Spiritual Meaning of
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That to dwell in tents signifies what is holy of love, is evident from the signification of tents in the Word. As in David:--
Jehovah, who shall abide in Thy tent? Who shall dwell in the mountain of Thy holiness? He that walketh upright, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart (Ps. 15:1, 2),
in which passage, what it is to dwell in the tent, or in the mountain of holiness, is described by holy things of love, namely, the walking uprightly, and working righteousness. Again:--
Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their discourse to the end of the world. In them hath He set a tent for the sun (Ps. 19:4),
where the sun denotes love. Again:--
I will abide in Thy tent to eternities, I will trust in the covert of Thy wings (Ps. 61:4),
where the tent denotes what is celestial, and the covert of wings what is spiritual thence derived. In Isaiah:--
By mercy the throne has been made firm, and one hath sat upon it in truth, in the tent of David, judging and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness (Isaiah 16:5),
where also the tent denotes what is holy of love, as may be seen by the mention of judging judgment, and hasting righteousness. Again:--
Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feast; thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tent that shall not be moved away (Isaiah 33:20),
speaking of the heavenly Jerusalem.
 In Jeremiah:--
Thus said Jehovah, Behold, I bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and will have mercy on his dwelling places, and the city shall be builded upon her own heap (Jeremiah 30:18);
the captivity of tents signifies the vastation of what is celestial, or of the holy things of love. In Amos:--
In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David which is fallen, and will fence up the breaches thereof, and I will raise up its ruins, and I will build it as in the days of eternity (Amos 9:11),
where the tabernacle in like manner denotes what is celestial and the holy things thereof. In Jeremiah:--
The whole land is laid waste, suddenly are My tents laid waste, and My curtains in a moment (Jeremiah 4:20).
And in another place:--
My tent is laid waste, and all My cords are plucked out, My sons are gone forth from Me, and they are not; there is none to stretch My tent any more, and to set up My curtains (Jeremiah 10:20),
where the tent signifies celestial things, and curtains and cords spiritual things thence derived. Again:--
Their tents and their flocks shall they take; they shall carry off for themselves their curtains, and all their vessels, and their camels (Jeremiah 49:29),
speaking of Arabia and the sons of the east, by whom are represented those who possess what is celestial or holy. Again:--
Into the tent of the daughter of Zion the Lord hath poured out His wrath like fire (Lam. 2:4),
speaking of the vastation of the celestial or holy things of faith.
from AC 414
That "tents" signify holy worship, the following passages (AC 414), may serve for confirmation. In David:--
God forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent in which He dwelt in man (Ps. 78:60),
where "tent" signifies the same as "temple," in which God is said to "dwell" when He is present with man in love. Hence the man who lived in holy worship, was called by the ancients a tent, and afterwards a temple. In Isaiah:--
Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations (Isaiah 54:2),
meaning enlightenment in those things which are of true worship. In Jeremiah:--
The whole land is laid waste, suddenly have My tents been laid waste, and My curtains in a moment (Jeremiah 4:20),
where it is very manifest that tents are not meant, but holy worship. In Zechariah:--
Jerusalem shall yet again dwell in her own place, even in Jerusalem. Jehovah also shall save the tents of Judah (Zechariah 12:6, 7),
where the "tents of Judah" stand for the worship of the Lord from the holy of love.
from AC 1102
The signification of a tent, is in the supreme sense the Lord, and also heaven and the church, and in the relative sense all that is holy of heaven and of the church, consequently also what is holy of worship and of the Word, for these are of the church and are of the Lord, because they are from Him. The reason why a tent signifies these things, is that the most ancient people dwelt in tents, and also had therein their holy worship. Among these people existed the celestial church, which was the most holy of all the succession of churches, for they adored the Lord, who with them was Jehovah; and as He was their Leader, they had intercourse with the angels of heaven, and consequently were in celestial wisdom from the Lord. It is the setting up of this church which is described by the creation of heaven and earth in the first chapter of Genesis, and their wisdom by paradise. For by heaven and earth in the Word is signified the church, by paradise intelligence and wisdom, and by man the church itself; in like manner by the ground from which he was named Adam. (That heaven and earth in the Word denote the church, heaven the internal church and earth the external church, see (AC 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 3355, 4535, 10373); that intelligence and wisdom are described by paradises and gardens, (AC 100, 108, 2702, 3220); that man denotes the church, (AC 478, 768, 4287, 9276); in like manner ground, (AC 566, 1068); and that creating man denotes the setting up of the church, (AC 16, 88, 10373); see also (AC 8891, 9942).
