(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 2576

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2576. Behold it is unto thee a covering of the eyes to all that are with thee. That this signifies that rational truths are like a covering or clothing to spiritual truths, is evident from the signification of a "covering" (concerning which presently); and from the signification of the "eyes," as being things intellectual (as is evident from very many passages in the Word); and also from the signification of "seeing," as being to understand (n. 2150, 2325). Everyone can see that in everything in this verse there are arcana which cannot be revealed except by some interior sense; such as the statement that he gave a thousand of silver, and that this is said to have been given, not to her husband, but to her brother; that it was a covering of the eyes both to her and to all that were with her, and also with all; and that thereby she was vindicated. Many historical conjectures might possibly be drawn from the sense of the letter, but without having anything spiritual in them, still less anything Divine; and yet this is what the Word is.
[2] As regards rational truths being like a covering or clothing to spiritual truths, the case is this: Man's inmost things are those of his soul, and his outer things are those of his body; the former are goods and truths, from which the soul has its life, for otherwise the soul would not be a soul: the latter draw their life therefrom, and are all like a body, or what is the same, a covering or clothing. This is especially evident from the things that appear in the other life; as from angels when presented to view; for their interiors shine forth from their faces; their exteriors being represented in both their bodies and their dress; and this so fully that everyone there can know their quality from their garments alone; for these are real substances, and thus essences in form. The same is the case with the angels seen and described in respect to their faces and dress in the Word, such as those seen in the Lord's sepulcher (Matt. 28:3; Mark 16:5); and the four and twenty elders around the throne (Rev. 4:4); and others. Nor is this the case with the angels only, but also with all other things that are mentioned in the Word, even those which are inanimate; in all cases their exteriors are a covering or clothing; as for example the ark of the covenant and the tent that was round about it; the ark, being the inmost, represented the Lord Himself, for therein was the Testimony; and the tent outside of it represented the Lord's kingdom. The clothing, that is, the veils and coverings, each and all represented the more exterior celestial and spiritual things in His kingdom, that is, in the three heavens; as is evident from the fact that the form of the Tent was shown to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exod. 25:9; 26:30). From this it had its holiness, and not from the gold, the silver, and the carvings, that were in it.
[3] Since rational truths are now treated of, as being a kind of veil or clothing to spiritual truths, and as the tent is described in Moses in respect to its clothing or coverings, and also in respect to its veils which were before the entrance, for the sake of illustration we may explain what was specifically signified by the veils; but what was signified by the encompassing coverings will of the Lord's Divine mercy be told elsewhere. The veils of the tent were three: the first, which made the division between the holy and the holy of holies; the second, which is called the hanging for the door of the tent; and the third, which was the hanging for the gate of the court.
[4] Concerning the veil itself, which was the first, before the ark, we read in Moses:
Thou shalt make a veil of hyacinthine, and bright crimson, and double-dyed scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of a designer, thou shall make it with cherubim; and thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood, overlaid with gold, and their hooks of gold; upon four bases of silver; and thou shalt hang the veil under the clasps; and thou shalt bring in thither, within the veil, the Ark of the Testimony; and the veil shall divide unto you between the Holy and the Holy of Holies (Exod. 26:31-34; 36:35-36).
This veil represented the nearest and inmost appearances of rational good and truth, in which are the angels of the third heaven; which appearances are described by the hyacinthine, the bright crimson, the double-dyed scarlet, and the fine twined linen; in which the red color represented the goods of love, and the white its truths. The same is true also of the gold and silver with which the pillars were overlaid, and of which the hooks and the bases were made. (That colors are representative may be seen above, n. 1042, 1043, 1053, 1624; that "gold" is the good of love, n. 113, 1551, 1552; and that "silver" is truth, n. 1551, 2048.)
[5] From this we can see what is signified by the veil of the temple being rent in twain (Matt. 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45), namely, that the Lord entered into the Divine Itself by dispersing all appearances; and that He at the same time opened the way to His Divine Itself through His Human made Divine.
[6] Concerning the second veil, or the hanging for the door of the tent, we read in Moses:
Thou shalt make a hanging for the door of the tent, of hyacinthine, and bright crimson, and double-dyed scarlet, and fine-twined linen, the work of the embroiderer; and thou shalt make for the hanging five pillars of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, and their hooks shall be of gold; and thou shalt cast for them five bases of brass (Exod. 26:36-37; 36:37-38).
