charity is to be according to the state of the internal; for if the internal man is abundant in charity its external will be in agreement therewith as to truths, and therefore much charity is rich in truths, and little charity is poor in truths. For the man of the church must acknowledge that he has all truths from the Lord through charity, and for the sake of charity, 402, 10227, 2029, 3654, 6654, 4518, 2658, 3877.

    [Back to 8]

  9.  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; and by saying is denoted perception, 1822.

    [Back to 9]

  10.  "Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, When you pass over Jordan into the land of Canaan," denotes by influx into the will and illustration in the understanding, that when the man of the church is in the heavenly state, 2951, 10290, 9014, 3705.

    [Back to 10]

  11.  "Then you shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; and the manslayer which kills any person unwittingly may flee thither," denotes that he recognizes that the Lord provides for such a state protection from the consequences of evil committed without evil intention, 5288, 402, 9011.

    [Back to 11]

  12.  "And the cities shall be to you for refuge from the avenger, that the manslayer die not until he stand before the congregation, or assembly, for judgement," denotes that the truth teaches that the man who sins in ignorance is without fault, and must be protected until investigation is made by truths, 402, 9011, 8223, 3136, 7843, 8972.

    [Back to 12]

  13.  "And the cities which you shall give shall be for you six cities of refuge," denotes that hence the protection of such persons is complete in every respect, 402, 10227, 3239, 9011.

    [Back to 13]

  14.  "You shall give three cities beyond Jordan, and three cities shall you give in the land of Canaan; they shall be cities of refuge," denotes both as to the external and internal man distinctively, according to the truths of the Word having relation to each. For the truth always protects those who are in charity and yet in ignorance, 2788, 1585, 3705. 402, 9011.

    [Back to 14]

  15.  " For the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them shall these six cities be for refuge: that every one who kills any person unwittingly may flee thither," denotes that the man of the internal church as well as the man of the external, and he who is being instructed, alike need this protection, since all are liable to err without having evil intention, 3654, 1097, 1463, 3239, 402, 9011.

    [Back to 15]

  16.  "But if he smote him with an instrument of iron, so that he died, he is a manslayer: the manslayer shall surely be put to death," denotes that he who by means of false doctrine injures another deliberately from the love of evil, surely brings upon himself a state of spiritual death, which is vastation, 4251, 9011, 9007, 9008.

    [Back to 16]

  17.  "And if he smote him with a stone in the hand whereby a man may die, and he died, he is a manslayer: the manslayer shall surely be put to death," denotes that he who by the power of falsity, which is from its nature opposed to good, wilfully takes away spiritual life from another, is certainly guilty, and brings upon himself a state of vastation, 4251, 9011, 878, 7507.

    [Back to 17]

  18.  "Or if he smote him with a weapon of wood in the hand, whereby a man may die, and he died, he is a manslayer: the manslayer shall surely be put to death," denotes that he who wilfully and forcibly does injury to another by persuading that good is meritorious, because selfish love desires reward, is guilty, and brings upon himself vastation, 4251, 9011, 878, 7507.

    [Back to 18]

  19.  "The avenger of blood shall himself put the manslayer to death: when he meeteth him he shall put him to death," denotes that evil punishes itself, and that he who indulges therein brings upon himself the consequences thereof, 696, 8223, 683.

    [Back to 19]

  20.  "And if he thrust him of hatred, or hurled at him lying in wait, so that he died," denotes that he who from hatred of good and truth does injury thereto, either openly or by deceit, 4503, 683, 9013.

    [Back to 20]

  21.  "Or in enmity smote him with his hand, that he died; he that smote him shall surely be put to death, he is a manslayer: the avenger of blood shall put the manslayer to death when he meeteth him," denotes or in enmity exercises the power of falsity against them, brings upon himself his own vastation, because he who wilfully uses falsity, as a means of doing evil, is guilty, and brings upon himself his own punishment more intensely, 4251, 878, 7507, 696, 8223, 683.

