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The Ten Commandments

The Fourth Commandment

The fourth commandment of the Decalogue is, that parents must be honored. This commandment was given because honor to parents represented and thus signified love to the Lord and love towards the church, for "father" in the heavenly sense, that is, the Heavenly Father, is the Lord; and "mother" in the heavenly sense, that is, the heavenly mother, is the church; "honor" signifies the good of love; and "length of days," which they will have, signifies the happiness of eternal life. So is this commandment understood in heaven, where no other father but the Lord is known, and no other mother but the kingdom of the Lord, which is also the church. For the Lord gives life from Himself, and through the church He gives nourishment. That in the heavenly sense no father in the world can be meant, and indeed, when man is in a heavenly idea, can be mentioned, the Lord teaches in Matthew:--

Call no man your father on earth; for one is your Father who is in the heavens (Matt. 23:9).

That "Father" signifies the Lord as to the Divine good (AE 32, 200, 254, 297). That "mother" signifies the Lordís kingdom, the church, and the Divine truth, (AC 289, 2691, 2717, 3703, 5581, 8897). That "length of days" signifies the happiness of eternal life (AC 8898); and that "honor" signifies the good of love (AC 8897), and (AE 288, 345). All this makes clear that the third and fourth commandments involve arcana relating to the Lord, namely, the acknowledgment and confession of His Divine, and the worship of Him from the good of love. AE 966