By this hanging were represented appearances of good and truth that are lower or more external than the former, that is, the middle ones of the rational, in which are the angels of the second heaven; which appearances are described almost in the same manner as the first, with the difference however that for this hanging there were five pillars and five bases, by which number is signified what is comparatively but little; for these appearances do not so cohere together, or are not so heavenly, as are the appearances of the inmost or third heaven. (Concerning the number five as meaning a little, see above, n. 649, 1686.) And because these appearances look to natural things, it was commanded that the bases should be cast of brass; for by brass was represented and signified natural good (n. 425, 1551).
[7] Concerning the third veil, or the hanging for the gate of the court, we read in Moses:
For the gate of the court shall be a hanging of twenty cubits, of hyacinthine, and bright crimson, and double-dyed scarlet, and fine-twined linen, the work of the embroiderer; their pillars four, and their bases four; all the pillars of the court round about shall be filleted with silver, their hooks of silver, but their bases of brass (Exod. 27:16-17; 38:18-19).
By this hanging were represented still lower or more external appearances of good and truth, which are the lowest ones of the rational, in which are the angels of the first heaven. As these appearances correspond to interior things, they are described in a similar manner, yet with the difference that these pillars were not overlaid with gold, but filleted with silver, and that the hooks were of silver, by which are signified rational truths that derive their origin immediately from memory-knowledges; and the bases were of brass, by which are signified natural goods. All this shows that there was nothing in the Tent that was not representative of the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom, or that all things were made according to the type of celestial and spiritual things in the three heavens; also that the veilings or coverings signified the things that are like a body or dress around or without the inmost.
[8] Moreover that "veilings," "coverings," "clothing," or "garments" signify relatively lower truths, is evident from many passages in the Word, as in Ezekiel:
Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was thy spread of sail; hyacinthine and bright crimson from the isles of Elishah was thy covering (Ezek. 27:7);
where Tyre is treated of, by which are signified interior knowledges of celestial and spiritual things, and consequently those who are in them (n. 1201); "broidered work from Egypt" denotes what is of memory-knowledge (that "Egypt" denotes this may be seen above, n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462); "hyacinthine and bright crimson from the isles of Elishah, which was the covering," denote the rituals that correspond to internal worship (n. 1156).
[9] In the same:
All the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones, and lay aside their robes, and put off their broidered garments; they shall be clothed with tremblings, they shall sit upon the earth (Ezek. 26:16);
also speaking of Tyre "robes" and "broidered garments" denote knowledges derived from the contents of the memory [cognitionibus ex scientificis], and thus lower truths.
[10] In the same:
I clothed thee with broidered work, and shod thee with badger, and girded thee about with fine linen, and covered thee with silk; I decked thee also with ornaments, and put bracelets upon thy hands, and a necklace upon thy throat. Thou didst take of thy garments, and madest for thee high places with divers colors, and didst commit whoredom upon them; thou tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst them (Ezek. 16:10-11, 16, 18);
speaking of Jerusalem, which is the spiritual church, described as it was of old, and such as it was afterwards, when perverted: its lower spiritual things and its doctrinal matters are the "garments of broidered work, fine linen, and silk."
[11] In Isaiah:
The Lord Jehovih Zebaoth doth take away from Jerusalem the whole staff of bread and the staff of water. Then shall a man take hold of his brother, of the house of his father-Thou hast a garment, be thou our prince. In that day he shall lift up his voice, saying, I will not be a binder up, and in my house there is neither bread, nor garment; ye shall not make me a prince of the people. The Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion; and in that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their anklets, and their network, and crescents, and their collars, and chains, and plates; and the headtires, and the ankle chains, and the sashes, and the soul houses, and the ear-drops; the rings, and the nose jewels, the festival garments, and the mantles, and the robes, and the satchels, the mirrors, and the fine linen, and the turbans, and the cloaks (Isa. 3:1, 6-7, 17-24).
"Jerusalem" denotes the spiritual church; "Judah" the celestial church; the "staff of bread and the staff of water, which will be removed," denote good and truth; the "garment which the prince should have," the truths which are of doctrine; the clothing and various ornaments of the daughters of Zion, which are enumerated, all and each, the kinds and varieties of good and truth, of which they would be deprived. Unless everything here mentioned signified something peculiar to the church, they would not be of the Word, in every expression of which there is what is Divine; but they are predicated of the daughters of Zion, and by these are signified the things of the church, as may be seen above (n. 2362).
[12] In the same:
Awake! awake! put on thy strength, O Zion; put on the garments of thy beauty, O Jerusalem, the city of holiness; for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean (Isa. 52:1, 2);
"Zion" denotes the celestial church; "Jerusalem" the spiritual church; and "garments of beauty" the holy things of faith. In the same:
Their webs shall not become a garment, neither shall they cover themselves with their works; their works are works of iniquity (Isa. 59:6);
"webs" denote fictitious truths that do not become a garment; a "garment" denotes the exterior truths of doctrine and of worship; hence it is said, "neither shall they cover themselves with their works."