    [Back to 21]

  22.  "But if he thrust him suddenly without enmity, or hurled at him anything without lying in wait," denotes that, on the other hand, when he who is interiorly in good, does injury to another from mistaken zeal, either as to the will or understanding, and without deceit, 4503, 683, 9013.

    [Back to 22]

  23.  "Or with any stone whereby a man may die, seeing him not and cast it upon him, so that he died, and he was not his enemy neither sought his harm," denotes or by falsity, which causes spiritual death, from ignorance or wilfulness, when yet there is no intention from evil or from injury, 4251, 9011, 7507, 2150, 683, 2851.

    [Back to 23]

  24.  "Then the congregation, or assembly, shall judge between the smiter and the avenger of blood according to these judgements," denotes that then the truths of the church are decisive in a doubtful case, according to Divine Order, 7843, 8972.

    [Back to 24]

  25.  "And the congregation shall deliver the manslayer out of the hands of the avenger of blood," denotes that he who is in good interiorly is delivered from the consequences of evil or error, because the manslayer, in this case, denotes him who is in good interiorly, ver. 23, and the congregation, or assembly, denotes truth from good judging and delivering, 7843; also the avenger of blood denotes the consequences of evil and error, 696, 8223; "and the congregation shall restore him to his city of refuge whither he was fled," denotes that such a person is protected by the doctrine of the church, which excuses and defends the innocence of ignorance, 402, 9011; and "he shall dwell therein until the death of the high priest which was anointed with the holy oil," denotes until, in the Judgement, good is clearly manifested, evil is fully rejected, and there is the conjunction of truth with good, 5975, 900, 9946, 9954, 10010, 10011.

    [Back to 25]

  26.  "But if the manslayer shall at any time go beyond the border of his city of refuge whither he flees," denotes that if he who, from ignorance, has violated charity, afterwards passes deliberately beyond the limits of the truth which defends him, ver. 25, 8063, 9011.

    [Back to 26]

  27.  "And the avenger of blood find him without the border of his city of refuge, and the avenger of blood slay the manslayer, he shall not be guilty of blood," denotes that the person hitherto protected, brings upon himself the consequences of actual evil, and must needs suffer; and that evil is not imputed to him who resists evil from good, and restrains it by punishment, 696, 8223, 8063, 9011, 4727, 3400, 8598.

    [Back to 27]

  28.  "Because he should have remained in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest," denotes that only the innocence of ignorance excuses wrong doing, from the consequences of which the good are delivered in the Judgement, vers. 11, 25; and "after the death of the high priest the manslayer shall return into the land of his possession," denotes that then genuine good is manifested, and evil is rejected, and the external man becomes the true expression of the internal, ver. 25, 9946, 2288, 2029.

    [Back to 28]

  29.  "And these things shall be for a statute of judgement to you throughout your generations in all your dwellings," denotes that these laws of Divine Order in relation to the man of the church, are eternal in every change of state, and as to every state of good, 8357, 1041, 1293, 10160.

    [Back to 29]

  30.  "Whoever kills any person the manslayer shall be slain at the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person that he die," denotes that injury done to good must inevitably bring vastation through the combined testimony of various truths; but that one truth is not sufficient to decide, 9011, 7507, 4727, 41977.

    [Back to 30]

  31.  "Moreover you shall take no ransom for the life of a man-slayer which is guilty of death: he shall surely be put to death," denotes that evil confirmed by falsity under all circumstances is incapable of redemption, because it is guilty, and vastation is the result of this confirmation, 10042, 3400, 9011, 7507, 845.

    [Back to 31]

  32.  "And you shall take no ransom for him that is fled to his city of refuge, that he should come again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest," denotes that even he who has committed evil without an evil intention, cannot be in freedom and full redemption so long as good is not conjoined with truth in him, or until by the Judgement he is delivered from falsity, and confirmed in the truth which agrees with his own good, 10042, 3400, 9011, 1293, 3705, ver. 25.

