This is an exposition of the internal or spiritual sense of the books of Genesis and Exodus, according to the law of correspondences. It unfolds the spiritual significance of the creation; of the stories of Adam and Eve, and of the deluge; of the lives of the patriarchs; of the captivity of the chosen people in Egypt and of their deliverance therefrom, and of their subsequent history; of the ritual of the Jewish religion, its sacrifices and observances:—and in general, traces the foreshadowing through both books of the incarnation and glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many passages from other parts of the Word are also fully explained. Relations of things heard and seen in the spiritual world are interspersed, explaining the process of dying, and of man's resuscitation and conscious entrance into the interior life; the nature of the soul; of heaven and heavenly joy;and of hell, its nature and its miseries. It also treats of the Grand Man, or the whole angelic heaven, and the correspondence of the societies therein with the different organs and senses of the body; the origin and correspondence of diseases; the spirits and inhabitants of the various planets, and of other earths in the starry heavens. All of which are related to a true understanding of the Divine Word. This is book #9 out of 12 and covers Exodus 1 - 12.
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Arcana Coelestia (Heavenly Arcana)
Volume 9: Exodus 1 - 12
Emanuel Swedenborg – A Biographical Primer
Arcana Coelestia, Volume 9
Arcana Coelestia, Vol. 9, E. Swedenborg
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9
By Thomas Hitchcock
Swedish philosopher, born in Stockholm, Jan. 29, 1688, died in London, England, March 29, 1772. He was the son of Jesper Swedberg, bishop of Skara, the name being changed to Swedenborg in 1719 on the occasion of the ennobling of the family. This advancement entitled him, as head of the family, to a seat in the house of nobles of the Swedish diet, but did not confer the title of baron, as has been supposed. Emanuel was educated at Upsal, completing his studies in 1709. After two years of travel in England, Holland, and France, he went to reside at Greifswald in Pomerania, then a Swedish town, and busied himself with scientific research. He also wrote some Latin fables, which were published under the title of Camena Borea. A collection of Latin poems, written by him during his travels, was also published about the same time in a volume entitled Ludus Heliconius. In 1716 he returned to Sweden and established a periodical called Dædalus Hyperboreus, devoted to mathematics and mechanics, which appeared irregularly for two years. During this time he had become intimate with Christopher Polhem, an eminent engineer, and Polhem introduced him to Charles XII., who appointed him assessor extraordinary of the college of mines, and associate engineer with Polhem. For two years Swedenborg maintained close personal relations with the king, and assisted him much in his military operations. During the siege of Frederickshald, at which Charles met his death, Swedenborg constructed, under Polhem's direction, the machines by which several vessels were transported overland from Strömstad to the Iddefiord, 14 miles. At the king's suggestion, it is said, Polhem betrothed his daughter to Swedenborg; but as the young lady preferred another man, Swedenborg relinquished his claim and never married. From 1717 to 1722 he published pamphlets on scientific subjects; among them one describing a method of determining longitude by means of the moon. In 1721 he made a short tour on the continent, visiting mines and smelting works. On his return in 1722 he was promoted to be full assessor of mines, and for the next 12 years he devoted himself to the duties of that office, refusing the professorship of mathematics at Upsal in 1724. In 1734 he published Opera Philosophica et Mineralia in three large folio volumes, illustrated with numerous plates, viz.: vol. i., Principia; vol. ii., De Ferro; vol. iii., De Cupro et Orichalco. In the same year also appeared his Prodromus de Infinito. In 1736 he began another tour of travel, which, with study and writing, occupied him for several years. In 1740-'41 he published his Œconomia Regni Animalis, in two parts, and in 1744-'5 his Regnum Animale, in three parts. Between 1729 and 1741 he was elected successively a member of the academy of sciences at Upsal, corresponding member of the imperial academy of sciences at St. Petersburg, and member of the academy of sciences at Stockholm. His series of scientific publications ended in 1745 with the treatise De Cultu et Amore Dei, &c., in which is set forth, under the form of a prose poem or allegory, his theory of the process of creation. Thereafter, as he says, he was called by God to the work of revealing to men a new system of religious truth. For that end he was permitted to converse with spirits and angels, and behold the wonders of the spiritual world. That he might be more free to perform his task, he resigned his assessorship, retaining half the salary by way of pension. He devoted himself first to the study of the Bible in the original, and then to the writing of books explanatory of his new doctrines, which were published entirely at his own expense. From 1749 to 1756 appeared the Arcana Cœlestia (8 vols. 4to), containing a commentary on Genesis and Exodus, interspersed with accounts of “wonderful things seen and heard in heaven and in hell.” This was followed in 1758 by the De Cœlo et Inferno, De Telluribus in Mundo, De Ultimo Judicio, De Nova Hierosolyma, and De Equo Albo. In 1763 were published the four doctrinal treatises: Doctrina Vitæ, De Fide, De Domino, and De Scriptura Sacra, with a Continuatio de Ultimo Judicio, and the treatise De Divino Amore et de Divina Sapientia. In 1764, the Divina Providentia appeared; in 1766, the Apocalypsis Revelata; in 1768, De Amore Conjugiali; in 1769, Summaria Expositio Doctrinæ and De Commercio Animæ et Corporis; and in 1771, the Vera Christiana Religio. Besides these, he left at his death an immense mass of manuscripts, of which the following have been since printed: Itinerarium, Clavis Hieroglyphica, Opuscula, Apocalypsis Explicata, Adversaria in Libros Veteris Testamenti, Diarium Spirituale, Index Biblicus, Sensus Internus Prophetarum et Psalmorum, Dicta Probantia, De Athanasio Symbolo, De Charitate, Canones, Coronis Veræ Christianæ Religionis, and Invitatio ad Novam Ecclesiam. Copies of a few of these manuscripts have recently been reproduced by the photolithographic process, by subscription, not so much for circulation as for the sake of preserving the contents of the originals from destruction by decay. — Swedenborg's manner of life was simple and modest. He spent much of his time, in later years, in Holland and England, for which countries he expressed great admiration on account of the freedom of speech and writing permitted there. He made no efforts to