(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 10407

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10407. And made it a molten calf. That this signifies according to the delight of the loves of that nation, is evident from the signification of "a calf," as being external or natural good (of which below); and from the signification of "molten," as being worship performed in favor of external loves (of which just above, n. 10406). And as the Israelitish nation is the subject treated of in this chapter, and that nation was in externals without an internal, thus in external loves, therefore it is said, "according to the delight of the loves of that nation;" for by a "calf" as an idol is signified this delight.
[2] The ancients, who were in representative worship, knew what was signified by the various kinds of animals; for each animal has its signification, and according to this they appear in heaven, consequently according to this they are mentioned in the Word, and also according to this they were employed in burnt-offerings and sacrifices. By a "calf" is signified the good of innocence and of charity in the external or natural man (n. 9391, 9990, 10132); but when there is no good of innocence and of charity, as is the case with those who are in externals without what is internal, then by a "calf" is signified natural and sensuous delight, which is the delight of pleasures, of cupidities, and of the loves of self and of the world. It is this delight in which are those who are in externals without an internal, and which they worship, for a man worships that which he loves above all things. They do indeed say that they worship the God of the universe, but they say this with the mouth and not with the heart. Such persons are meant by those who worship a molten calf.
[3] The Egyptians were such above all others, and they, being in the science of correspondences and of representations above all other nations, consequently made for themselves various idols, as is evident from the Egyptian idols which remain to this day. But their chief idol was a calf, whereby they wished to signify their external good in worship. When, however, the science of correspondence and of representations, wherein they were versed above others, was turned among them into magic, then a calf put on the opposite signification, which is the delight of external loves; and when a calf was placed in their temples and worshiped as a god, it signified such a delight in worship.
[4] As the Israelitish nation brought with it from Egypt this idolatrous thing, therefore as applied to that nation, when a calf was worshiped by them as a god, it signified the delight of the loves of that nation in worship. Of what quality their loves were can be seen from what was shown in the places cited above (n. 10396); for they were then, as they are at this day, in the love of self and in the love of the world above all others. It is known that at this day they are in a love most earthly, for they love silver and gold not for the sake of any use, but for the sake of the silver and gold itself, which love is of all loves the most earthly, for it is sordid avarice. The love of self is not conspicuous with them so as to appear; but lies hidden within their hearts, as is usual with all who are sordidly avaricious. It is also known that they have no love of the neighbor; and insofar as there is no love of the neighbor with anyone, so far the love of self is in him. From this it can now be seen what is signified by the molten calf made by Aaron for that nation.
[5] The like is signified by a "calf" in the following passages:
Egypt is a very fair calf; destruction cometh out of the north, and her hired men in the midst of her are like fatted calves of the stall (Jer. 46:20, 21).
They made a calf in Horeb, and bowed themselves unto the molten image, and they changed their glory into the likeness of an ox that eateth herbage (Ps. 106:19, 20).
They sin more and more, and make them a molten image from their silver, idols in their own intelligence, all of them the work of the artificers; speaking to them; they sacrifice a man, they kiss the calves (Hos. 13:2).
The unicorns shall come down with them, and the calves with the strong ones; and their land shall be drunken with blood, and their dust shall be made fat with fatness (Isa. 34:7).
The fenced city is solitary, a habitation deserted and forsaken, there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and shall consume the branches thereof, and the harvest thereof shall wither (Isa. 27:10, 11).
[6] Rebuke the wild beast of the reed, the congregation of the strong ones, among the calves of the peoples, trampling on the pieces of silver; he hath scattered the peoples (Ps. 68:30).
I will give the men that have transgressed My covenant, who have not established the words of the covenant which they struck before Me, of the calf which they cut in twain that they might pass between the parts thereof; the princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the royal ministers, and the priests, and all the people of the land, that pass between the parts of the calf; and I will give them into the hand of their enemies, that their carcass may be food to the fowl of the heavens and to the beast of the earth (Jer. 34:18-20).
They have made a king, but not by Me; they have made princes, and I knew it not; their silver and their gold have they made idols, that it may be cut off. Thy calf hath deserted, O Samaria. For from Israel is even this; the workman made it, and it is no god; for the calf of Samaria shall come to pieces (Hos. 8:4-6).
All these passages may be seen unfolded above (n. 9391).


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