(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 1197

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1197. From whom went forth the Pelistim [Philistines]. That this signifies a nation thence derived, and that by this nation is signified a mere memory-knowledge of the knowledges of faith and charity, is evident from the Word, where the Philistines are frequently mentioned. In the Ancient Church all those were called Philistines who talked much about faith, and declared that salvation is in faith, and yet had no life of faith. Therefore they preeminently were called "the uncircumcised," which means those who are devoid of charity. That they were called "the uncircumcised" may be seen in 1 Sam. 14:6; 17:26, 36; 31:4; 2 Sam. 1:20, and in other places. Because they were such, they could not but make the knowledges of faith matters of memory; for the knowledges of spiritual and celestial things and the very mysteries of faith themselves become nothing but matters of memory, when the man who is skilled in them is devoid of charity. The things of the memory are like things dead unless the man is such that from conscience he lives according to them. When he does this, then at the same time as they are things of memory they are also things of life; and only then do they remain with him for his use and salvation after the life of the body. Knowledges [scientiae et cognitiones] are nothing to a man in the other life, even though he may have known all the arcana that have ever been revealed, unless they have affected his life.
[2] Such [as those described above] are everywhere signified by "Philistines" in the prophetical parts of the Word, and also in the historical, as for example, when Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines, and made a covenant with Abimelech, the king of the Philistines (Gen. 20:1 to the end; 21:22 to the end; 26:1-34). As the knowledges of faith are here signified by the Philistines, Abraham, because he represented the celestial things of faith, sojourned there, and entered into a covenant with them; and likewise Isaac, by whom were represented the spiritual things of faith; but not Jacob, because by him the externals of the church were represented.
[3] That the "Philistines" signify in general a mere memory-knowledge of the knowledges of faith, and specifically those who make faith and salvation consist in knowledges alone, which they make matters of memory, may be seen in Isaiah:
Rejoice not thou whole Philistia, because the rod that smote thee is broken; for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a basilisk, and his fruit shall be like a fiery flying serpent (Isa. 14:29).
Here "the root of the serpent" denotes memory-knowledges; "the basilisk," evil from the derivative falsity; and "the fruit of a fiery flying serpent," is their works, which are called "a fiery flying serpent" because they come of cupidities.
[4] In Joel:
What are ye to Me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the borders of Philistia? Will ye render a recompense upon Me? very speedily will I return your recompense upon your own head. Inasmuch as ye have taken My silver and My gold, and have carried into your temples My desirable good things; the sons also of Judah and the sons of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the sons of the Javanites, that ye might cause them to remove far from their border (Joel 3:4-6).
Here it is evident what is meant by the Philistines, and by "all Philistia," or all "the borders" of it. "Silver and gold" here are the spiritual and celestial things of faith; "desirable good things" are the knowledges of them. That they "carried them into their temples," is that they possessed and proclaimed them; and that they "sold the sons of Judah and the sons of Jerusalem," signifies that they had no love and no faith; "Judah" in the Word is the celestial of faith, and "Jerusalem" is the spiritual of faith thence derived, which were "removed far from their borders." So also in other places in the Prophets, as in Jer. 25:20; 47:1 to the end; Ezek. 16:27, 57; 25:15-16; Amos 1:8; Obad. 19; Zeph. 2:5; Ps. 83:7; 87:4. And concerning the Caphtorim in Deut. 2:23; Jer. 47:4; Amos 9:7.


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