(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 1326

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1326. Therefore He called the name of it Babel. That this signifies such worship, that is, the kind of worship signified by "Babel," is evident from what has been said hitherto; that is to say, worship in which interiorly there is the love of self, and therefore all that is filthy and profane. The love of self is nothing else than man's Own; and how filthy and profane this is may be seen from what has been shown before concerning man's Own (n. 210, 215). From self-love [philautia], that is, the love of self, or man's Own, all evils flow, such as hatreds, revenges, cruelties, adulteries, deceits, hypocrisies, impiety; and therefore when the love of self, or man's Own, is in the worship, such evils are in it, according to the difference and degree of quantity and quality that are from that love. Hence comes all the profanation of worship. In point of fact, in proportion as anything from the love of self, or from man's Own, is introduced into worship, in the same proportion internal worship departs, that is, it comes to pass that there is no internal worship. Internal worship consists in the affection of good and the acknowledgment of truth, and in proportion as the love of self, that is, in proportion as man's Own, makes its approach, or enters in, the affection of good and the acknowledgment of truth depart, or go out. The holy can never be with the profane, just as heaven cannot be with hell, but the one must take its departure from the other. Such is the state and order in the Lord's kingdom. This is the reason why there is no internal worship among such men as those whose worship is called "Babel," but only a kind of dead thing, and in fact one inwardly cadaverous, that is worshiped. From this it is evident what must be the quality of the external worship that contains such an internal within it.
[2] That such worship is "Babel," is evident from the Word in various places where Babel is described, as in Daniel, where the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon* saw in a dream-the head of which was of gold, the breast and arms of silver, the belly and thighs of brass, the legs of iron, and the feet part of iron and part of clay-signifies that from true worship there finally comes such worship as is called "Babel;" and therefore a stone cut out of the rock broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold (Dan. 2:31-33, 44, 45). The image of gold that Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon set up, and which they worshiped, was nothing else (Dan. 3:1 to the end). The like is signified by the king of Babylon with his lords drinking wine out of the vessels of gold that had been brought from the temple at Jerusalem, and praising the gods of gold, of silver, of brass, of iron, and of stone, on which account there appeared the writing upon the wall (Dan. 5:1 to the end). The like is signified also by Darius the Mede commanding that he should be adored as a god (Dan. 6:7 to the end); and likewise by the beasts seen by Daniel in a dream (Dan. 7:1 to the end) and the beasts and the Babylon described by John in the Revelation.
[3] That such worship was signified and represented is very evident, not only in Daniel and John, but also in the Prophets. As in Isaiah:
Their faces are faces of flames. The stars of the heavens and the constellations thereof shine not with their light; the sun is darkened in his going forth, and the moon doth not cause her light to shine. There do the Ziim couch, and their houses are filled with the Ochim; and the daughters of the night owl dwell there, and satyrs dance there, and Iim answer in her palaces, and dragons in the buildings of pleasure (Isa. 13:8, 10, 21-22).
This is said of Babylon, and the internal of such worship is described by "faces of flames," which are cupidities by "the stars," which are truths of faith, "not giving their light;" by "the sun," which is holy love, being "darkened;" by "the moon," which is the truth of faith, "not shining;" by "the Ziim," "Ochim," "daughters of the owl," "satyrs," "Iim," and "dragons," as being the interiors of their worship; for such things are of the love of self, that is, of man's Own. And therefore also Babylon is called in John "the mother of whoredoms and abominations" (Rev. 17:5); and also "a habitation of dragons, and a hold of every unclean spirit, and a hold of every unclean and hateful bird" (Rev. 18:2); from all which it is evident that with such things within, there cannot be anything of good, or of the truth of faith; and that insofar as the goods of affection and the truths of faith depart, such things enter in. The same are called also "the graven images of the gods of Babylon" (Isa. 21:9).
[4] That it is the love of self, or the Own of man, that is in such worship, or that it is the worship of self, is very evident in Isaiah:
Prophesy this parable upon the king of Babylon: Thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into the heavens, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; and I will sit on the mount of assembly, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the cloud, I will become like the Most High. Yet thou shalt be cast down to hell (Isa. 14:4, 13-15).
Here it is manifest that "Babylon" denotes one who desires to be worshiped as a god; that is, that it is the worship of self.
[5] Again:
Come down, and sit on the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; sit in the earth, without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans; thou hath trusted in thy wickedness; thou hast said, None seeth me; thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath averted thee; thou hast said in thine heart, I, and there is none else besides like me (Isa. 47:1, 10).
In Jeremiah:
Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, that destroyeth all the earth; and I will stretch out My hand upon thee, and will roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee into a mountain of burning. Though Babylon should mount up to the heavens, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from Me shall they that lay waste come to her (Jer. 51:25, 53).
From this passage also it is evident that "Babylon" is the worship of self.
[6] That such persons have no light of truth, but total darkness; that is, that they have no truth of faith, is described in Jeremiah:
The word that Jehovah spoke against Babylon, against the land of the Chaldeans. Out of the north there shall ascend upon her a nation that shall make her land a desolation, and none shall dwell therein; from man even to beast they shall move asunder, they shall be gone (Jer. 50:1, 3);
"the north" denotes thick darkness, or no truth; "no man and no beast," no good. (See further concerning Babel, below, at verse 28, where Chaldea is treated of.)
* In the original Latin "Babel" and "Babylon" are the same, namely, "Babel." "Babylon" is the Greek form of the word. [Reviser.]


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