Spiritual Meaning of

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The signification of the ark, is the inmost heaven; for by the testimony or law in the ark is signified the Lord, for the reason that the testimony denotes the Divine truth, and Divine truth is the Lord in heaven (AC 9503). It is from this that the ark signifies the inmost heaven; and therefore it was a most holy thing, and was worshiped by the people as Jehovah; for it was believed that Jehovah dwelt there, and between the cherubs, as is evident in David:--

We heard in Ephrathah; we will enter into His habitation; we will bow at the footstool of His feet. Arise O Jehovah unto Thy rest; Thou, and the ark of Thy strength (Ps. 132:6-8);

treating of the Lord; Ephrathah is Bethlehem, where the Lord was born (Mic. 5:2; Matt. 2:6); the habitation denotes heaven where the Lord is; Thou and the ark of Thy strength denote the Lord and His representative.

[2] That the ark is a representative of the Lord, is plain in Jeremiah:--

I will bring you back to Zion; in those days they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant; neither shall it come up upon the heart; neither shall they make mention of it; neither shall they long for it; neither shall it be repaired any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah; and all the nations shall be gathered together to it, on account of the name of Jehovah, to Jerusalem (Jer. 3:14, 16, 17);

treating of a new church. The representative of the former church, which representative was then to be abolished, is meant by the ark, which was not to be spoken of any more, neither to come up upon the heart, nor to be repaired. Jerusalem, to which the nations were to be gathered, denotes this new church. From this it is plain that by the ark is signified a representative of the Lord and of the worship of Him in the church, the same as was signified by the continual (burnt-offering), and by the habitation of the sanctuary, in (Daniel 8:11).

[3] That the ark was worshiped as Jehovah by the Israelitish and Jewish people, and that it was believed that He dwelt therein, and between the cherubs, is manifest in these passages:

David made them bring up the ark of God, the name of which is called the name of Jehovah Zebaoth, that sitteth on the cherubs upon it (2 Sam. 6:2).

When the ark set forward, Moses said, Rise up, Jehovah, let Thine enemies be scattered. When it rested, he said, Return, Jehovah, unto the ten thousands of the thousands of Israel (Num. 10:33-36).

That the inmost heaven was signified by the ark, was because by the whole tabernacle or tent was represented the universal angelic heaven; its ultimate by the court; its middle by the habitation where the priest ministered; and its inmost by the habitation within the veil, where was the ark in which was the testimony.

from AC 9485

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