 In consequence of that church being loved above all others, and from the Lord dwelling with them in tents, for the Lord is said to dwell with the man who is in love to Him, (John 14:23), therefore in memory of these things the Tabernacle or Tent of meeting was constructed among the Israelitish nation, wherein was held what is holy of worship; and for the same reason the feast of tabernacles or of tents was instituted.
 That by tent are signified these holy things, and specifically what is holy of worship, is evident from the following passages:--
Sing, O barren, that did not bear, enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations (Isa. 54:1, 2);
to enlarge the place of the tent denotes to do so with the things which are of the church, and consequently which are of worship; to stretch forth the curtains of the habitations denotes to multiply truths. That curtains denote the truths of the church, (AC 9595, 9596, 9606, 9756); the barren denotes one who has not previously been in the truths and goods of the church (AC 3908, 9325).
 In Jeremiah:--
The whole land has been laid waste, suddenly have My tents been laid waste, and My curtains in a moment (Jer. 4:20);
that land denotes the church (AC 9325); and as the church is the church from the goods of love and the truths of faith, therefore it is said that the tents and the curtains are laid waste; tents denoting the goods of the church, and curtains its truths.
My tent hath been laid waste, and all My curtains have been plucked out; My sons are gone forth from Me, and they are not; there is none to stretch forth My tent any more, or to raise up My curtains. For the shepherds are become fools (Jer. 10:20, 21);
like things are here signified by tent and by curtains; the cords plucked out denotes that there is no longer any conjunction of good and truth, and of truths one with another; and therefore it is said, My sons are gone forth, because by sons are signified truths. That cords denote conjunction (AC 9777, 9854, 9880); and that sons denote truths, (AC 489, 491, 533, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3373, 3704, 4257, 9807).
 In David:--
Jehovah, who shall abide in Thy tent, who shall dwell in the mountain of Thy holiness? He that walketh blameless, and who doeth righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart (Ps. 15:1, 2);
to abide in the tent of Jehovah denotes to do so in heaven and in the good of love there. Again:--
I will abide in Thy tent to eternities (Ps. 61:4);
where the meaning is the same.
 In Amos:--
In that day I will raise the tent of David that is fallen, and I will close up the breaches thereof, and I will restore its ruins (Amos 9:11);
the tent of David denotes the church of the Lord and what is holy of the worship of Him; to close up the breaches, and restore the ruins denotes to restore these by removing falsities. That David in the Word denotes the Lord, see (AC 1888, 9954); hence it is that the tent of David denotes the church of the Lord, and that which is holy of worship. In Jeremiah:--
Behold I bring back the captivity of Jacob's tents, and I will have compassion on his dwelling places (Jer. 30:18);
where the tents of Jacob, and his dwelling places, denote the goods and truths of the church.
 As by tents are signified the goods of the church and of worship, therefore by tents in the opposite sense are signified the evils of worship and of the church, as can be seen from the following passages:--
I will liken the daughter of Zion to a comely woman; shepherds and their flocks shall come unto her, and they shall fix their tents against her round about (Jer. 6:2, 3).
Go up against Arabia, and lay waste the sons of the east. Their tents and their flocks they shall take, their curtains, and all their vessels (Jer. 49:28, 29).
What will ye do in the day of the solemnity, and in the day of the feast of Jehovah? For lo they are gone away because of the laying waste; the desirable things of their silver, the nettle shall possess them; thorns shall be in their tents (Hos. 9:5, 6).
He smote all the firstborn of Egypt, the beginning of strengths in the tents of Ham (Ps. 78:51).
from AC 10545
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|