Spiritual Meaning of
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That the "faces" of Jehovah or the Lord denote mercy, is evident from the Word; for the "face" of Jehovah or the Lord in the proper sense denotes the Divine love itself; and because it denotes the Divine love, it denotes what is of mercy, for this from love is shown toward the human race steeped in miseries so great.
 That the "face" of Jehovah or the Lord is the Divine love, is evident from the face of the Lord when He was transfigured before Peter, James, and John, that is, when He showed them His Divine; for then His face did shine as the sun (Matt. 17:2); that the "sun" is the Divine love may be seen shown above (AC 3038, 1521, 1529-1531, 2441, 2495, 3636, 3643, 4060, 4321, 4696). The Lord's Divine Itself never appeared in any face, but His Divine Human, and through this as in it the Divine love, or relatively to the human race, the Divine mercy. This Divine mercy in the Divine Human is called the "angel of faces," in Isaiah:--
I will make mention of the mercies of Jehovah. He will recompense them according to His mercies, and according to the multitude of His mercies, and He became for them a Saviour. And the angel of His faces saved them, for the sake of His love, and for the sake of His pity (Isaiah 63:7-9);
it is called an "angel" because "angels" in the internal sense of the Word signify something of the Lord (AC 1925, 2821, 4085), here His mercy and therefore it is said "the angel of His faces."
 That the "face" of Jehovah or the Lord is mercy, and also peace and good, because these are of mercy, may likewise be seen from the following passages. In the benediction:--
Jehovah make His faces to shine upon thee, and be merciful unto thee. Jehovah lift up His faces unto thee, and give thee peace (Num. 6:25, 26);
it is very evident that "to make the faces to shine" is to be merciful, and "to lift up the faces" is to give peace. In David:--
God be merciful unto us, and bless us, and cause His faces to shine upon us (Ps. 67:2);
the "faces" here again denote mercy. In the same:--
Bring us back O God, and cause Thy faces to shine, that we may be saved (Ps. 80:3, 7, 19);
with a similar meaning. Again:--
Deliver me from the hands of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. Make Thy faces to shine upon Thy servant (Ps. 31:15, 16; Ps. 119:134, 135).
Hear, O our God, the praying of Thy servant, and his prayers, and cause Thy faces to shine upon Thy sanctuary that Is desolate (Daniel 9:17);
"causing the faces to shine" denoting to be merciful.
 In David:--
There are many that say, Who will make us see good? Lift up the light of Thy faces upon us (Ps. 4:6, 7);
"lifting up the light of the faces" denotes to give good from mercy. In Hosea:--
Let them seek My faces when distress is theirs; in the morning let them seek Me (Hosea 5:15).
Again in David:--
Seek ye My faces; thy faces Jehovah will I seek (Ps. 27:8, 9).
Seek Jehovah and His strength; seek His faces continually (Ps. 105:4);
"to seek the faces of Jehovah" denotes to seek His mercy. Again:--
I shall see Thy faces in righteousness (Ps. 17:15);
and in Matthew:--
See that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you that their angels in the heavens do always behold the face of My Father who is in the heavens (Matthew 18:10);
"to behold the face of God" denotes to enjoy peace and good from mercy.
 But the opposite is "to conceal," or " hide," and also "to turn away the faces" which signifies not to be merciful; as in Isaiah:--
In the overflowing of My anger I hid My faces from thee for a moment; but with mercy of eternity will I have mercy on thee (Isa. 54:8);
where the "overflowing of anger" denotes temptation, and because the Lord appears not to be merciful therein, it is said "I hid My faces from thee for a moment." In Ezekiel:--
I will turn away My faces from them (Ezek. 7:22).
How long wilt Thou forget me, O Jehovah? to eternity? How long wilt Thou hide Thy faces from me? (Ps. 13:1),
In the same:--
Hide not Thy faces from me; put not Thy servant away in anger (Ps. 27:9).