gain proselytes to his doctrines further than by printing and distributing his writings, and never referred to his intercourse with the spiritual world except when questioned. Several instances are reported of his obtaining information from departed souls respecting affairs unknown even to their families, and describing events in distant places in advance of news by the ordinary means of communication. It is related that, as he lay on his deathbed in London, Ferelius, a Swedish clergyman, solemnly adjured him to tell the truth in regard to his teachings. Swedenborg raised himself half upright in bed, and placing his hand on his breast said with emphasis: “As true as you see me before you, so true is everything I have written. I could have said more had I been permitted. When you come into eternity, you will see all things as I have stated and described them, and we shall have much to say concerning them to each other.” He then received the holy supper from Ferelius, and presented him with a copy of his Arcana Cœlestia. A day or two afterward he peacefully breathed his last. His body was buried in a vault of the Swedish church in Prince's square, a little east of the tower. A eulogium was pronounced upon him in the Swedish house of nobles in October, 1772, by Samuel Sandels, which accords him high praise, not merely for learning and talent, but also for uprightness and fidelity in the discharge of his duties as a public functionary. Several of his acquaintances have also left written testimony to his virtuous character. — Swedenborg's scientific works have long since ceased to be of practical value, but are still highly interesting as collections of facts, and as exhibiting their author's peculiar method of philosophizing. The system he followed was substantially that of Descartes, of whom he continued to the end of his life to speak with admiration, and this led him to conclusions resembling in some striking points those of Spinoza, who was likewise a Cartesian. His “Economy of the Animal Kingdom” is the best of his many productions anterior to his theological career. In it he attempts to deduce a knowledge of the soul from an anatomical and physiological knowledge of the body, and evolves many doctrines which he afterward elaborated in his theological works. Indeed, some of his disciples hold that his seership was the natural result of his intellectual and moral development, and by no means an abnormal condition of mind. According to his own account, it came upon him gradually, and neither astonished nor alarmed him, although in its early stages he was subject to great mental excitement, the phenomena of which may have given rise to exaggerated stories of his insanity. The works written by him subsequent to this change in his mind are quite as systematic and coherent as his earlier productions, and only his claim to a divine mission, and his frequent descriptions of what he saw and heard in the spiritual world, mark them as peculiar. They are consistent from first to last, and though they appeared at intervals during a period of 27 years, they nowhere deviate from the fundamental principles laid down at the outset. — The general features of Swedenborg's theology are presented in his treatise called the “True Christian Religion.” He teaches that God is one in essence and in person, and has been revealed to men as the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Lord is a trinity, not of persons but of principles, and it is these principles which are spoken of in the Scriptures as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The Father is the divine love, the Son the divine wisdom, and the Holy Ghost the divine operation or energy acting upon the universe. The Lord is infinite, eternal, self-existent, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, and not only the creator but the sustainer of all creation, which without him would cease to exist. For the sake of redeeming mankind he assumed a natural body born of the Virgin Mary, and glorified it or made it divine, so that it is now invisible to men, and also usually to the angels except as the sun of heaven. Redemption consisted, not in suffering vicariously the punishment of men's sins (for that could not be done, and, if it could, would be useless), but in actual combats, by means of the assumed humanity, with the powers of hell, and overcoming them. This victory restored to man spiritual freedom, which had begun to be impaired by diabolic possessions as narrated in the Gospels, and enabled him to work out his salvation. This he does by looking to the Lord, with faith in him, by repentance, and above all by a life according to the commandments of the decalogue. The chief points that Swedenborg insists on in religion are faith in the Lord and the avoidance of evils as sins against him. Upon everything else, such as outward worship, prayer and meditation, and works of eleemosynary charity, he lays but little stress. The essence of charity is love to the neighbor and occupation in some useful employment. The Word, he says, is the divine truth itself, written to reveal the Lord to man and to serve as a medium of conjunction between earth and heaven. This Word consists of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Leviticus, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, the Psalms, the prophecies, the four Gospels, and the Apocalypse. The other books bound up with these in our Bibles are not the Word, although good and useful to the church. The distinction between the two consists in this: that the Word contains an internal or spiritual sense, which the rest of the Bible has not. This spiritual sense is symbolical, and may be discerned by the application of the law of symbolism resulting from the universal correspondence of natural with spiritual things. Thus, the garden of Eden and all things mentioned as existing in it symbolize the human soul and its affections and thoughts; and the disobedience of Adam and Eve, the alienation of mankind at a remote period from their original state of innocence. Hence, too, the decalogue forbids not merely outward sins, but the inward spiritual sins corresponding to them, and the Psalms and prophecies relate not merely to David and the Jews, but to experiences of the human soul independent of dates and localities. At the same time the literal sense alone can be relied on as a basis of doctrine, and Swedenborg is careful to cite it profusely in support of his teachings. The reason he gives for his mission is that the knowledge of true doctrine had been lost and the church destroyed by a false theology and accompanying evils of life. By the promulgation of the truth revealed to him a new church has been established by the Lord, and thus the prophecies in the Apocalypse of the descent of the New Jerusalem have been fulfilled in their symbolical sense. The second coming of the Lord, predicted in Matt, xxiv., has also been accomplished in the same way, a last judgment