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 Commandments, Judgements, Statutes

The laws which were enacted and commanded the sons of Israel by the Lord were distinguished into commandments, judgments, and statutes. Those were called commandments which belonged to life; those judgments which belonged to the civil state; and those statutes which belonged to worship. As regards judgments specifically, they are such things as are contained in this chapter, and also in several chapters that follow. They served for laws in a church wherein the internal things which are of heaven and the church were represented by external things. But they do not serve for laws in a church wherein internal things are no longer represented by external, as in the Christian Church. The reason is that to the man of this Church internal things have been revealed, and therefore communication with heaven is effected by means of internal things, and not by means of external things, as before. This is the reason why the man of the Christian Church is not bound to observe in their external form those things which are called judgments and statutes, but in their internal form. Nevertheless holiness abides in them, because they contain holy things within them, as do also all and each of the things commanded in the Word about sacrifices. Although these things have been abrogated, they nevertheless are holy things of the Word by reason of the Divine things which are in them, and which they represented. For when they are read by a Christian man, the Divine things that are within them, and that were represented, are perceived in the heavens, and fill the angels with that which is holy, and at the same time by influx from the angels they fill the man who reads, especially if he himself then thinks of the Divine things that are within them. From this it is plain that the Word even of the Old Testament is most holy.

[3] That the laws enacted by the Lord and commanded the sons of Israel were distinguished into commandments which relate to life, into judgments which relate to the civil state, and into statutes which relate to worship, is plain in the following passages:--

Jehovah said unto Moses, Go, say to them, return ye into your tents. But as for thee, stand thou here with Me, and I will speak unto thee all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them (Deut. 5:28, 30, 31).

Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which Jehovah your God commanded to teach you (Deut. 6:1).

Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day. to do them (Deut. 7:11).

If his sons forsake My law, and walk not In My judgments; if they profane My statutes, and keep not My commandments; I will visit their transgression with the rod (Ps. 89:30-32).

[4] Moreover all the laws, in so far as they belonged to the representative church, were in general called judgments and statutes, as in Moses:--

Now, therefore, O Israel, hear the statutes and the judgments which I will teach you, that ye may do them. What great nation is there that hath statutes and judgments so just as all this law, which I will give before you this day? (Deut. 4:1, 8; 5:1).

Jerusalem hath changed My judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and My statutes more than the lands that are round about her; for they have rejected My judgments, and have not walked in My statutes (Ezek. 5:6, 7).

Let them walk in My statutes, and keep My judgments, to do the truth (Ezek. 18:9).

Besides many other places (Lev. 18:5; 19:37; 20:22; 25:18; 26:15; Deut. 26:17; Ezek. 11:12, 20; 20:11, 13, 25; 37:24).

from AC 8972

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