(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 10584

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10584. And I will remove the palm of My hand, and thou shalt see My back parts, and My faces shall not be seen. That this signifies that they should see the external things of the Word, of the church, and of worship, but not the internal things; is evident from the signification of the "back parts of Jehovah," as being the external things of the Word, of the church, and of worship (of which in what follows); and from the signification of the "faces of Jehovah," as being the internal things of these (of which above, n. 10578); consequently by "seeing the back parts and not the faces of Jehovah" is signified seeing the external things of the Word, of the church, and of worship, and not the internal things. That such was the Israelitish and Jewish nation, and that such it is at this day also, has been shown in all that precedes of this chapter, and of the preceding one.
[2] The reason why the "back parts of Jehovah" signify the external things of the Word, of the church, and of worship, is that the "faces" signify the internal things (see n. 10578). And those are said to "see the back parts of Jehovah and not the faces," who believe and adore the Word; but only its external, which is the sense of the letter, and do not penetrate more interiorly, as do those who have been enlightened, and who make for themselves doctrine from the Word, by which they may see its genuine sense, thus its interior sense. (That the Word cannot be apprehended without doctrine, and that doctrine drawn from the Word by one who is enlightened must be for a lamp to the understanding, see n. 9382, 9409, 9410, 9424, 9430, 10105, 10324, 10400, 10431; and that the internal sense of the Word teaches this doctrine, n. 9430.) From all this it can be seen what it is to "see the back parts of Jehovah and not His faces."
[3] But those who do not believe in the Word, do not even see the back parts of Jehovah; but turn themselves backward from Jehovah, and see only themselves and the world. These are they who are meant by those in the Word who are said to "turn their back parts to the temple, and to adore the sun," of whom it is written in Ezekiel:
I was brought into the court of the house of Jehovah, and behold five and twenty men, whose back parts were toward the temple of Jehovah, and their faces toward the east; and the same bowed themselves toward the rising of the sun (Ezek. 8:16);
by "the sun and its rising" is meant the sun of the world and its rising, and thereby is signified the love of self, which love is diametrically opposite to love to the Lord. From this it is that the sun of the world is presented in the idea of the angels as something at the back quite dark; whereas the Lord, who is the sun of heaven, appears before the face (n. 7078). Of such men it is said that they "turn their back parts to the temple," and also that they "go backward," in Jeremiah:
Thou hast forsaken Jehovah, thou art gone backward (Jer. 15:6).
They have gone away in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and have come backward, and not forward (Jer. 7:24).


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