Spiritual Meaning of

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That Dan is the affirmative which must be the first thing when a man is being regenerated, may also be seen from other passages in the Word where Dan is named; as from the prophecy of Jacob, then Israel, respecting his sons:--

Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel; Dan shall be a serpent upon the way, an adder upon the path, that biteth the horse's heels, and his rider falleth backward. I wait for thy salvation, O Jehovah (Gen. 49:16-18).

Dan here denotes the affirmative of truth, concerning which it is said that it will be a serpent upon the way, and an adder upon the path, when anyone reasons about truth from sensuous things; biting the horse's heels, when it consults the lowest intellectual things or memory-knowledges, and draws conclusions from them; and that it is then led away from the truth, is signified by his rider falling backward; for which reason it is said, I wait for thy salvation, O Jehovah. That the serpent is the man who reasons from sensuous things and memory-knowledges concerning Divine arcana, may be seen above (AC 195-197); and that way and path signify truth (AC 627, 2333); and that the horse's heels are the lowest intellectual things or memory-knowledges (AC 259); for a horse is the intellectual (AC 2761, 2762); the lowest part of which is the heel.

[3] Again in the prophecy of Moses concerning the twelve tribes:--

Of Dan he said, Dan is a lion's whelp, he leapeth forth from Bashan (Deut. 33:22);

a lion in the internal sense of the Word signifies the truth of the church, from his strength, for truth is that which fights and conquers; hence a lion's whelp denotes the first of truth, which is affirmation and acknowledgment. It is said from Bashan, because it is from the good of the natural. In Jeremiah:--

Wash thine heart from wickedness, O Jerusalem, that thou mayest be saved. How long makest thou the thoughts of thine iniquity to lodge in the midst of thee? For a voice declareth from Dan, and causeth to hear iniquity from Mount Ephraim (Jer. 4:14, 15);

from Dan, denotes the truth that is to be affirmed; from Mount Ephraim, that it is from the affection of it.

[4] In the same:--

Wait for peace, but there is no good; and for a time of healing, and behold terror. The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan; at the sound of the neighings of his strong ones the whole land trembled and they came and devoured the land and the fulness thereof, the city and them that dwell therein. For behold I will send among you serpents, basilisks, against which there is no enchantment, and they shall bite you (Jer. 8:15-17);

the snorting of horses heard from Dan denotes reasoning concerning truth from what is non-affirmative; the land that trembled, and their devouring the fulness thereof, denotes the church and all the things of the church; for they who reason concerning truth from what is non-affirmative (that is, negative) destroy all things of faith; the basilisk serpents denote reasonings, as above.

[5] In Ezekiel:--

Dan and Javan coming in gave bright iron in thy fairs; cassia and calamus were in thy trading (Ezek. 27:19);

where Tyre is the subject treated of, by which are signified the knowledges of truth and good (AC 1201). Dan denotes the first truths that are affirmed; fairs and trading, the acquisitions of truth and good (AC 2967); the bright iron, natural truth which is the first (AC 425, 426); cassia and calamus, natural truth from which there is good.

[6] In Amos:--

In that day shall the fair virgins and the young men faint for thirst. They that swear by the guilt of Samaria, and have said, Thy God O Dan liveth; and the way of Beer-sheba liveth; even they shall fall, and shall rise up no more (Amos 8:13, 14);

thy God O Dan liveth, and the way of Beer-sheba liveth, denotes that they are in the denial of all things of faith and its doctrine. Way denotes truth, (AC 627, 2333); and Beer-sheba, doctrine, (AC 2723, 2858, 2859, 3466). That there is signified the denial of all things of faith, is because Dan was the last boundary of the land of Canaan, and Beer-sheba the first, that is, the midst or inmost of the land; for by the land of Canaan was represented and signified the Lord's kingdom, and thus the church (AC 1607, 3038, 3481), and accordingly all things of love and faith, because these are of the Lord's kingdom and church. Hence all things in the land of Canaan were representative, according to their distances, situations, and boundaries (AC 1585, 1866, 3686).

[7] The first boundary, that is, the midst or inmost of the land, was Beer-sheba, before Jerusalem became so, because Abraham was there, and also Isaac; but the last boundary, or the outermost of the land, was Dan; and hence when all things in one complex were signified, it was said, from Dan even to Beer-sheba; as in the second book of Samuel:--

To transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beer-sheba (2 Samuel 3:10).

In the same:--

All Israel gathering was gathered together from Dan even to Beer-sheba (2 Samuel 17:11).

And again:--

David said to Joab, Pass through all the tribes of Israel from Dan even to Beer-sheba (2 Samuel 24:2, 15).

And in the first book of Kings:--

Judah and Israel dwelt in security, every man under his vine and under his fig-tree, from Dan even to Beer-sheba (1 Kings 4:25).

By this expression are meant in the historic sense all things of the land of Canaan; but in the internal sense all things of the Lord's kingdom, and also all things of the church.

[8] The reason why as before said, Dan is the first boundary, and also the last, is that the affirmative of truth and good is the first of all things when faith and charity are beginning with man, and the last when man is in charity and thereby in faith. It was from this also that the last lot fell to Dan when the land of Canaan was divided for inheritance (Josh. 19:40); for the lot was cast before Jehovah (Josh. 18:6); and hence it fell according to the representation of each tribe.

[9] And because the lot did not fall to Dan among the inheritances of the rest of the tribes, but beyond their borders (Judges 18:1), that tribe was omitted by John in (Revelation 7:5-8), where the twelve thousand that were sealed are mentioned; for they who are only in the affirmative of truth and also of good, and go no further, are not in the Lord's kingdom, that is, among the sealed. Even the worst men are able to know truths and goods, and also to affirm them; but the quality of the affirmation is known from the life.

[10] Dan is also mentioned as a boundary in (Gen. 14:14); where Abraham is described as having pursued the enemy thus far, and where Dan has a similar signification. The city called Dan was not indeed built by the posterity of Dan at that time, but afterwards (Josh. 19:47; Judges 18:29); yet even then it was called the first boundary with respect to entering into the land of Canaan, or the last with respect to going out; and the inmost of the land was Hebron, and afterwards Beer-sheba, where Abraham and Isaac dwelt.

from AC 3923

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