Spiritual Meaning of
|Back to Words index||Back to Social words index|
That the camp where the sons of Israel encamped represented heaven and the church, and hence that without the camp denotes where heaven and the church are not, thus hell, can be seen from what is related in the Word about the camp and the encamping of the sons of Israel in the wilderness, as from these words in Moses:--
The sons of Israel shall encamp, every man by his own camp, and every man by his own standard, according to their armies; and the Levites shall encamp around the Habitation of the testimony, that there be no hath upon the congregation of the sons of Israel (Num. 1:52, 53; 2:2).
And further:--The tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun encamped to the east; the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad to the south; the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin to the west; and the tribes of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali to the north; but the Levites in the midst of the camp (Num. 2, 10). Their encampments were so ordered that they might represent heaven and the church (AR 9320); by the tribes also, according to which they encamped, were represented all the goods and truths of heaven and the church in the complex (AR 3858, 3926, 3939, 4060, 6335, 6337, 6397, 6640, 7836, 7891, 7996, 7997); hence it is said that Jehovah dwelt in the midst of the camp (Num. 5:3), and that He walketh in the midst of them, and therefore they shall be holy (Deut. 23:14); and in the prophetic utterance of Balaam it is said, when he saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes, he said, How good are thy tabernacles O Jacob, and thy habitations O Israel (Num. 24:2, 3, 5).
 As by the camp was represented heaven and the church, it follows that by without the camp was signified where heaven and the church are not, thus hell; and therefore everyone that was unclean and also that was guilty was sent forth thither, as can be seen from the following passages:--
Ye shall send forth out of the camp every leper, and everyone that suffereth with an issue, everyone unclean on account of a soul, from a male even to a female, ye shall send them abroad out of the camp, that they pollute not the camp, in the midst of which Jehovah dwelleth (Num. 5:2, 3; Lev. 13:45, 46).
A man that is not clean by chance of the night shall go abroad out of the camp, and shall not come into the midst of the camp; when he shall wash himself in waters, and the sun hath set, he shall enter into the camp. Thou shalt have a space without the camp, whither thou mayest go forth abroad, and thou shall cover thine excrement with a paddle, because Jehovah walketh in the midst of the camp; therefore the camp shall be holy (Deut. 23:10-15).
It was also commanded that persons should be stoned without the camp (Lev. 24:14; Num. 15:35, 36). From all this it is now evident that by burning with fire the flesh, skin, and dung of the bullock without the camp, is signified that the evils which are signified by these things were to be committed to hell.
 The like that was represented by the camp, and without the camp, was also represented by the land of Canaan and the lands round about it, after that land had been distributed for inheritances among the sons of Israel. From this it is that by the land of Canaan, and simply by land, in the Word, are signified heaven and the church, and by the sons of Israel those who are in heaven and the church. That by land or earth is signified heaven and the church, (AR 9325); and that by the sons of Israel are signified those who are there, (AR 9340).
Back to Words index, Back to Social words index
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|