having been effected in the spiritual world in the year 1757, so that we are now living under a new dispensation. The treatise on “Heaven and Hell” embodies Swedenborg's teachings on the nature of those two realms, and their relations to this world. They exist, he says, not in some other region of space, but within the natural world, as the soul of man exists within his body, being in fact in the souls of men and resting in them as our souls rest in our bodies. At death the body, which is the material envelope of the soul, is cast aside, never to be resumed, and consequently its resurrection is not to be looked for. The soul is the man himself, and is a perfect human being, with a spiritual body of its own, and rises into a conscious perception of the spiritual world, of which the man had previously been unconsciously an inhabitant. He sees and feels and possesses all the other senses, and retains all his personal characteristics. After a longer or shorter preparation in an intermediate state called the world of spirits, which lies between heaven and hell, he is drawn by his own elective affinity to the place where he belongs, and remains there to eternity. Both heaven and hell consist of innumerable societies, each composed of human beings of similar and concordant affections; and both are divided into three distinct regions, according to the degrees of perfection or depravity of their inhabitants. The Arcana Cœlestia, Swedenborg's largest work, is mainly an exposition of the internal or symbolical sense of Genesis and Exodus, with accounts of his experiences in the spiritual world, and various doctrinal teachings interspersed between the chapters. “The Apocalypse Revealed” and “The Apocalypse Explained” are similar expositions of the Apocalypse. In his “Conjugial Love” Swedenborg expounds his doctrine of the relations of the sexes. Males, he says, are masculine and females feminine in soul as well as in body. The masculine element is love clothed with wisdom, while the feminine is wisdom clothed with love. Hence the characteristic of man is wisdom or understanding, and that of woman love or affection. Marriage is the conjunction of two souls who complement each other, and by their union make one complete being, just as the will and the understanding make the individual. Hence the only true marriage is of one man and one woman, and it exists in the next world as well as in this. Polygamy is a degraded state, but not a sin with those whose religion permits it; but adultery is destructive of the life of the soul, and closes heaven against those who confirm themselves in it. The treatises on the “Divine Love and Wisdom” and the “Divine Providence” embody Swedenborg's spiritual philosophy, and exhibit the symmetrical relations of the various parts of his religious system. Love, he says, is the life of man. God alone is Love itself and Life itself, and angels and men are but recipients of life from him. He is very Man, and our humanity is derived from him, so that it is literally true that we are created in his image and likeness. His infinite love clothes itself with infinite wisdom and manifests itself in ceaseless operation, producing, maintaining, and reproducing the boundless universe, with all its innumerable parts and inhabitants. In like manner men, being made in the image of God, also have love or the will, and wisdom or the understanding, and the two produce in them their finite operation. It being the nature of love to desire objects upon which to exercise itself, God could not but create the universe. The creation of this and other solar systems, all of which are inhabited, was effected by a spiritual sun, which is the first emanation proceeding from God, and which is seen in the spiritual world as our sun is seen by us. By means of this spiritual sun natural suns were created, and from them atmospheres, waters, earths, plants, animals, and finally man. Angels, spirits, and devils are men who have been born and died on this or some similar planet. Hence, all things were created from God, and not out of nothing. The spiritual world is related to the natural as cause is to effect, and the supreme first cause of all is God himself. These three, end, cause, and effect, constitute three distinct or discrete degrees, which are repeated in various forms in all created things, and on a grand scale in the universe as a whole. Creation, being from God, is, like the individual man, an image of him, and hence is in the human form in its greatest and least parts, and with more or less approximation to perfection. As we are finitely men, because God is an infinite Man, so all animals, plants, and even minerals wear a resemblance to man, and throughout all nature there is an incessant effort to evolve the human form. In the sight of God and the angels, larger and smaller bodies of human beings and the societies of heaven and hell appear organized like men, and Swedenborg calls the universe the Grand Man (Maximus Homo). As infinite love was the end and infinite wisdom the cause of creation, so the divine life and power are constantly active in sustaining and directing it. This activity is the Divine Providence, and it reaches to every smallest particular of nature and humanity. Man has freedom, because without it he could not be an adequate recipient of the divine love, and by the abuse of his freedom he has introduced evil into the world. The Divine Providence seeks, without destroying this freedom, to lead man back to his original integrity. Hence all the wonderful dealings of God with man recorded in the Scriptures; hence the incarnation; and hence the various forms of religion which exist in the world, all of which embody more or less the essentials of salvation, namely, the worship of God and abstinence from evils as sins against him. The smaller treatises of Swedenborg are mostly extracts from his larger works, with amplifications and additions. — The fullest account of him and his writings is that of William White (2 vols., London, 1867, since republished in one volume). See, also, “Documents concerning Swedenborg,” by R. L. Tafel (London, 1875 et seq.). All of his theological and some of his scientific works have been translated into English. The theological works have also been reprinted in Latin by Dr. J. F. I. Tafel, of Tübingen, Germany, and partially translated and published in French, German, Italian, Danish, and Swedish. Societies for promoting their circulation are in operation both in the United States and in Europe. The principal writers who have undertaken the exposition of Swedenborg's doctrines in England are John Clowes, Robert Hindmarsh, C. A. Tulk, Samuel Noble, J. J. G. Wilkinson, and Jonathan Bayley; in France, E. Richer and J. F. Les Boys-des-Guays; and in the United States, George Bush, Theophilus Parsons, E. H. Sears, Henry James, B. F. Barrett, W. B. Hayden, and Chauncey Giles. For an account of the ecclesiastical organization based upon Swedenborg's doctrines.