[13] In the same:
Rejoicing I will rejoice in Jehovah, my soul shall exult in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness (Isa. 61:10);
the "garments of salvation" denote the truths of faith; and the "robe of righteousness" the good of charity. In John:
Thou hast a few names even in Sardis that have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy; he that overcometh shall be clothed in white raiment (Rev. 3:4-5).
Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked (Rev. 16:15).
In the same:
Upon the thrones I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white garments (Rev. 4:4);
where it is manifest that the "garments" are not garments, but the spiritual things of truth.
[14] So where the Lord said in reference to the consummation of the age that they should not return back to take their garments (Matt. 24:18; Mark 13:16), where that "garments" are truths may be seen above (n. 2454). Also in regard to the one not clothed in a wedding garment (Matt. 22:11, 12). And concerning John:
What went ye out to see? a man clothed in bright* garments? Behold they that wear bright* garments are in kings' houses (Matt. 11:8; Luke 7:25);
meaning that they were not in the externals of doctrine and worship, but in the internals; on which account He adds:
What went ye out to see? a prophet? yea, I say unto you and more than a prophet (Matt. 11:9);
a "prophet" denotes the externals of doctrine and of worship.
[15] As "garments" signified truths of every kind, it was commanded that the sons of Israel on going out of Egypt should borrow gold and silver, and garments, and put them upon their sons (Exod. 3:22; 12:35-36); also that garments of various kinds, or mixed garments, should not be worn (Lev. 19:19; Deut. 22:11); and that they should make for themselves fringes on the borders of their garments, and should put a blue thread there, and that when they saw it they should call to mind the commandments, and do them (Num. 15:38-40).
[16] Formerly also they rent their garments (as is seen in Josh. 7:6; Judges 11:35; 1 Sam. 4:12; 2 Sam. 1:2, 11-12; 3:31; 13:30-31; 15:32; 1 Kings 21:27; 2 Kings 5:7-8; 6:30; 22:11, 14, 19; Isa. 36:22; 37:1); by which was signified zeal for doctrine and truth, which was thus torn to pieces; and also humiliation, because there was nothing appertaining to them that is signified by the adornment of garments.
[17] That such things are signified by "veilings," "coverings," "clothing," or "garments" is also manifest from the prophecy of Jacob, then Israel:
He shall bind his foal to the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he shall wash his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes (Gen. 49:11);
what these words signify can be known to none except from the internal sense; namely a "vine," a "choice vine," a "foal," an "ass's colt," "wine," the "blood of grapes," "garments," and "clothes"; but it is evident that they are predicated of the Lord, who is here called "Shiloh." The subject spoken of is Judah, by whom is represented the Lord's Divine celestial; and by the "garments he should wash in wine," and "the vesture he should wash in the blood of grapes" are signified the Lord's rational and natural, which He should make Divine.
[18] In like manner in Isaiah:
Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah; this that is glorious in his apparel, marching in the multitude of his strength? Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garment like him that treadeth in the wine vat? I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the peoples there was none with me; their victory is sprinkled upon my garments, and I have stained all my raiment (Isa. 63:1-3);
where also "garments" and "raiment" denote the Lord's Human which of His own power He made Divine by combats of temptations and by victories; on which account it is said, "I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the peoples there was none with me." Isaac's smelling the smell of Esau's garments, and so blessing him (Gen. 27:27), involved the same.
[19] The Holy itself of the Lord's Divine Human was also a garment which appeared as the light, and as white and glistening, when He was transfigured, concerning which we read in Matthew:
When Jesus was transfigured, His face did shine as the sun, and His garments became as the light (Matt. 17:2).
In Luke:
When Jesus prayed, the appearance of His countenance was changed, and His raiment became white and glistening (Luke 9:29).
And in Mark:
When Jesus was transfigured, His garments became shining, exceeding white like snow, so as no fuller on earth can white them (Mark 9:3).
The garments of holiness with which Aaron was clothed when he entered within the veil, and which were of linen, had a similar representation (Lev. 16:2, 4): likewise the garments of holiness that were for glory and for beauty; and those of his ministry (Exod. 28:2 to the end, and 39:1 to the end): for in these there was not one whit that was not representative.
* Splendidis and splendida; but mollibus and mollia in n. 9372. [Rotch ed.]


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