    [Back to 32]

  33.  "So you shall not pollute the land wherein you are: for blood it polluteth the land; and no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed therein but by the blood of him that shed it," denotes that the heavenly state must not be polluted by falsity; that falsity always causes pollution; and that there is no redemption for the man who has confirmed himself in evil and falsity, and that he must needs therefore suffer vastation, 59549, 3705, 374, 9127, 10042, 1010, 1011, 7507, 74744.

    [Back to 33]

  34.  "And you shall not defile the land which you inhabit, in the midst of which I dwell; for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the children of Israel," denotes that therefore falsity as well as evil is at all times or in all states to be rooted out, because it does not agree with Divine Good; and Divine Good is the essential life of the man of the church, 59549, 683, 3705, 1293, 200, 2001, 3654.

    [Back to 34]

Discussion

The first section of this chapter, in the internal sense, makes a distinction between the children of Israel generally and the Levites; and we are already familiar with that distinction. But, in addition to that, we are now taught that the external man in the Natural, represented by the Israelites, is to provide doctrine, denoted by cities, for the reception of the good of charity, signified by the Levites, there. And why is this? It is because charity in the ultimate heaven, or in the external church, or in the natural degree of the individual mind, flows in from the Lord through the celestial and spiritual heavens into the ultimate heaven, or into the natural degree of the church generally and particularly, and is not something inherent in man by birth; and therefore, also, it is because this inflowing spiritual life in the Natural must have a receptacle in the natural mind, from the Word, since it cannot abide in the merely natural man the will of which is corrupt, and the intellect of which, or the thought from the will of which, is only evil continually, as we read in Gen 6:5. And this receptacle is truth or doctrine, and therefore we see how new really is the regenerated life of man.

But we are to take notice, however, that the doctrine represented by the cities is to be acquired by man as from himself; for it is said thaf the Israelites were to provide the cities and give them to the Levites. Again, the doctrine thus drawn from the Word by the spiritual-natural man is to be both interior and exterior, the former being signified by the cities and the latter by the suburbs. And, thirdly, the quality of doctrine, in Externals, is to be according to its quality in Internals, by conjunction therewith, and is to be sufficient, which is represented by the measurements, two especially having relation to such conjunction. And, moreover, it is to be with all variety adapted to the various kinds of good as denoted by the four quarters. Thus, then, we clearly learn that the new life of the natural man is to be entirely from the Lord, and yet in such a way that it is acquired, as it were, by the man himself.

And now, in the second section we read of the six cities of refuge to which those persons might flee who had slain any man without evil intention, this plainly teaching in the internal sense, that such are protected by true doctrine; for this takes account, not simply of the actions of men, but of their motives more especially, and thus it does not condemn any one who does wrong through ignorance or mistake, while yet nothing is more exact than the truth of the holy Word in condemning wilful sin. But, it may be asked, why were there only six such cities of refuge; and why only three on each side of the river, as described in the beginning of the third section? It is because such protection by true doctrine is full and complete in every respect, both as to the internal and external man.

And here it may be well to observe that the number six varies in signification in the Word according to the subject, sometimes signifying combat against evil, as when it is said there should be six days of labour, and that the seventh should be a Sabbath, or a state of rest and peace, and at other times denoting completeness either as to falsity or truth, as in Rev 13:18, where it denotes totality as to the former, and in this chapter, where it signifies completeness as to protection by true doctrine. And these, indeed, will be perceived to be not inconsistencies, when it is considered that the six days of labour involve not only combat against evil and error simply, but also the completeness of a course of temptations, because six is a multiple of three, which, it is well known, signifies completeness in general, this, no doubt, arising from the fact that, according to the law of discrete degrees, in the third degree, or ultimate, the prior degrees, are in their fullness and power, that is, in all completeness (DLW 217), And concerning the passage from Rev 13:18, see the explanation in 10217, and in AR 610.

But, noting the great importance of the spiritual teaching in ver. 8, which closes the second section, we continue our comments on the third, and call attention to the appropriateness of the spiritual sense of ver. 15. For surely the man of the external church and those who are being instructed, respectively represented by the stranger and sojourner, are liable to do wrong without any evil intention, and indeed no man of the Spiritual Church, even in an advanced state, is free from this liability, and all such are protected by the true doctrine which is represented by the cities of refuge.