PREFACE Prefatory to the chapters of the Book of Exodus are to be Doctrinal things; first, Doctrinal things of Charity; afterward, Doctrinal things of Faith; in order that what has been delivered in the Explications in a scattered form may be set forth in a connected one; and that in this way the Doctrine may appear in its order, such as is and ought to be the Doctrine of the church that it may agree with the good and truth in heaven.
In the preceding Explications it has been shown, as occasion offered, that the Doctrine of Charity was the doctrine in the Ancient Churches, and that this doctrine conjoined all the churches, and so made one out of many; for they acknowledged as men of the church all who lived in the good of charity, and called them brethren, however greatly they might be at variance in the truths which at this day are called the truths of faith. In these one instructed another, and this was among their works of charity; nor were they indignant if one did not accede to the opinion of another, knowing that everyone receives truth in proportion as he is in good.
Such being the character of the Ancient Churches, they were more interior men, and being more interior they were more wise; for those who are in the good of love and of charity are as to the internal man in heaven, and in an angelic society there which is in like good. From this they have an elevation of mind to interior things, and consequently to the things of wisdom; for wisdom can come from no other source than heaven, that is, through heaven from the Lord; and in heaven there is wisdom, because there they are in good.
But in course of time this ancient wisdom decreased; for insofar as the human race removed itself from the good of love to the Lord and of charity toward the neighbor, so far it also removed itself from wisdom, because so far it removed itself from heaven. From this it is that man from internal became external, and this successively.
And when man became external, he also became worldly and corporeal; and when he is of this character he no longer cares for the things of heaven; for they have been so far removed as not to be believed to exist; because the delights of earthly loves, and with these all evils which from these loves are delightful to him, then take complete possession of the whole man; and then all that he hears about the life after death, about heaven, and about hell, is like chaff in the wind, which flies away as fast as it is seen.
From this also it is that the Doctrine of Charity, which was so precious among the ancients, is at this day one of the lost things; for who at this day knows what in the genuine sense charity is, and what in the genuine sense the neighbor is? when yet this doctrine abounds in arcana so many and so great that it cannot be described as to a thousandth part. The whole Sacred Scripture is nothing else than the doctrine of love and of charity, as the Lord also teaches, saying, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God from all thy heart, and in all thy soul, and in all thy mind; this is the first and great commandment: the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself; on these two commandments hang the law and the prophets" (Matt. 22:37-40). "The law and the prophets" are the Word in all and each of its parts.
As the doctrine of charity is at this day one of the lost things, and as the doctrine of faith is consequently much alienated from the truth, this doctrine may of the Lord's Divine mercy be delivered before the several chapters of the Book of Exodus, and thus be restored to the church. EXODUS 1 1. And these are the names of the sons of Israel that came into Egypt with Jacob; a man and his house they came. 2. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; 3. Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; 4. Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 5. And all the souls that came out of the thigh of Jacob were seventy souls: and Joseph was in Egypt. 6. And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. 7. And the sons of Israel were fruitful, and were productive, and multiplied, and become very exceeding numerous; and the land was filled with them. 8. And there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph. 9. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are many and numerous more than we. 10. Come, let us use prudence with it, peradventure it will be multiplied, and it will be that wars will happen, and it will also join itself to our enemies, and fight against us, and go up out of the land. 11. And they set over it princes of tributes, in order to afflict it with burdens. And it built cities of storehouses for Pharaoh, Pithom and Raamses. 12. And as they afflicted it, so it was multiplied, and so it was increased. And they were moved with loathing because of the sons of Israel. 13. And the Egyptians made the sons of Israel to serve with cruelty: 14. And they rendered their life bitter with grievous service, in clay, and in bricks, and in all service in the field, with all their service wherein they made them serve with cruelty. 15. And the king of Egypt said to the midwives of the Hebrew women, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah; 16. And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him; and if it be a daughter, then she shall live. 17. And the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt spoke to them, and they kept the boys alive. 18. And the king of Egypt called the midwives, and said to them, Wherefore do ye this word, and keep the boys alive? 19. And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are living, and have brought forth before the midwife comes unto them. 20. And God did well to the midwives; and the people was multiplied and became very numerous. 21. And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that He made them houses. 22. And Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, Every son that is born, ye shall cast him forth into the river, and every daughter ye shall keep alive.
THE CONTENTS. In the first chapter, in the internal sense, the subject treated of is the state of the renewed church, when good acts the first part, and is made fruitful by the multiplication of the truths of faith.
Afterward the infestation of these truths by falsities and evils in the natural is treated of, and that through this infestation the good would be made still more fruitful by means of truths. Down to the end the chapter continues to treat of this infestation and its increase in the series in which it takes place, and of the consequent implantation and confirmation of truth from good.
