(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 3387

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3387. Because he feared to say, She is my woman; lest the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah. That this signifies that He could not open Divine truths themselves, because thus Divine good would not be received, is evident from the signification of "fearing to say," as being not to be able to open; from the signification of "woman," who here is Rebekah, as being the Lord's Divine rational as to Divine truth (n. 3012, 3013, 3077); from the signification of "slaying me," as being that good is not received, for by Isaac, who here is "me," is represented the Divine good of the Lord's rational (n. 3012, 3194, 3210), for good is said to be slain, or to perish, when it is not received, because with him who does not receive it, it is nullified; and from the signification of the "men of the place," as being those who are in the doctrinal things of faith (n. 3385). From all this it now appears what is the internal sense of these words, namely, that if Divine truths themselves were to be opened, they would not be received by those who are in the doctrinal things of faith, because they surpass all their rational apprehension, thus all their belief, and consequently nothing of good from the Lord could flow in. For good from the Lord, or Divine good, can inflow solely into truths, because truths are the vessels of good, as often shown.
[2] Truths or appearances of truth are given man to the intent that Divine good may be able to form his understanding, and thus the man himself. For truths exist to the end that good may flow in; for without vessels or receptacles good finds no place, because it finds no state corresponding to itself; and therefore where there are no truths, or where they are not received, there is no rational or human good, consequently the man has no spiritual life. In order therefore that man may nevertheless have truths, and thereby have spiritual life, appearances of truth are given to everyone according to his apprehension; which appearances are acknowledged as truths, because they are such that Divine things can be in them.
[3] In order that it may be known what appearances are, and that they are such things as serve man instead of truths Divine, let us take examples for illustration. If it should be said that in heaven there is no idea of place, thus none of distance, but that instead of these there are ideas of state, this could not possibly be apprehended by man, for this would cause him to believe that there nothing is distinct, but that everything is confused, that is, all in one, or together; when yet all things there are so distinct that nothing can be more so. (That the places, distances, and spaces, which exist in nature, are in heaven states, may be seen above, n. 3356.) Hence it is manifest that whatever is said in the Word concerning places and spaces, and from them and by means of them, is an appearance of truth; and unless it were said by means of such appearances, it would not be received at all, consequently would be scarcely anything; for so long as he is in the world, that is, in space and time, the idea of space and of time is within almost everything of man's thought, both in general and in particular.
[4] That the language of the Word is according to appearances of space appears from almost everything in it; as in Matthew:
Jesus asked them saying, How then doth David say, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand till I make Thine enemies Thy foot stool (Matt. 22:43, 44)
where to "sit on the right hand" comes from the idea of place, thus according to appearance, when nevertheless what is here described is the state of the Lord's Divine power. Again:
Jesus said, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming upon the clouds of heaven (Matt. 26:64);
here in like manner "sitting on the right hand," and also "coming upon the clouds," are derived from the idea of place with men; but with angels the idea is of the Lord's power. In Mark:
The sons of Zebedee said to Jesus, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on Thy right hand, and the other on Thy left hand, in Thy glory. Jesus answered, To sit on My right hand, and on My left, is not Mine to give, except to those for whom it hath been prepared (Mark. 10:37, 40).
From this it is manifest what sort of an idea the disciples had concerning the Lord's kingdom, namely, that it was to sit on His right hand and on His left; and because they had such an idea, the Lord also answered them according to their apprehension, thus according to what appeared to them.
[5] In David:
He is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run his course. His going forth is from the end of the heavens and His circuit unto the ends of it (Ps. 19:5-6);
speaking of the Lord, whose state of Divine power is here described by such things as are of space. In Isaiah:
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the dawning! Thou saidst in thine heart, I will ascend into the heavens, I will exalt my throne above the stars of heaven;* I will ascend above the heights of the cloud (Isa. 14:12-14);
where "falling from heaven," "ascending into the heavens," "exalting the throne above the stars of heaven," "ascending above the heights of the cloud," all of which are expressions descriptive of the love of self profaning holy things, are all derived from the idea and appearance of space or place. Inasmuch as celestial and spiritual things are presented before man by means of such things as appear to men, and in accordance with such things, therefore heaven is also described as being on high, when yet it is not on high, but is in what is internal (n. 450, 1380, 2148).
* The Hebrew is "stars of God;" and so Swedenborg renders the expression in Arcana Coelestia n. 257, 3708, 5313, 7375, 8678, and other places. The present reading therefore may be a slip of the pen, yet it is found also in Apocalypse Explained 1029, and 1108.


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