Spiritual Meaning of
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Since the signification of the book, is the Word in the whole complex; and the signification of a covenant, is conjunction (AC 665, 666, 1023, 1038, 1864, 1996, 2003, 2021, 6804, 8767, 8778), by the book of the covenant is meant in a narrow sense the Word revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai, and in a wide sense the Word in the whole complex, because this is the Divine truth revealed by the Lord. And as the Lord thereby conjoins Himself with the man of the church, it is the book of the covenant, because covenant denotes conjunction.
 But at the present day it is not known what is the conjunction of the Lord with the man of the church through the Word, because heaven is now closed. For at the present day scarcely anyone speaks with angels and spirits, and thereby knows how they perceive the Word; when yet this was known to the ancient, and especially to the most ancient people, for it was a common thing with them to speak with spirits and angels. The reason was that in ancient times, and especially in the most ancient times, men were interior men, for they thought in the spirit almost abstractedly from the body; whereas modern men are exterior men, and think in the body almost abstractedly from the spirit. Hence it is that heaven has as it were gone away from man; for the communication of heaven is with the internal man when this can be abstracted from the body, but not with the external man immediately. Consequently the nature of the conjunction of the Lord with man through the Word is not now known.
 Those who think from the sensuous of the body, and not from the sensuous of the spirit, must needs conceive that the sense of the Word in heaven is such as it is in the world, that is, such as it is in the letter. If it be said that the sense of the Word in heaven is such as is the thought of the internal man, which is devoid of material ideas, that is, of worldly, bodily, and earthly ideas, this would now be a paradox; and especially if it should be said that the sense of the Word in heaven differs as much from its sense in the world (that is, in the letter), as a heavenly paradise differs from an earthly one, and as heavenly food and drink differ from earthly. How great the difference is, appears from the fact that the heavenly paradise is intelligence and wisdom; that heavenly food is all the good of love and charity; and heavenly drink all the truth of faith from this good. At the present day who would not marvel if he should hear that when mention is made in the Word of a paradise, a garden, a vineyard, in heaven there are perceived no paradise, garden, or vineyard; but instead of these such things as belong to intelligence and wisdom from the Lord; and that when mention is made of meat and drink, such as bread, flesh, wine, water, instead of these there are perceived in heaven such things as belong to the good of love and truth of faith from the Lord; and this not by unfoldings nor in a comparative manner, but in actuality from correspondences; because the heavenly things that pertain to wisdom, intelligence, the good of love, and the truth of faith, correspond in actuality to these earthly things. And into this correspondence was the internal man created relatively to the external man; thus heaven which is in the internal man relatively to the world which is in the external man. And such is the case in general. That in heaven the Word is understood and perceived according to correspondences, and that this sense is the internal sense, has been shown throughout in the preceding pages.
 He who apprehends what has just been said, can know, and in some measure perceive, that through the Word there is a conjunction of man with heaven, and through heaven with the Lord; and that without the Word there would be no conjunction. On this subject (AC 2143, 7153, 7381, 8920, 9094, 9212, 9216, 9357). From this it is now evident why Moses took the book of the covenant and read it before the people; and why he then sprinkled the blood on the people and said, Behold the blood of the covenant. This was done for the reason that in heaven the blood of the sacrifice denotes the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, thus on our earth the Word (AC 9393). As by a covenant is signified conjunction, and as conjunction is effected through the Divine truth that proceeds from the Lord, that is, the Word, therefore all things that belong to the Divine truth from the Lord, or to the Word, are called a covenant, such as the tables on which the ten commandments were written, and also the judgments, statutes, and all other things contained in the books of Moses, and in general all things contained in the Word of both Old and New Testaments.
 That the tables on which the ten commandments were written were called a covenant, is evident from the following passages:--
Jehovah wrote upon the tables the word of the covenant, the ten words (Exod. 34:28).
I went up into the mountain to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which Jehovah made with you; Jehovah gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant. I came down from the mountain, when the mountain was burning with fire; and the two tables of the covenant were on my two hands (Deut. 9:9, 11, 15).
Jehovah declared unto you His covenant, which He commanded you to do, even the ten words, which He wrote upon the tables of stone. Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of Jehovah your God, which He made with you (Deut. 4:13, 23).
As the two tables were deposited in the ark, which was in the middle, that is, in the inmost, of the tabernacle, therefore the ark was called the ark of the covenant (Num. 10:33; 14:44; Deut. 10:8; 31:9, 25, 26; Josh. 3:3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17; 4:7, 9, 18; 6:6, 8; 8:33; Judges 20:27; 1 Sam. 4:3-5; 2 Sam. 15:24; 1 Kings 3:15; 6:19; 8:1, 6; Jer. 3:16).