The Internal Sense. Verses 1-5. And these are the names of the sons of Israel that came into Egypt with Jacob; a man and his house they came. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher. And all the souls that came out of the thigh of Jacob were seventy souls: and Joseph was in Egypt. "And these are the names of the sons of Israel," signifies the quality of the church; "that came into Egypt with Jacob," signifies after truths had been initiated into memory-knowledges; "a man and his house they came," signifies as to truth and as to good; "Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher," signify this process from beginning to end; "and all the souls that came out of the thigh of Jacob," signifies all things that were from general truth; "were seventy souls," signifies what is full; "and Joseph was in Egypt," signifies that the internal celestial was in the natural.
And these are the names of the sons of Israel. That this signifies the quality of the church, is evident from the signification of "name," as being the quality (see n. 144, 145, 1754, 1896, 2009, 2628, 2724, 3006, 3421); from the representation of the sons of Israel, as being spiritual truths (n. 5414, 5879, 5951); and from the representation of Israel, as being the good of truth, or spiritual good (n. 3654, 4598, 5803, 5806, 5812, 5817, 5819, 5826, 5833). As Israel represents the good of truth, or spiritual good, and his sons spiritual truths in the natural, therefore the sons of Israel represent the church; for the church is the church from spiritual good and from the derivative truths. He who is not in spiritual good, that is, in the good of charity, and in spiritual truths, that is, in the truths of faith, is not of the church, in spite of his having been born within it. For the whole heavenly kingdom of the Lord is in the good of love and of faith; and unless the church is in the like, it cannot be the church, because it is not conjoined with heaven, for the church is the Lord's kingdom on earth. Its being called the church is not from the fact that the Word is there, and that there are doctrinal things therefrom, nor from the fact that the Lord is known there, and that the sacraments are there; but it is the church from the fact that men live according to the Word, or according to doctrine from the Word, and so that the doctrine is the rule of life. They who are not of this character are not of the church, but are outside of it; and they who live in evil, thus they who live contrary to doctrine, are further outside the church than the Gentiles who know nothing whatever of the Word, of the Lord, and of the sacraments; for the former, because they know the goods and truths of the Church, extinguish the church in themselves, which the Gentiles cannot do, because they do not know them. Be it further known that everyone who lives in the good of charity and of faith is a church and kingdom of the Lord, and from this is called a temple, and also a house, of God. The church in general is constituted of those who are churches in particular, however far apart they may be. This then is the church which is meant here and in what follows by the "sons of Israel."
That came into Egypt with Jacob. That this signifies after truths had been initiated into memory-knowledges, is evident from the signification of "Egypt," as being memory-knowledges (n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462, 4749, 4964, 4966, 5700, 5702, 6004, 6015, 6125); and from the representation of Jacob, as being truth, and also good, in the natural, or the natural as to truth and good (n. 3305, 3509, 3525, 3546, 3576, 3599, 3659, 3669, 3677, 3775, 3829, 4009, 4234, 4286, 4337, 4538, 5306, 5533, 5535, 6001, 6236). That to "come into Egypt" is to be initiated into memory-knowledges, can be seen from the explications of the things in those chapters which treat of the journeying of the sons of Jacob to Egypt to buy corn, and afterward of their coming thither with Jacob. (How the case is with the initiation of the truths of the church into memory-knowledges, see n. 6004, 6023, 6052, 6071, 6077.) From all this it is evident that by the sons of Israel coming into Egypt are signified truths initiated into memory-knowledges.
A man and his house they came. That this signifies as to truth and as to good, is evident from the signification of a "man" as being truth (see n. 3134, 3459); and from the signification of a "house," as being good (n. 3720, 4982). As in those chapters in Genesis which treat of the coming of the sons of Jacob, and of Jacob himself, into Egypt to Joseph, the subject treated of in the internal sense was the initiation of the truths of the church into memory-knowledges, and as the church has not been set up anew until this initiation has taken place, here therefore, according to the series of things in the internal sense, the renewed church is treated of, and how it is continually infested by memory-knowledges and falsities. For however well truths have been initiated and the church set up with a man, still such knowledges and falsities are continually rising up and assaulting what is of the church in him. It is this which is represented by Pharaoh and the Egyptians afflicting the sons of Israel, and being desirous to kill their infant boys. He who does not know how the case is with the assailing of the truth of the church by such knowledges and falsities with those who are of the church in the other life, can in no wise believe that it is so. The man of the church who comes into the other life must be purified from such things as infest truths and goods; otherwise he cannot be uplifted into heaven, and be there in a society which has been purified from such things. If he were to be uplifted thither sooner, he would be like a dense earthly vapor in a serene aura, or like a black mass in a bright light. In order therefore that a man of the church who has recently come from the world may be purified, he is kept in a state to be assailed by memory-knowledges which disagree with truths, and also by falsities, and this until these knowledges become of no account, and are removed. This seldom takes place with man during his life in the body, but in the other life it takes place with those who are to be uplifted into heaven, and this with much variety. From much experience, which would fill many pages if all were adduced, it has been given me to know that it is so. These are the things which in the internal sense are described by the sons of Israel being oppressed by the Egyptians, and being afterward delivered, and at last, after various states in the wilderness, being brought into the land of Canaan. That such is the case can in no wise be comprehended by those who believe that salvation is merely an introduction into heaven from mercy, that is granted to everyone who from apparent trust, which is called faith, has thought that because the Lord has suffered for him, he will be saved no matter how he has lived. For if salvation were merely an introduction into heaven from mercy, all in the whole world would be saved, because the Lord, who is mercy itself, wills the salvation of all, and the death or damnation of no one.