But we now have to deal with the cases in which murder it committed with deliberate evil intention; and, of course, the literal sense is plain enough. The internal sense, however, requires some consideration; for, clearly, no Christian ought to return evil for evil as is here described in this old law of Moses; and also when murderers are punished with death by the state for the crimes they commit, this is not to be done from vindictive motives at all, but for the protection of society, and, so far as it is possible, for the real good of the criminal himself. And, therefore, in a Christian community it could not be permitted that the nearest relative of a murdered person should personally take vengeance on the murderer. We see, on this account, that some deep spiritual truths are involved in this law, concerning the avenger of blood. For it is evident that, even if any one should take the life of another wickedly from a deliberate intention, he ought not to be punished vindictively.

Now, we have learned from the previous explanation of vers. 16-21 what their spiritual teaching is. The avenger of blood denotes the punishment of evil by itself, and is according to the law of retaliation by which evil returns upon him who commits evil, as is explained fully in the reference given in demonstrating ver. 19; and we read: "It frequently happens in the other life that the wicked, when they are desirous to occasion evil to the good, are grievously punished; and that the evil which they intend for others returns upon themselves. This appears at the time as if it were revenge from the good; but it is not revenge, neither is it from the good, but from ' the wicked, to whom, in such case, the opportunity is given from the law of order: yea, the good do not will evil to them; but still they cannot take away the evil of punishment, because, at such times, they are kept in the intention of good, just as a judge when he sees a malefactor punished, or as a father when he sees his son chastised by a master; the wicked, when they inflict punishment, do it from the lust of doing evil, but the good from the affection of doing good," 82233. But the various offences, committed from a spirit of evil and premeditation, signify certain states of a corrupted man, or of a corrupted church, in which injury is done to others by falsities of various kinds, which are represented respectively by iron, by stone, or by wood; and when such injuries are so inflicted, it is manifest that the evil returns upon those who thus do evil, because, in this case, the very evils and falsities intended to injure or destroy the spiritual life of others, are confirmed in those who practise them; while, on the other hand; it is evident from the teaching in vers. 22-25, spiritually interpreted, that, where false doctrines are taught, under the impression that they are truths, and from truly religious motives, the persons who teach them are not guilty. But here a certain question arises. Although the teachers of false doctrine are not guilty, yet, all the same, great injury may be done to others, and indeed actually has been done to others, by such teaching. How, then, is it with those who receive such injury? The answer to this question is not given in our chapter, as a careful perusal of the series of the spiritual sense will show. The reason is because the subject is concerning those who teach false doctrine, and not concerning those who suffer from it, either spiritual injury, or spiritual death, and therefore it must be sought elsewhere. And first with regard to the reception of injury from false doctrine and its cure, we learn, from Mark 16:18 in its spiritual sense, that those who imbibe false doctrine, which is there called drinking a deadly thing, because drinking corresponds to the reception of truth or falsity in the understanding, 996015, and a deadly thing evidently denotes falsity, if they have a true faith in the Lord shall not be injured thereby. And, secondly, that spiritual death is not the result of receiving false doctrine merely, but of appropriating what is evil, signified by eating, is clear from Gen 2:17, as explained in 126-129.

But passing from this short digression, we are now to reflect on the remainder of the chapter; and it is interesting particularly to notice how emphatically it is declared that injury, done to others without evil intention, is excusable, and that such as inadvertently err in this respect are to be protected, as we read in vers. 22-25. And consider, also, the importance of the teaching of these verses in their internal sense, especially with regard to what is represented by the manslayer remaining in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest. For the high priest represents the "work of the salvation of those who are in the Lord's celestial kingdom"; and as this kingdom includes, specifically, those who are in good in each of the three heavens, 10017, therefore, also, he denotes the inmost state as to good of every one, and his death denotes, in the best sense, a new state of life, 5975, which is the result of the Judgement that takes place after the death of the earthly body. That is to say, when this new state of life is manifested, there is no longer any need for the state of comparatively external restraint which is represented by the manslayer remaining in his city of refuge. And how delightful such a state of freedom will be to the spiritual man in our present state we can very hardly conceive; for then all conflicts will have ceased; and the external man will become the true expression of the internal, as we learn from ver. 28; for there the manslayer himself denotes the internal man, and the land of his possession the external.