 That the books of Moses were called the book of the covenant, is evident from the reading of them by Hilkiah the priest in the temple, of which we read in the second book of the Kings:--
Hilkiah the high priest found the book of the law in the house of Jehovah; and they read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant found in the house of Jehovah (2 Kings 22:7; 23:2).
 That the Word of the Old Testament was called a covenant, is evident from the following passages:--
To them that hold fast My covenant will I give in My house, and within My walls, a place and a name better than sons and daughters (Isa. 56:4, 5).
Hear ye the words of this covenant, which I commanded your fathers. Obey My voice, and do them, according to all which I command you (Jer. 11:2, 4).
All the ways of Jehovah are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies (Ps. 25:10).
The mercy of Jehovah is from eternity to eternity upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness to the sons of sons; to such as keep His covenant, and to those that remember His commandments (Ps. 103:17, 18).
They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in His law (Ps. 78:10);
where the covenant of God is called the law of God. That by the law in a wide sense is meant the whole Word; in a less wide sense the historic Word; in a narrow sense the Word written by Moses; and in the narrowest sense the ten commandments of the decalogue, (AC 6752).
 That the Word of the New Testament also is a covenant, is evident in Jeremiah:--
Behold the days come that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, I will put My law in the midst of them, and I will write it on their heart (Jer. 31:31, 33);
the house of Israel denotes the spiritual church; and the house of Judah, the celestial church. And in David:--
I also will make him the firstborn, high among the kings of the earth, and My covenant shall stand fast with him. My covenant will I not make vile, nor change the declaration of My lips (Ps. 89:27, 28, 34);
speaking of the Lord; My covenant shall stand fast with him denotes the union of the Divine Itself and the Divine Human; thus also the Word, for the Lord as to the Divine Human was the Word that was made flesh, that is, man (John 1:1-3, 14).
 That the Divine truth or the Word is a covenant or conjunction, is because it is the Divine from the Lord, thus the Lord Himself. And therefore when the Word is received by man, the Lord Himself is received. From this it is evident that through the Word there is conjunction of the Lord with man; and because there is conjunction of the Lord with man, there is also conjunction of heaven with man, for heaven is called heaven from the Divine truth that proceeds from the Lord, consequently from what is Divine; and therefore those who are in heaven are said to be in the Lord. That the Divine conjoins Itself with those who love the Lord, and keep His Word, may be seen in (John 14:23).
 From all this it can be seen that by the blood of the covenant is meant the conjunction of the Lord through heaven with man by means of the Word. Also in Zechariah:--
I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the war bow shall be cut off; and He shall speak peace unto the nations; His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth. As for thee also, through the blood of thy covenant, I will send forth thy bound ones out of the pit wherein is no water (Zech. 9:10, 11).
 He who knows nothing of the internal sense cannot conceive here anything but what is contained in the sense of the letter; namely, that the chariot shall be cut off from Ephraim, the horse from Jerusalem, and the war bow, and finally that by the blood of the covenant is meant the blood of the Lord, by which those who are in sins should be set free; explaining in various ways who are meant by the bound ones in the pit wherein is no water. But he who is acquainted with the internal sense of the Word conceives that Divine truth is here treated of, and that after this has been laid waste, or vastated, that is, after it is no longer received in faith and heart by man, it will be restored through the truth Divine that proceeds from the Lord's Divine Human; and thus that those who believe and do it will be conjoined with the Lord Himself. This can be more clearly seen from the internal sense of the several words of the passage; as from the signification of a chariot as being the doctrine of the church (AC 2760, 5321, 5945, 8215); of Ephraim as being the enlightened understanding of the church (AC 5354, 6222, 6238); from the signification of a horse as being the understanding of the Word (AC 2760-2762, 3217, 5321, 6125, 6534, 8029, 8146, 8148); and of Jerusalem as being the spiritual church (AC 2117, 3654, 9166); from the signification of a bow as being the doctrine of truth (AC 2686, 2709); and of war as being a combat about truths (AC 1664, 2686, 8295).
 From this it is evident that by cutting off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the war bow, is signified the vastation of truth Divine in the church in respect to all the understanding of it; and that by the bound ones in the pit wherein was no water being sent forth through the blood of the covenant, is signified restoration through the Divine truth that proceeds from the Divine Human of the Lord. That blood denotes Divine truth, and that a covenant denotes conjunction, has been shown above; also that the bound ones in the pit denote those of the spiritual church who were saved by the Lord's coming into the world, (AC 6854). It is said a pit wherein is no water, because by water is signified truth (AC 2702, 3058, 3424, 4976, 5668, 7307, 8137, 8138, 8568, 9323).
from AC 9396
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|