Spiritual Meaning of

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That in the internal sense to hate' denotes to be averse to, is because it is predicated of good, which is represented by Esau, and good does not even know what hatred is, being the direct opposite thereof, and opposites are never possible in the same subject; but instead of hatred, good, or they who are in good, feel a kind of aversion; hence it is that hatred here in the internal sense denotes to be averse to; for the internal sense is principally for those who are in heaven, wherefore when it descends thence, and is derived into the literal sense, then, the historicals being of this nature, the affection of aversion falls into the expression hatred," but yet in such a way that with those who are in heaven there is no idea of hatred. This case is like that which was related from experience (AC 1875), concerning the words in the Lord's prayer, Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; in that temptation and evil are rejected until what is purely angelic, that is, good, remains without any idea of temptation and of evil, and this with the adjunction of a species of indignation and aversion, in regard to evil being thought of when the Lord is thought of.

[3] The case is the same when we read in the Word concerning Jehovah or the Lord hating. As in Zechariah:--

Let none of you think evil in your heart of his neighbor and love no lying oath for all these are things that I hate, saith Jehovah (Zech. 8:17).

In Moses:--

Thou shalt not set thee up a pillar, which Jehovah thy God hateth (Deut. 16:22).

In Jeremiah:--

Mine heritage is become unto Me as a lion in the forest she hath uttered her voice against Me, therefore I have hated her (Jer. 12:8).

In Hosea:--

In Gilgal I hated them; because of the wickedness of their works I will drive them out of Mine house I will love them no more (Hosea 9:15).

In these passages hatred, predicated of Jehovah or the Lord, in the internal sense is not hatred, but mercy, for the Divine is mercy but when this flows in with a man who is in evil, and he runs into the penalty of evil, it then appears as hatred and because it so appears, in the sense of the letter it is likewise so called.

[4] It is in the same way that anger, wrath, and fury" are in the Word predicated of Jehovah or the Lord (AC 245, 592, 696, 1093, 1683, 1874, 2395, 2447, 3235). Above all other peoples the Jewish and Israelitish people were such that as soon as they observed anything unfriendly, even in their associates, they believed it lawful to treat them cruelly, and not only to kill them, but also to expose them to wild beasts and birds; and therefore because the inflowing mercy of the Lord was turned with them into such hatred, not only against their enemies, but also against their companions, they could not believe otherwise than that Jehovah also entertained hatred, was angry, wrathful, and furious, and for this reason it is so expressed in the Word according to the appearance; for such as is a man's quality, such the Lord appears to him (AC 1838, 1861, 2706). but what the quality of hatred is with those who are in love and charity, that is, who are in good, is evident from the words of the Lord in Matthew:--

Ye have heard that it has been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy but I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that injure and persecute you, that ye may be the sons of your Father who is in the heavens (Matthew 5:43-45).

from AC 3605

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