Nor ought we to neglect the caution contained in vers. 26-28; and which we know very well is, as to its spiritual teaching, so often given in other parts of the Word. For how solemnly does the Lord impress this upon us when He says, even in speaking of His Coming, and thus of the Judgement, "Remember Lot's wife" (Luke 17:32) I And how significant is the same kind of caution given to Shimei by Solomon in 1 Kings 2:36, which chapter also, in its internal sense, has relation to the same process! And there, truly, we see not only what awaits all such persons as are represented by Shimei, but also the impossibility of retaining, in the heavenly state, such imperfections as are represented by the enemies of David and Solomon. But on this subject it may be allowable to refer the reader to the Two Books of Kings Explained, pages 21-39.

Another interesting point in connection with the process of Judgement is contained in the internal sense of ver. 30, which teaches that a combination of truths is necessary to condemn those who have confirmed themselves in evil. For it is said, even in the literal sense, that one witness shall not testify against any person that he die. But there is another aspect of this truth that deserves consideration. The whole of the inner meaning of this chapter has reference principally to doctrine; and doctrine specifically considered has relation to the understanding of man. But man is not man by virtue of his intellectual powers only, or even chiefly. For it is the will or the love that constitutes the man, and the understanding only so far as it agrees with the will or love, and is used by the will or love as a means of self-improvement. Again, it is not even sufficient that a man should have an enlightened mind and a loving heart; for these are no use by themselves, but only become useful when they are expressed and embodied in a life of usefulness. And hence the collective man is only fully represented by good deeds according to an enlightened understanding and loving heart. And to make a perfect man, therefore, these must agree together and be in harmony, especially in heaven, where only we shall find perfect men, that is, regenerated men, or angels. And this is really the deeper truth involved in the Lord's words that in the mouth of two or three witnesses, in a case of dispute, or of wrongdoing, every word is to be established (Matt 18:16). And can we not all see and feel that the grand object of our regeneration is to bring all these various powers of our complex life into a glorious and blissful state of pure feeling, correct thought, and delightful action? It is not surprising, therefore, that the remaining verses of our chapter involve the truth of ver. 30, first with regard to the evil, ver. 31, secondly, with respect to the regenerating man, ver. 32, and, thirdly, as to the regenerated man, vers. 33-34. We may conclude, therefore, with a few words on each of these cases. No ransom is to be taken for the murderer who is guilty of death. And here, plainly, deliberate wickedness is meant; for spiritually to be guilty of death is to confirm evil by falsity, and not simply to sin through ignorance or mistake, as the references given emphatically show; and the confirmation of evil by falsity is effected by the consent of the will and the understanding together embodied in the actions of the life.

The second case is that in which a manslayer cannot, by paying any ransom, come into the possession of his property, before the death of the high priest; and this denotes the state of the man who is being regenerated, and has not, as yet, fully confirmed good by truth, for until this is done redemption, or expiation, or atonement, is not fully effected in him, and it can only be effected in the Judgement, when the inmost good is manifested. It is true, indeed, that there is the consent of the understanding and the will, and at the same time the obedience of self-compulsion, 1937, but not yet full obedience from love, and in the meantime, therefore, there is still some temptation, and here it is "he that endures to the end" that will be saved.

But the third case is that of the fully regenerated man, in which there is not to be pollution, as is represented by no blood-shedding being permitted; and also there is the consciousness that without the Lord, or apart from His continually inflowing life, man is disposed to confirm evil by falsity, but is withheld therefrom by the force of Divine Love now operating externally as well as internally, as is represented by the Lord dwelling in the midst of the land. So perfectly, therefore, we now see, does the Word, in its internal sense, describe every state of man, as to all his powers.

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