10402. Tear off the golden earrings that are in the ears of your women, of your sons, and of your daughters. That this signifies the drawing out from the sense of the letter of the Word of such things as favor external loves and the principles thence derived, is evident from the signification of "tearing off," as being to draw out, here from the sense of the letter of the Word, because this is the subject treated of; from the signification of "the golden earrings that were in their ears," as being representative tokens of obedience and of the noticing of the delights of external loves; for by the "ears" is signified obedience and noticing; by "gold," the good of love, here the delight of external loves, wherefore golden earrings are representative tokens of these loves. (That by the "ears" is signified obedience and noticing, see n. 2542, 4652-4660, 8990, 9397, 10061; and that by "gold" is signified the good of love, n. 1551, 1552, 5658, 6914, 6917, 9510, 9874, 9881.) Therefore when it is predicated of external loves, which are the loves of self and of the world, by "gold" is signified the delight of these loves, thus evil (n. 8932); and that from this "earrings" are representative tokens of obedience and of noticing, see n. 4551. From the signification of "women," as being the goods of the church (n. 3160, 4823, 6014, 7022, 8337), consequently in the opposite sense its evils (n. 409); from the signification of "sons," as being truths, and in the opposite sense falsities (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3373, 3704, 4257, 6583, 6584, 9807); and from the signification of "daughters," as being the affections of truth and good, and therefore in the opposite sense the affections of falsity and evil (see n. 2362, 3963, 6729). From this it is evident that by, "tear off the golden earrings that are in the ears of your women, of your sons, and of your daughters," is signified the drawing out from the literal sense of the Word of such things as are noticed to obey or favor the delights of external loves and the principles thence derived.
 That earrings are tokens of obedience and of noticing is evident in Hosea:
Strive with your mother, for she is not My wife, that she may put away her whoredoms from her faces, lest perchance I strip her naked, and make her as a wilderness, and have no pity on her sons. For she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my waters, my wool and my flax. For she had not known that I gave her the grain, and the new wine, and the oil, and multiplied unto her the silver; and the gold they made into a baal. And I will lay waste her vine and her fig-tree; and I will visit upon her the days of the baals to which she burned incense, and put on her earring and her adornment, and went after her lovers, and forgot Me (Hos. 2:1-13);
"to burn incense, and to put on an earring to the baals," denotes to worship the baal gods and to obey them.
 The things that precede in this chapter have also been adduced to the end that it may thereby be known what is the nature of the external sense of the Word without the internal, and what it is together with the internal, thus in what manner those perceive the Word who are in externals without an internal, and in what manner those perceive it who are in externals from an internal. Those who are in externals separate from what is internal cannot apprehend these words otherwise than according to the letter, which is, that they should strive with the mother of the sons of Israel, that she was no longer loved by Jehovah as a wife, and that if she put not away her whoredoms from her she would be stripped naked and be made as a wilderness, and Jehovah would have no pity on her sons, because she said that she would go after her lovers who give her bread and water, wool and flax, and that she knew not that Jehovah gave her grain, wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver, that they made gold into a baal; and that on this account her vine was laid waste and her fig-tree, and that it will be visited upon her because she burned incense to the baals, and put on her earring and adornment, and went after her lovers or adulterers, forgetting Jehovah.
 This is the sense of the letter, and so is the Word understood by those who are in externals without what is internal, for so it is understood by the Jews at this day, and also by some Christians. But that this is not the sense of the Word can be seen by all those who are in some enlightenment. When these persons, by the "mother" of whom all those things are said, do not understand a mother, but the church, such as it was with that nation, they then comprehend that something of the church is signified by all the particulars which are said of her (for these are such as follow in order from the first thing said, or from the first subject); as by "whoredoms," by "lovers," by "sons," and by "bread," "water," "wool," "flax," "grain," "new wine," "oil," "silver," "gold," and by "vine and fig-tree," and likewise by "incense" and by "earring."
 What each of these things signifies cannot be known from any other source than the internal sense, in which by "mother" and "wife" is signified the church; by "making her naked, and as a wilderness," is signified to be without the goods of love and the truths of faith. The truths of faith and the goods of love, of which she shall be bereaved, are signified by "sons," by "bread and water," by "wool and flax," by "grain," "new wine," "oil," "silver," "gold," and finally by "vine and fig-tree." The worship itself from obedience to falsities and evils, which succeed in the place of truths and goods, is signified by "burning incense and putting on her earring and adornment for the baals." (That "mother" denotes the church, see n. 289, 2691, 2717, 4257, 5581; also a "wife," n. 252, 253, 409, 749, 770, 7022; that "to be made naked" denotes to be deprived of the goods of love and the truths of faith, n. 9960; that a "wilderness" denotes a state devoid of the truth and good of the church, n. 2708, 3900, 4736, 7055; that "whoredoms" denote falsifications of truth, n. 2466, 2729, 4865, 8904, consequently "lovers" denote those who falsify; that "sons" denote truths and in the opposite sense falsities, n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3373, 3704, 4257, 6583, 6584, 9807; that "bread and water" denote the good of love and the truth of faith, n. 9323; that "wool" denotes good in the external man, n. 9470; "flax" truth therein, n. 7601, 9959; "grain" the good from which is truth, n. 5295, 5410, 5959; "new wine" the truth thence derived, n. 3580; and "oil" celestial good, n. 9780, 10261; that "silver" denotes truth, and "gold" good in general, n. 1551, 1552, 5658, 6914, 6917, 9881; that a "vine" denotes the internal spiritual church, n. 1069, 6376, 9277; and a "fig-tree" the external good of this church, n. 217, 4231, 5113; that "to burn incense" denotes worship, n. 10177, 10298; and that an "earring" is a representative token of obedience, n. 4551; consequently "to put it on" denotes to obey.)
 When these things are understood instead of the literal statements, or together with them, it is then apparent what is the nature of the Word when it is spiritually perceived, thus what its nature is in respect to its spirit. In this sense all who read the Word are kept by the Lord, but it is not received by any except those with whom the interiors have been opened; and as it is received in knowledges, therefore it is received according to their understanding, in the degree and in the manner that this can be enlightened by means of the knowledges they have. Besides this, they are affected in a general way with the holy influence that comes from the Word.