(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 2943

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2943. Of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying. That this signifies as to the doctrinal things through which there is faith, is evident from the signification of "gate," as being entrance, thus that which introduces (in like manner as "door," see n. 2145, 2152, 2356, 2385); and from the signification of "city," as being the truth of faith (see n. 402, 2268, 2449, 2451, 2712). Cities in the Ancient Church were not like the cities of later times and of the present day, that is, assemblages and gatherings of people; but they were the dwelling together of separate families. The family of one parent constituted a city, as for instance the city of Nahor (to which Abraham's servant came when he was to betroth Rebekah to Isaac, Gen. 24:10) was Nahor's family which was there; and Shalem, the city of Shechem (to which Jacob came when he journeyed from Paddan-aram, Gen. 33:18; 34) was the family of Hamor and Shechem, which was there; and so with the other cities of that time.
[2] And as they had learned from the most ancient people that nations and families represented the heavenly societies, and thus the things of love and charity (n. 655, 1159), so when a "city" is mentioned instead of a family, and "people" instead of nation, truth is signified which is of faith. Hence also the "city of God" and the "holy city," in the genuine sense signify faith in the Lord; and as a walled town or city signified faith, the "gate" of the city signified doctrinal things, because these introduce to faith. This in the representative Jewish Church was also signified by the judges and the elders sitting in the gate of the city and judging there; as is plain from the historical parts of the Word; and also in Zechariah:
These are the words that ye shall do: Speak ye every man the truth with his companion, judge truth and the judgment of peace in your gates (Zech. 8:16).
Also in Amos:
Hate the evil and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate (Amos 5:15).
(That a "gate" also signifies the way of access to the rational mind, and that this mind is compared to a city, may be seen above, n. 2851.)


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