(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 3812

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3812. And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. That this signifies conjoined in respect to truths and to goods, is evident from the signification of the words, "thou art my bone and my flesh," as being conjunction. The ancients had this form of speaking concerning those who were of one house, or of one family, or in some relationship-"my bone and my flesh" (see n. 157); and hence by these words is signified conjunction. The reason why it signifies as to truths and as to goods, is that all spiritual conjunction is effected by these, and all natural conjunction has relation to the same. Moreover, by "bone and flesh" is signified what is man's own; by "bone," the own of his understanding, and by "flesh" the own of his will; thus by "bone" is signified what is his own in respect to truth, for this is of the understanding; and by "flesh" is signified what is his own in respect to good, for this is of the will (n. 148, 149).
[2] As regards man's own in general it is of two kinds, one infernal and the other heavenly; that which is infernal is received by man from hell, and that which is heavenly from heaven, that is, through heaven from the Lord; for all evil, as well as all the derivative falsity, flows in from hell; and all good, and the derivative truth, from the Lord. This is known to men from the doctrine of faith, but scarcely one in ten thousand believes it. For this reason man appropriates to himself or makes his own the evil which flows in from hell, and the good which flows in from the Lord does not affect him, consequently is not imputed to him. The reason why man does not believe that evil flows in from hell, and good from the Lord, is that he is in the love of self, which love carries this with it, insomuch that it is exceedingly indignant when it is said that everything inflows. This therefore is the reason why all that is man's own is nothing but evil (see n. 210, 215, 694, 731, 874-876, 987, 1023, 1044, 1047). But that man believes that evil is from hell and good from the Lord comes from the fact that he is not in the love of self, but in love toward his neighbor and in love to the Lord, for this love is attended with such a belief. Thus it is that man receives from the Lord a heavenly own (concerning which see above n. 155, 164, 731, 1023, 1044, 1937, 1947, 2882, 2883, 2891).
[3] In both senses this own is signified by "bone and flesh;" and consequently by "bones" in the Word is signified truth, and in the opposite sense falsity, and by "flesh" good, and in the opposite sense evil. That this is the signification of "bones," may be seen from the following passages. In Isaiah:
Jehovah shall lead thee continually, and shall satisfy thy soul in droughts, and shall make strong thy bones; that thou mayest be like a watered garden (Isa. 58:11);
where "making strong the bones" signifies to make alive the own of the understanding, that is, to enlighten it with intelligence; whence it is said, "that thou mayest be like a watered garden." (That a "garden" signifies intelligence, may be seen above, n. 100, 108, 1588.) Again:
Then ye shall see, and your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like the grass (Isa. 66:14);
where by "bones flourishing like the grass," the like is signified as above.
[4] In Jeremiah:
Her Nazirites were whiter than snow, they were fairer than milk; their bones were more ruddy than gems, a sapphire was their polishing; their form is darker than blackness, they are not known in the streets; their skin cleaveth to their bone, it is withered, it is become like wood (Lam. 4:7-8);
the "Nazirite" denotes the celestial man (n. 3301); "whiter than snow and fairer than milk" denotes to be in celestial truth; and because this truth is from the love of good, it is said that "their bones were more ruddy than gems." ("Whiteness" and "fairness" are predicated of truth, n. 3301; "ruddiness," of good, n. 3300; "gems," of truths which are from good, n. 114.) By "their skin cleaving to their bone" is described a changed state as to the celestial things of love, namely, that there was no flesh on the bones, that is, no longer any good; for then all truth becomes like skin which cleaves to the bone; it is "withered and become like wood."
[5] In Ezekiel:
Utter a parable against the rebellious house, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovih, Set on the caldron, set it on, and also pour waters into it; gathering the pieces thereof into it, every good piece, the thigh and the shoulder; fill it with the choice bones; taking the choice of the flock; and let there be also a hearth of bones under it; let the bones also be boiled in the midst of it (Ezek. 24:3-5, 10);
where a "caldron" signifies violence offered to good and truth, wherefore it is called a "city of bloods" (verse 6); the "pieces, the good piece, the thigh, and the shoulder gathered into it" are flesh, by which are meant goods; the "choice bones" with which the caldron was filled denote truths a "hearth of bones," the affection of truth; the "bones being boiled in the midst of it," violence offered to truths. Everyone can see that Divine arcana are stored within this parable; and also that these arcana can in no wise be known unless it is known what is signified in the internal sense by a "caldron" or "pot," by "pieces," by "thigh and shoulder," by "choice bones," by a "hearth of bones," and by "boiling." In Micah:
Is it for you to know judgment, who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; who have eaten the flesh of My people, and have flayed their skin from off them; and have broken their bones, and have divided them as into the pot, and as flesh in the midst of the caldron? (Micah 3:1-3);
where the signification is the same.
