(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 1409

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1409. That the historicals are representative, but all the words significative, is evident from what has already been said and shown concerning representatives and significatives (n. 665, 920, 1361); nevertheless, since representatives begin here, it is well to give briefly a further explanation of the subject. The Most Ancient Church, which was celestial, looked upon all earthly and worldly, and also bodily things, which were in any wise objects of the senses, as being dead things; but as each and all things in the world present some idea of the Lord's kingdom, consequently of things celestial and spiritual, when they saw them or apprehended them by any sense, they thought not of them, but of the celestial and spiritual things; indeed they thought not from the worldly things, but by means of them; and thus with them things that were dead became living.
[2] The things thus signified were collected from their lips by their posterity and were formed by them into doctrinals, which were the Word of the Ancient Church, after the flood. With the Ancient Church these were significative; for through them they learned internal things, and from them they thought of spiritual and celestial things. But when this knowledge began to perish, so that they did not know that such things were signified, and began to regard the terrestrial and worldly things as holy, and to worship them, with no thought of their signification, the same things were then made representative. Thus arose the Representative Church, which had its beginning in Abram and was afterwards instituted with the posterity of Jacob. From this it may be known that representatives had their rise from the significatives of the Ancient Church, and these from the celestial ideas of the Most Ancient Church.
[3] The nature of representatives may be manifest from the historicals of the Word, in which all the acts of the fathers, Abram, Isaac, and Jacob, and afterwards those of Moses, and of the judges and kings of Judah and Israel, were nothing but representatives. Abram in the Word, as has been said, represents the Lord; and because he represents the Lord, he represents also the celestial man; Isaac likewise represents the Lord, and thence the spiritual man; Jacob in like manner represents the Lord, and thence the natural man corresponding to the spiritual.
[4] But with representatives the character of the person is not considered at all, but the thing which he represents; for all the kings of Judah and of Israel, of whatever character, represented the Lord's kingly function; and all the priests, of whatever character, represented His priestly function. Thus the evil as well as the good could represent the Lord and the celestial and spiritual things of His kingdom; for, as has been said and shown above, the representatives were altogether separated from the person. Hence then it is that all the historicals of the Word are representative; and because they are representative, it follows that all the words of the Word are significative, that is, that they have a different signification in the internal sense from that which they bear in the sense of the letter.


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