Spiritual Meaning of
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Thou shalt not steal, signifies that no one's spiritual goods must be taken away from him, and that those things which belong to the Lord are not to be attributed to self.
Thou shalt not steal. That this signifies that no one's spiritual goods must be taken away from him, and that those things which belong to the Lord are not to be attributed to self, is evident from the signification of stealing, as being to take away spiritual goods from anyone. That this is signified by stealing, is because riches and wealth in the spiritual sense are the knowledges of good and truth, in general all those things which are of faith and charity, that is, which are of spiritual life in man. Wherefore to take these things away from anyone is to steal in the spiritual sense. And because all spiritual goods, that is, all things of faith and charity, are from the Lord alone, and absolutely nothing from man, therefore by stealing is also signified to attribute to one's self what belongs to the Lord. They who do this are also called thieves and robbers in John:--
Verily I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber; but he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. I am the door; by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and go out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not but that he may steal, and slay, and destroy; I came that they may have life, and may have abundance (John 10:1, 2, 9, 10);
to enter by the door into the sheepfold denotes to enter by the Lord, for the Lord is the door, as He Himself says; the sheep are they who are in charity and thence in faith. These enter by the Lord when they acknowledge that from Him is everything of faith and charity, for then these flow in from Him. But to attribute them to others, especially to themselves, is to take them away, thus to slay and to destroy. They who attribute to themselves what is the Lord's, also place merit in works, and make themselves righteousness (AC 1110, 1877, 2027, 2273, 2340, 2373, 2400, 3816, 4007, 4174, 4943, 6388-6390, 6392, 6393, 6478). This then is stealing in the spiritual sense, and this comes to the angels in heaven when man reads in the Word about stealing, for the angels understand the Word only spiritually.
from AC 8906
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|