(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 1102

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1102. And he shall dwell in the tents of Shem. That this signifies in order that the internals of worship may be in the externals, is evident from all that has been said before concerning Shem, namely, that "Shem" is the internal church, or internal worship, and that external worship is nothing but an inanimate affair, or else an unclean one, unless there is internal worship to vivify and hallow it. That the "tents" signify nothing else than what is holy of love, and the derivative worship, is evident from the signification of "tents" (concerning which, see above, n. 414). It was customary among the ancients to speak of "journeying" and "dwelling in tents" by which was signified in the internal sense holy worship, for the reason that the most ancient people not only journeyed with tents, but also dwelt in tents, and performed their holy worship in them. Hence also "to journey" and "to dwell" signified in the internal sense to live.
[2] That "tents" signify holy worship, the following passages-in addition to those before cited (n. 414)-may serve for confirmation. In David:
God forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent in which He dwelt in man (Ps. 78:60),
where "tent" signifies the same as "temple" in which God is said to "dwell" when He is present with man in love. Hence the man who lived in holy worship, was called by the ancients a tent, and afterwards a temple. In Isaiah:
Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations (Isa. 54:2),
meaning enlightenment in those things which are of true worship. In Jeremiah:
The whole land is laid waste, suddenly have My tents been laid waste, and My curtains in a moment (Jer. 4:20),
where it is very manifest that tents are not meant, but holy worship. In Zechariah:
Jerusalem shall yet again dwell in her own place, even in Jerusalem. Jehovah also shall save the tents of Judah (Zech. 12:6-7), where the "tents of Judah" stand for the worship of the Lord from the holy of love.
[3] From these passages it is now evident what it is "to dwell in the tents of Shem" namely, that internal worship is in external. But because the man Japheth, or the man of the external church, does not well know what internal things are, this shall be briefly told. When a man feels or perceives in himself that he has good thoughts concerning the Lord, and that he has good thoughts concerning the neighbor, and desires to perform kind offices for him, not for the sake of any gain or honor for himself; and when he feels that he has pity for anyone who is in trouble, and still more for one who is in error in respect to the doctrine of faith, then he may know that he dwells in the tents of Shem, that is, that he has internal things in him through which the Lord is working.


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