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. That these signify this process from beginning to end, namely, that of the setting up anew of the church, to be described in what follows, is evident from the signification of the sons of Jacob, and also of the tribes named from them, as being all things of good and of truth, that is, all things of love and of faith, in the complex (see n. 3858, 3926, 3939, 4060, 6335); but with variety according to the order in which they are named (see n. 3862, 3926, 3939, 4603 seq.); thus things innumerable, and all things of the Lord's church and kingdom both in general and in particular (n. 6337). But what they specifically signify when named in this or in another order, no one knows but the Lord alone, nor anyone in heaven but from the Lord, where the truths and goods which are signified are shown by means of lights to which is adjoined perception. As the twelve tribes represented the Lord's kingdom and all things therein, therefore in order that these lights also might be represented, and thereby all the truths and goods of the church, twelve precious stones in their order were engraved and set in gold, one stone for each tribe, and this was called the "breastplate," and was placed on Aaron's ephod, and from this by varying flashes of light they received answers, to which was adjoined either a living voice, or an internal perception. Hence also it is evident that the twelve tribes of Israel signify all the truths and goods of the Lord's kingdom and church in the complex, and this variously according to the order in which they are named. That they are here named in another order than that of birth, is plain from the fact that Issachar and Zebulun are named before Dan and Naphtali, though the latter were born before them; also Benjamin before Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher, when yet Benjamin was born last; also that Gad and Asher are named last of all. In like manner in other parts of the Word, where they are named in still different orders.
And all the soul that came out of the thigh of Jacob. That this signifies all things that were from general truth, is evident from the signification of soul," as being in the general sense man, here the man of the spiritual church (but in the internal sense "soul" denotes truth and good, because from this man is man, see n. 6605, 6626); from the signification of "thigh," as being conjugial love (n. 3021, 4277, 4280, 5050-5062); and as the "thigh" denotes conjugial love, it denotes all love both celestial and spiritual (n. 3021, 4277, 4280, 4575); hence to "come out of the thigh" signifies truth and good from the heavenly marriage, consequently the truth and good of the church, for these, when they are genuine, have been born of the heavenly marriage, which is that of good and truth; and from the representation of Jacob, as being truth and also good in the natural, but in general, because his "sons" are the distinct truths and goods in this general (n. 6637). That Jacob here represents truths in general, is because the spiritual church is treated of, for this church begins from truths in general, and by means of these is introduced to its good; for with the man of the spiritual church it is not known what spiritual good is, and so it is not acknowledged except through truth, because he has no perception of truth from good, as the man of the celestial church has.
Were seventy souls. That this signifies what is full, is evident from the signification of "seventy," as being what is full (see n. 6508).
And Joseph was in Egypt. That this signifies that the internal celestial was in the natural, is evident from the representation of Joseph, as being the internal celestial (see n. 5869, 5877, 6224); and from the signification of "Egypt," as being the natural (n. 6147, 6252). That the internal celestial was in the natural where memory-knowledges are, and there disposed all things, was represented by Joseph's being made ruler over all the land of Egypt, and by his being set over the house of Pharaoh. This was represented because the subject treated of in the internal sense is the setting up anew of a spiritual church; and because the natural could not be made a church unless the internal celestial were there, and did all things. (But on this subject see what has been said above, n. 6275, 6284, 6299, 6451, 6587.)
Verses 6, 7. And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. And the sons of Israel were fruitful, and were productive, and multiplied, and became very exceeding numerous; and the land was filled with them. "And Joseph died," signifies that the case would now be different with the internal of the church; "and all his brethren, and all that generation," signifies also with the external in particular and in general; "and the sons of Israel were fruitful, and were productive," signifies that the truths of the church increased as to good; "and multiplied, and became very exceeding numerous," signifies that they increased very much as to truths from good; "and the land was filled with them," signifies even to fullness of the church.
And Joseph died. That this signifies that the case would now be different with the internal of the church, is evident from the signification of "dying," as being the end of a former state and the beginning of a new one, thus that the state of the church would now be different (that "to die" denotes to cease to be such, see n. 494, 6587, 6593, and that it denotes the end of a former representation, n. 3253, 3259, 3276, 6302); and from the representation of Joseph, as being the internal (n. 6177, 6224). The state of the church as it now is, is described in what follows in the internal sense; also the state of its external, which is signified by "his brethren died, and all that generation." The case with the church in man is that it successively undergoes new states; for as man is strengthened in the truth of faith and the good of charity, so he is introduced into other states, the former state then serving as a plane for the following state, and so on continually. Thus the man who is a church, or who is being regenerated, is continually led toward more interior things, thus more interiorly into heaven. That it is so done is because the Lord from love, which is infinite because Divine, wills to draw man even to Himself, and so to bless him with all glory and happiness, as also is very evident from the Lord's words in John: I pray that they all may be one, as Thou Father art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us. The glory which Thou hast given Me I have given them, that they may be one even as We are one; I in them and Thou in Me. Father, I will that they whom Thou hast given Me be also with Me where I am; that they may see My glory which Thou hast given Me; for I have made known unto them Thy name, and I will make it known; that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them (John 17:21-24, 26). That these are words of Divine love toward all who receive, is very evident, and may be further evident from the fact that the Lord appears in the other life as a sun, and from it fills the universal heaven with heat and light. The flame of this sun is nothing else than the Divine love, and the light from it is the holy of love, which is the Divine truth. From this can be seen how great the Lord's love is. From this then it is that they who are of the church are successively brought into new states, and thus continually more interiorly into heaven, consequently nearer to the Lord.