Wherefore Jehovah dost Thou forsake my soul? why hidest Thou Thy faces from me? (Ps. 88:14),
Make haste, answer me, O Jehovah; my spirit is consumed. Hide not Thy faces from me, lest I become like them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear Thy mercy in the morning (Ps. 143:7, 8).
And in Moses:--
My anger shall wax not against this people in that day, so that I will forsake them; and I will hide My faces from them, whence it will be for consuming; I will surely hide My faces in that day for all the evil which they have done (Deut. 31:17, 18);
 "the anger waxing hot" denotes a turning away (AC 5034); and "hiding the faces" denotes not being merciful. These things are predicated of Jehovah or the Lord, although He is never angry, and never turns away or hides His faces; but it is so said from the appearance with the man who is in evil; for the man who is in evil turns himself away, and hides from himself the Lord's faces, that is, removes His mercy from himself. That it is the evils in man that do this, may also be seen from the Word, as in Micah:--
Jehovah will hide His faces from them at that time, according as they have rendered their works evil (Micah 3:4).
Because they trespassed against Me, therefore I hid My faces from them. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions did I with them; and I hid My faces from them (Ezek. 39:23, 24).
And especially in Isaiah:--
It is your iniquities that separate between you and your God, and your sins do hide His faces from you (Isa. 59:2).
From these and many other passages the internal sense is plain, which here and there stands forth, and is found by him who seeks it.
from AC 5585
By the faces of Jehovah are signified the interior Divine things of the Word, of the church, and of worship (AC 10567, 10568). The reason is that the interior Divine things of the Word, of the church, and of worship are the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, thus are the Lord in heaven. This is signified by the face of Jehovah, where it is mentioned in the Word, as in these passages:--
See that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that their angels in the heavens do always see the face of My Father who is in the heavens (Matt. 18:10).
The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in the holy Jerusalem; and His servants shall minister to Him. And they shall see His faces (Rev. 22:3, 4).
Jehovah shall make His faces to shine upon thee, and shall have pity on thee; Jehovah shall lift up His faces upon thee, and shall give thee peace (Num. 6:25, 26).
Many there be that say, Who will show us good? O Jehovah lift Thou up the light of Thy faces upon us (Ps. 4:6).
O Jehovah how long wilt Thou hide Thy faces from me? (Ps. 13:1)
To thee said my heart, Seek ye My faces, Thy faces O Jehovah I seek (Ps. 27:8).
God will be merciful unto us, and bless us, and will cause His faces to shine upon us (Ps. 67:1).
Bring us back O God, and cause Thy faces to shine, that we may be saved (Ps. 80:3, 7, 19).
Blessed is Thy people who walk in the light of Thy faces (Ps. 89:15).
O Jehovah hide not Thy faces from me (Ps. 102:1, 2).
Thou hidest Thy faces, they are troubled (Ps. 104:29).
 Everyone can comprehend what is here meant by the faces of Jehovah, namely, the Divine, and whatever belongs to the Divine, thus mercy, peace, and all good; but in the universal sense the Divine truth, because all good is in the Divine truth. Both with man and with angel the Divine good is in the Divine truth, and without the latter there is not the former; for truth is the recipient of good, thus also of mercy and peace. From this then it follows that where Divine good is not in Divine truth, there the face of Jehovah is not; and it also follows that where there is evil in falsity, the Divine does not appear. This is meant by Jehovah hiding and turning away His faces in the following passages:--
Your sins have hidden the faces of Jehovah from you (Isa. 59:2).
For their wickedness I have hid My faces from this city (Jer. 33:6).
I do turn away My faces from them, and they profane My secret (Ezek. 7:22).
Jehovah will hide His faces from them, according as they have rendered in their works evil (Micah 3:4).
 But be it known that Jehovah, that is, the Lord, never turns away His faces from man; but that the man who is in evil turns away his face from the Lord. And as the Divine is then behind him, it appears as if this hides or turns itself away. Moreover it is an actual fact that all infernal spirits turn their backs to the Lord as a sun, whereas the angels always turn their faces to Him. It is the same with a man, in respect to his spirit, during his life in the world.
from AC 10579
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|