[6] In Ezekiel:
He brought me out in the spirit of Jehovah, and set me down in the midst of the valley, which was full of bones. And He said unto me, Shall these bones live? He said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones hear the word of Jehovah; thus saith the Lord Jehovih unto these bones, Behold I will cause breath to enter into you that ye may live; I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come up upon you, and will cover you with skin, and put breath in you that ye may live. I prophesied, and the bones came together, bone to its bone; and I held and lo there were sinews upon them, and flesh came up, and skin covered them above; and there was no breath in them and breath came into them, and they revived, and stood upon their feet (Ezek. 37:1, 3-8, 10).
The subject here treated of in general is the setting up again of the church among the Gentiles; and in particular, the regeneration of man: "dry bones" denote the own of the understanding, which is inanimate before it receives the life of good from the lord, but is thereby animated or made alive; the "flesh which the Lord causes to come up upon the bones" is the own of the will, which is called the heavenly or celestial own, and thus signifies good; "breath" is the Lord's life, and when this inflows into that good of the man which he seems to himself to will and do from his own, the good is then vivified, and from the good the truth, and out of the dry bones there is made a man.
[7] In David:
All My bones are unloosed, My heart is become like wax, I can number all My bones. They have parted My garments among them, and upon My vesture have they cast a lot (Ps. 22:14, 17-18);
where the subject is the Lord's temptations as to Divine truths, which were the Lord's own, and hence are called "My bones;" and as to Divine good, which was the Lord's own, and hence is called "My heart." (That the "heart" signifies good, may be seen above, n. 3313, 3635.) And because "bones" signify these truths, the numbering of which denotes to desire to dissipate them through reasonings and falsities, therefore there immediately follow the words, "they parted My garments, and cast a lot upon My vesture;" for "garments" also signify truths, but exterior ones (n. 297, 1073, 2576); "dividing them and casting a lot upon the vesture," involves the like-as also in Matthew 27:35. Again:
My soul exulteth in Jehovah; it shall be glad in His salvation. All my bones shall say, Who is like unto Thee? (Ps. 35:9-10);
where it is evident that in the spiritual sense "bones" denote the own of the understanding. Again:
Thou shalt cause me to hear joy and gladness; the bones which Thou hast bruised shall exult (Ps. 51:8);
where the "exulting of the bones which were bruised" signifies re-creation through truths after temptations.
[8] As "bone" signified the own of the understanding, that is, the own as to truth, and in the supreme sense the Divine truth which was the Lord's own, it was for this reason ordained as a statute of the passover that they should not break a bone of the paschal lamb; concerning which we read in Moses:
In one house shall it be eaten; thou shall not carry forth of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof (Exod. 12:46).
And in another place:
They shall not leave of it until the morning, nor break a bone thereof (Num. 9:12);
"not to break a bone," in the supreme sense signifies not to do violence to truth Divine; and in the representative sense, not to do violence to the truth of any good whatever; for the quality of good and the form of good are from truths, and truth is the support of good, as bones are of flesh.
[9] That the Word, which is Divine truth itself, vivifies the dead, was represented by the man reviving and standing upon his feet who, when cast into the sepulcher of Elisha, touched his bones (2 Kings 13:21). (That Elisha represented the Lord as to truth Divine, or the Word, may be seen above, n. 2762.) That in the opposite sense "bones" signify the falsity which is from man's own, is manifest from the following passages. In Jeremiah:
In that time they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their sepulchers; and they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the army of the heavens, which they had loved, and which they had served (Jer. 8:1-2).
In Ezekiel:
I will lay the carcasses of the sons of Israel before their idols, and I will scatter your bones round about your altars (Ezek. 6:5).
In Moses:
God who brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of a unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and shall destroy their arrows (Num. 24:8).
In the second book of Kings:
Josiah the king brake in pieces the pillars, and cut down the groves, and filled their place with the bones of man; he took the bones out of the sepulchers, and burned them upon the altar that he might defile it; he sacrificed all the priests of the high places who were there, upon the altars, and burned men's bones upon them (2 Kings 23:14, 16, 20).
In Moses:
The soul that hath touched upon the surface of the field one that is slain with the sword, or one dead, or the bone of a man, or a sepulcher, shall be unclean seven days (Num. 19:16, 18).
[10] As "bones" signify falsities, and "sepulchers" the evils in which they are, and as hypocrisy is evil appearing outwardly as good, but is inwardly defiled with things false and profane, therefore the Lord says in Matthew:
Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; for ye make yourselves like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but are within full of dead men's bones and of all uncleanness; even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (Matt. 23:27-28).
From these passages it is now evident that by "bones" is signified the own of the understanding, both as to truth and as to falsity.


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