And all his brethren, and all that generation. That this signifies with the external also in particular and in general, is evident from the representation of the sons of Jacob who are here the "brethren," as being the truths of the church in the natural (n. 5403, 5419, 5427, 5458, 5512); thus its external; and from the signification of "that generation," as being the external of the church in general, for "generation" here involves the same as the "brethren of Joseph," but in a relatively general sense.
And the sons of Israel were fruitful, and were productive. That this signifies that the truths of the church increased as to good, is evident from the representation of the sons of Israel, as being spiritual truths (see n. 5414, 5879), and the church (n. 6637); from the signification of "to be fruitful," as being to increase as to good (n. 43, 55, 913, 983, 2846, 2847, 3146); and from the signification of "to be productive," as being further derivation; for when the church has been set up anew with man, then good continually increases and is derived, both in the internal, and also toward and in the external. That with those of the spiritual church good increases by means of truths, has already been often shown; for the man of the spiritual church has not perception, as the man of the celestial church has, and therefore he does not know what the good of the church, or spiritual good, is, except by means of truths. Therefore when the man of the spiritual church is being regenerated, truths are stirred up by the Lord through the angels who are with him, and thereupon he is led into good. But when the man has been regenerated, then both truth and good together are stirred up, and in this way he is led. With the man of the spiritual church however, such as is the truth, such is the good, and hence such is the conscience, which is to him as perception, according to which he lives.
And multiplied, and became very exceeding numerous. That this signifies that they increased very much as to truths from good, is evident from the signification of "being multiplied," as being to increase as to truths (see n. 43, 55, 913, 983, 2846, 2847); and from the signification of "becoming numerous," as being further derivation, thus the increase of truth continually. The reason why it denotes the increase of truth from good, is that the subject now treated of is the renewed church; for with the church in man the case is this: while it is being set up anew the man is in truths and by means of these good increases; but when the church with him has been set up anew, then the man is in good, and from good in truths, which then increase continually-but little during his life in the world, because here cares for food and clothing, and for other things, act as a hindrance; but in the other life immeasurably, and this perpetually to eternity; for the wisdom which is from the Divine has no end. Thus the angels are perfected continually, and thus all are perfected who become angels when they come into the other life; for everything which is of wisdom is of infinite extension, and the things of wisdom are infinite in number. From this it can be seen that wisdom can increase to eternity, and yet not reach far beyond the first degree; for the reason that the Divine is infinite, and that such is the case with what is from the infinite.
And the land was filled with them. That this signifies even to fullness of the church, is evident from the signification of "being filled," as being what is full; and from the signification of "land," as being the church (n. 82, 662, 1066, 1067, 1262, 1411, 1413, 1607, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2928, 3355, 4447, 4535, 5577). By the "land of Goshen," where the sons of Israel now were, is signified the church. That the church was there before the sons of Israel came into the land of Canaan, is evident from what follows, namely, that none of the plagues were there which were in other parts of Egypt, also that there was light there, when in other places there was darkness (Exod. 10:21-23), and that thus that land was quite separated from the rest of the lands in Egypt; and it is further evident from the fact that by the "land of Goshen" is signified the middle or inmost in the natural (n. 5910, 6028, 6031, 6068), thus the church, for the spiritual church is in the inmost of the natural.
Verses 8-14. And there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are many and numerous more than we. Come, let us use prudence with it; peradventure it will be multiplied, and it will be that wars will happen, and it will also join itself to our enemies, and fight against us, and go up out of the land. And they set over it princes of tributes, in order to afflict it with burdens. And it built cities of store-houses for Pharaoh, Pithom and Raamses. And as they afflicted it, so it was multiplied, and so it was increased. And they were moved with loathing because of the sons of Israel. And the Egyptians made the sons of Israel to serve with cruelty; and they rendered their life bitter with grievous service, in clay, and in bricks, and in all service in the field, with all their service wherein they made them serve with cruelty. "And there arose a new king over Egypt," signifies separated memory-knowledges which are opposed to the truths of the church; "who knew not Joseph," signifies which were completely alienated from the internal; "and he said unto his people," signifies subordinate memory-knowledges; "Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are many and numerous more than we," signifies that the truths of the church prevail over alienated memory-knowledges; "come, let us use prudence with it," signifies cunning; "peradventure it will be multiplied, and it will be that wars will happen," signifies prevalence if it grows; "and it will also join itself to our enemies and fight against us," signifies that thus their companions who would occasion evil would be strengthened; "and go up out of the land," signifies that thus the church will be set up anew; "and they set over it princes of tributes," signifies falsities that would compel to serve; "to afflict it with burdens," signifies a growing worse through servitudes; "and it built cities of storehouses for Pharaoh," signifies doctrines from falsified truths in the natural where alienated memory-knowledges are; "Pithom and Raamses," signifies their quality; "and as they afflicted it, so it was multiplied," signifies that truths grew according to the infestations; "and so it increased," signifies that they were strengthened; "and they were moved with loathing because of the sons of Israel," signifies greater aversion; "and the Egyptians made the sons of Israel to serve," signifies an intention to subjugate; "with cruelty," signifies unmercifulness; "and they rendered their life bitter with grievous service," signifies until the intention to subjugate became troublesome; "in clay, and in bricks," signifies by reason of the evils which they contrived, and the falsities which they devised; "and in all service in the field," signifies the intention to subjugate directed against the things of the church; "with all their service wherein they made them serve with cruelty," signifies the intention to subjugate in many ways by reason of unmercifulness.
