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The Ten Commandments

The Second Commandment

In the preceding chapter the first commandment of the Decalogue is treated of at the end of the several articles. In the following articles in this chapter the other commandments of the Decalogue will be treated of; and here the second commandment, "Thou shalt not profane the name of God." In the first place, what is meant by "the name of God" shall be told, and afterwards what is meant by "profaning" it. "The name of God" means every quality by which God is worshiped. For God is in His own quality, and is His own quality. His essence is the Divine love, and His quality is the Divine truth therefrom united with the Divine good; thus with us on earth it is the Word; consequently it is said in John:--

The Word was with God, and God was the Word (John 1:1).

Thence also, it is the doctrine of genuine truth and good from the Word; for worship is according to that.

Now as His quality is manifold, for it comprises all things that are from Him, so He has many names; and each name involves and expresses His quality in general and in particular. He is called "Jehovah," "Jehovah of Hosts," "Lord," "Lord Jehovih," "God," "Messiah or Christ," "Jesus," "Saviour," "Redeemer," "Creator," "Former," "Maker," "King," and "the Holy One of Israel," "the Rock" and "the Stone of Israel," "Shiloh," "Shaddai," "David," "Prophet," "Son of God," and "Son of man," and so on. All these names are the names of the one God, who is the Lord; and yet where they occur in the Word they signify some universal Divine attribute or quality distinct from the other Divine attributes or qualities. So, too, where He is called "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," three are not meant, but one God; that is, there are not three Divines, but one, and this trine which is one is the Lord.

Since each name signifies some distinct attribute or quality, "to profane the name of God" does not mean to profane the name itself but His quality. "Name" signifies quality for the reason that in heaven everyone is named according to his quality; and the quality of God or the Lord is everything that is from Him by which He is worshiped. For this reason, since no Divine quality of the Lord is acknowledged in hell, the Lord cannot he named there; and in the spiritual world His names cannot be uttered by anyone except so far as His Divine is acknowledged; for there all speak from the heart, thus from love and consequent acknowledgment. AE 959

[14] Since "the name of God" means that which is from God and which is God, and this is called the Divine truth, and with us the Word, this must not be profaned, because it is in itself Divine and most holy; and it is profaned when its holiness is denied, which is done when it is despised, rejected, and treated contemptuously. When this is done heaven is closed and man is left to hell. For the Word is the only medium of conjunction of heaven with the church; therefore when the Word is cast out of the heart that conjunction is dissolved; and because man is then left to hell he no longer acknowledges any truth of the church.

[15] There are two things by which heaven is closed to the men of the church. One is the denial of the Lord’s Divine, and the other is the denial of the holiness of the Word; and for this reason that the Lord’s Divine is the all of heaven, and the Divine truth, which is the Word in the spiritual sense, is what makes heaven; which makes clear that he who denies the one or the other denies that which is the all of heaven, and from which heaven is and exists, and thus deprives himself of communication and thence of conjunction with heaven. To profane the Word is the same as blaspheming the Holy Spirit," which is not forgiven to anyone, consequently it is said in this commandment that he who profanes the name of God shall not be left unpunished. AE 960

[11] As the Divine truth or the Word is meant by "the name of God," and the profanation of it means a denial of its holiness, and thus contempt, rejection, and blasphemy, it follows that the name of God is interiorly profaned by a life contrary to the commandments of the Decalogue. For there is profanation that is interior and not exterior, and there is profanation that is interior and at the same time exterior, and there can be also a kind of profanation that is exterior and not at the same time interior. Interior profanation is produced by the life, exterior by the speech. Interior profanation, which is produced by the life, becomes exterior also, or of the speech, after death. For then everyone thinks and wills, and so far as it can be permitted, speaks and acts, according to his life; thus not as he did in the world. In the world, for the world’s sake and to gain reputation, man is wont to speak and act otherwise than as he thinks and wills from his life. This is why it has been said that there is profanation that is interior and not at the same time exterior. There can also be a kind of profanation that is exterior and not at the same time interior. It can come from the style of the Word, which is not at all the style of the world, and for this reason it may be to some extent despised from ignorance of its interior sanctity. AE 962

He who abstains from profaning the name of God, that is, the holiness of the Word, by contempt, rejection, or any blasphemy, has religion; and such as his abstinence is such is his religion. For no one has religion except from revelation, and with us revelation is the Word. Abstinence from profaning the holiness of the Word must be from the heart, and not merely from the mouth. Those who abstain from the heart live from religion; but those who abstain merely from the mouth do not live from religion, for they abstain either for the sake of self or for the sake of the world, in that the Word can be made to serve them as a means of acquiring honor and gain; or they abstain from some fear. But of these many are hypocrites who have no religion. AE 963