Spiritual Meaning of
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That the law, in a wide sense, is the whole Word, both historic and prophetic, is evident in John:--
We have heard out of the law that the Christ (Messiah) abideth forever (John 12:34);
that by the law here is meant also the prophetic Word, is plain, for this is written in (Isa. 9:6, 7; Ps. 110:4; Dan. 7:13, 14). Again in John:--
That the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated Me without a cause (John 15:25);
where the sense is the same, for this is written in (Ps. 35:19). In Matthew:--
Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall not pass away from the law, till all things be done (Matthew 5:18);
where law" in the wide sense denotes the whole Word.
 That the law in a sense less wide is the historic Word, is evident in these passages:--
All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets (Matt. 7:12);
here the Word is distinguished into the law and the prophets, and because the Word is distinguished into the historic and prophetic, it follows that by the law is meant the historic Word, and by the prophets the prophetic Word.
On these two commandments hang the law and the prophets (Matt. 22:40).
The law and the prophets were until John: from that time the kingdom of God is evangelized (Luke 16:16; Matt. 11:13).
 That the law in a close sense is the Word that was written through Moses, is evident in these passages:--
When Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law upon a book, even until he had completed them, Moses commanded the Levites who bare the ark of Jehovah, saying, Take the book of this law, and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of Jehovah your God (Deut. 28:24-26);
the book of the law denotes the books of Moses.
If thou wilt not watch to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, every disease and every plague which are not written in the book of this law, Jehovah will send secretly upon thee, even until thou be destroyed (Deut. 28:58, 61);
where the meaning is the same.
His good pleasure is in the law of Jehovah, and in His law doth he meditate day and night (Ps. 1:2);
the law of Jehovah denotes the books of Moses, for the prophetic books were not yet written, nor the historic except those of Joshua and of Judges. Besides passages in which the law of Moses is mentioned, to be seen below.
 That the law in the closest sense is the ten commandments written on tables of stone upon Mount Sinai, is known (Josh. 8:32); but this law is also called the testimony (Exod. 25:16, 21).
 That Moses represents the law in a less wide sense, or the historic Word, and also the law in a close sense, and likewise in the closest sense, is evident from those passages where instead of the law mention is made of Moses; and where the law is called the law of Moses, as in Luke:--
Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them. If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead (Luke 16:29, 31);
here by Moses and the prophets the like is signified as by the law and the prophets, namely, the historic and the prophetic Word; from which it is evident that Moses denotes the law, or the historic Word. Again:--
Jesus beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, interpreted in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:27).
All things must be fulfilled which are written in the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms, concerning Me (Luke 24:44).
Philip said, We have found Jesus of whom Moses In the law did write (John 1:45).
Moses in the law commanded us (John 8:5).
There hath flowed down over us the curse and the oath, which was written in the law of Moses the servant of God; for we have sinned against Him. As it is written in the law of Moses, all evil is come upon us (Dan. 9:11, 13).
Joshua wrote upon the stone of the altar a copy of the law of Moses (Josh. 8:32).
 It is said the law of Moses because by Moses is represented the Lord as to the law, that is, as to the Word; and in a sense less wide, as to the historic Word. Hence it is that to Moses is attributed what is of the Lord, as in these passages:--
Moses gave you the law; Moses gave you circumcision; if a man receive circumcision on the sabbath, that the law of Moses may not be broken (John 7:19, 22, 23).
Moses said, Honor thy father and thy mother (Mark 7:10).
Jesus answering said to them, What did Moses command you? They said, Moses permitted to write a bill of divorcement and to put her away (Mark 10:3, 4).
And because on account of the representation there is attributed to Moses what is of the Lord, it is said both the law of Moses, and the law of the Lord, in Luke:--
When the days of her purification were fulfilled, according to the law of Moses, they brought Him into Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord), and to offer a sacrifice, according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtle doves, and two young pigeons (Luke 2:22-24, 39).
 As Moses represented the law, he was allowed to enter in unto the Lord on Mount Sinai, and not only to receive the tables of the law there, but also to hear the statutes and judgments of the law, and to deliver them to the people; and it is also said that from this, they should believe in Moses forever
Jehovah said unto Moses, Lo I come unto thee in the thickness of the cloud, that the people may hear when I shall speak with thee, and may also believe in thee forever (Exod. 19:9);
it is said in the thickness of the cloud because by a cloud is meant the Word in the letter, and from this when Moses entered in unto the Lord on Mount Sinai, it is said that he entered into the cloud (Exod. 20:18; 24:2, 18; 34:2, 5). A cloud denotes the literal sense of the Word, (AC 2135a, 4060, 4391, 5922, 6343).
 And as Moses represented the law or the Word, therefore also when he came down from Mount Sinai,
The skin of his face shone when he spake; and he put a veil upon his faces (Exod. 34:28);
the shining of the faces signified the internal of the law, for this is in the light of heaven, and is therefore called glory (AC 5922); and the veil signified the external of the law. That he veiled his face when he spake with the people was because with then' the internal was covered; and was so obscured to that people that they could not endure any of the light from it. The face denotes the internal, (AC 1999, 2434, 3527, 3573, 4066, 4796-4805, 5102, 5695). As by Moses was represented the Lord as to the historic Word, and by Elias the Lord as to the prophetic Word, therefore when the Lord was transfigured, Moses and Elias were seen talking with Him (Matt. 17:3); nor could any others talk with the Lord when His Divine appeared in the world than they who represented the Word, for talking with the Lord is done through the Word. Elias represented the Lord as to the Word, (AC 2762, 5247).
 And as both Moses and Elias together represented the whole Word, therefore where it is said of Elias that he should be sent before the Lord, mention is made of both:--
Remember ye the law of Moses My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, even statutes and judgments. Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the great and terrible day of Jehovah come (Mal. 4:4, 5);
these words involve that one would go before to announce the advent according to the Word.
from AC 6752
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|