And there arose a new king over Egypt. That this signifies separated memory-knowledges which are opposed to the truths of the church, is evident from the representation of Pharaoh, who is here the "king," as being memory-knowledge in general (see n. 6015). He is called a "king," because a "king" in the genuine sense signifies truth (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3670, 4581, 4966, 5044, 6148), and in the opposite sense falsity; and when by the "king" is meant Pharaoh, false memory-knowledge is signified, that is, memory-knowledge which is opposed to the truths of the church. From this also a "new king" is mentioned, for he who was king in Joseph's time represented memory-knowledge that was in agreement with the truths of the church. (That "Egypt" denotes memory-knowledge, here in particular, see above, n. 6638.)
Who knew not Joseph. That this signifies which were completely alienated from the internal, is evident from the signification of "not knowing," as being to be alienated; for he who does not know truth, and does not desire to know it, is alienated from the truth of the church (that alienation is here signified is plain from what follows, for he severely and cruelly afflicted the sons of Israel, by whom is represented the church, n. 6637); and from the representation of Joseph, as being the internal (n. 6177, 6224). Memory-knowledges alienated from the internal are memory-knowledges opposed to the church; for the good and truth which make the church flow in through the internal; and if these are not received by the natural, the internal is closed, and so the man is alienated from good and truth, and then no other memory-knowledges which are in the natural are acknowledged as truths than those which are false. These are then multiplied, and the truths themselves are cast out of doors.
And he said unto his people. That this signifies subordinate memory-knowledges, is evident from the signification of "people," as being truths, and in the opposite sense falsities (n. 1259, 1260, 3295, 3581), here memory-knowledges separated from truth, because it is the people of Egypt. (That "Egypt" is memory-knowledge, see n. 6638.) That they are subordinate memory-knowledges is because it is said that "the king said unto his people." That by "people" are signified truths, is because in the word those are called a "people" who are under a king, and by a "king" is signified truth (n. 6651). By a "people" are signified truths, but those are meant who are in truths. The reason why truths are spoken of abstractedly, is that spirits and angels so think and speak, for in this way they comprehend a subject in a universal manner, and at the same time singly the particulars belonging to it, without reflecting specifically on any people that is in truths, which reflection would withdraw the mind from a universal idea, thus from extension of view, consequently from wisdom. For determination of the thought to any specific people, as also to any person, limits and confines the ideas, and turns them from the perception of a subject as it is from one boundary to the other. As is the case with the idea of a "people," so is it with other denominations which in the internal sense signify things unbounded - as with a "nation" as being good, with a "king" as being truth, with a "prince" as being primary truth, with a "priest" as being good, and with a "son," "daughter," "son-in-law," "daughter-in-law," "brother," "sister," "father," "mother," and many other denominations.
Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are many and numerous more than we. That this signifies that the truths of the church prevail over alienated memory-knowledges, is evident from the representation of the sons of Israel, as being the truths and goods of the church (see n. 6647); from the signification of "many" and "numerous," as being to prevail (that "to be multiplied," or "to become many and numerous," is said of truth, see also above, n. 6648); and from the representation of the king of Egypt and his people, who are here meant by "more than we," as being alienated memory-knowledges (as above, n. 6652). Hence it is plain that by "Behold the people of Israel are many and numerous more than we" is signified that truths prevail over alienated memory-knowledges.
Come, let us use prudence with it. That this signifies cunning, is evident from the signification of "prudence," when said of the evil, who have been alienated from truth and good, as being cunning; for that which the evil do from cunning, and also from deceit, they call prudence. Of the cunning which is signified by "prudence," something may here be related. All who are in evil call cunning "prudence," and make intelligence and wisdom to consist in nothing else. They who are of this character in the world become worse in the other life, and there act continually from cunning against things good and true; and those are recognized as intelligent and wise among them who seem to themselves able to invalidate and destroy truths by falsities, no matter by what art or wickedness. From this it can be seen what is the quality of men within the church when they make prudence to consist in cunning: that they have communication with the hells. Those who are true men of the church are so far removed from cunning that they absolutely abhor it; and those of them who are as the angels, desire that if it were possible their minds should be open, so that what they think may be manifest to everyone; for they intend nothing but good toward their neighbor, and if they see evil in anyone they excuse it. It is otherwise with those who are in evil; these are afraid lest anything which they think and will should show itself; for they intend nothing but evil to the neighbor; if good, it is for the sake of self; and if they do what is good, it is only in the outward form, that they may appear good for the sake of gain and honor; for they know that what is good and true, just and fair, and also what is honorable, have a strong hidden power of attracting minds, even of those who are evil.
Peradventure it will be multiplied, and it will be that wars will happen. That this signifies prevalence if it grows, is evident from the signification of "being multiplied," as being to grow as to truths (see n. 43, 55, 913, 983, 2846, 2847); and from the signification of "wars," as being combats concerning truths and falsities, that is, spiritual combats (n. 1664, 2686); and because it follows that "it will also join itself to our enemies," their prevalence in these combats is signified.
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