Spiritual Meaning of

Bible Meanings Back to Words index Back to Animal words index

That which a man receives from others without any fault of his own, is what is signified in the Word by what is torn; but that which he receives of his own accord, thus through his own fault, is signified in the Word by a carcass.

[2] Hence it was that, as in the Ancient Church, so also in the Jewish, it was forbidden to eat that which had died of itself, or a carcass, and also that which had been torn; concerning which we read in Moses:--

Every soul that eateth a carcass and that which is torn, whether he be homeborn or a stranger, he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even; then shall he be clean. And if he wash them not, nor bathe his flesh, he shall bear his iniquity (Lev. 17:15, 16).

In the same:--

A carcass and that which is torn he shall not eat, to defile himself therewith: I am Jehovah (Lev. 22:8);

that which is torn denotes the evil which is from falsity that is injected by the evil, who are the wild beasts in the forest which tear; for in the Word the infernals are compared to will beasts. In the same:--

Men of holiness shall ye be unto Me; therefore ye shall not eat any flesh that is torn in the field, ye shall cast it to the dogs (Exod. 22:30).

In Ezekiel:--

The prophet says to Jehovah, My soul hath not been defiled and a carcass and that which is torn have I not eaten from my youth up, neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth (Ezek. 4:14).

In the same:--

The priests shall not eat of any carcass or that which is torn, of fowl or of beast (Ezek. 44:31);

speaking of the Lord's kingdom, that the new earth is there.

[3] From these passages it may be seen what is meant in the internal sense by that which is torn; but to make this still more manifest, let us take an example. If a man who is leading a life of good, or who does well to another from willing well, suffers himself to be persuaded by another who is in evil that the life of good effects nothing toward salvation, for the reason that all are born in sins; and because no one can will good of himself, and therefore cannot do it; and that on this account a means of salvation has been provided which is called faith; and therefore that a man can be saved by faith without a life of good, and this even though he should receive faith in death's last hour--if such a person who has lived in a life of good suffers himself to be so persuaded, and then becomes careless in regard to life, and even treats it with contempt, he is said to be torn; for torn" is predicated of good into which falsity is insinuated, and thereby the good becomes no longer living.

from AC 4171

Back to Words index, Back to Animal words index

Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info