(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 4236

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4236. And Jacob said when he saw them, This is the camp of God. That this signifies heaven, is because the "camp of God" signifies heaven, for the reason that an "army" signifies truths and goods (n. 3448), and truths and goods are marshaled by the Lord in heavenly order; hence an "encamping" denotes a marshalling by armies; and the heavenly order itself which is heaven, is the "camp." This "camp" or order is of such a nature that hell cannot possibly break in upon it, although it is in the constant endeavor to do so. Hence also this order, or heaven, is called a "camp," and the truths and goods (that is, the angels) who are marshaled in this order, are called "armies." This shows whence it is that the "camp of God" signifies heaven. It is this very order, and thus heaven itself, which was represented by the encampments of the sons of Israel in the wilderness; and their dwelling together in the wilderness according to their tribes was called the "camp." The tabernacle in the midst, and around which they encamped, represented the Lord Himself. That the sons of Israel encamped in this manner, may be seen in Numbers 1 and 33:2-56; as also that they encamped around the tabernacle by their tribes-toward the east Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun; toward the south Reuben, Simeon, and Gad; toward the west Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin; toward the north Dan, Asher, and Naphtali; and the Levites in the middle near the tabernacle (2:2-34).
[2] The tribes signified all goods and truths in the complex (see n. 3858, 3862, 3926, 3939, 4060). It was for this reason that when Balaam saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes, and the spirit of God came upon him, he uttered his enunciation, saying:
How good are thy tabernacles, O Jacob, thy dwelling places, O Israel, as the valleys are they planted, as gardens by the river (Num. 24:5-6).
That by this prophecy was not meant the people named Jacob and Israel, but that it was the heaven of the Lord that was represented, is very manifest. For the same reason their marshallings in the wilderness, that is, their encampings by tribes, are called "camps" in other passages of the Word; and by a "camp" is there signified in the internal sense heavenly order; and by "encamping" a marshalling in accordance with this order, namely, the order in which goods and truths are disposed in heaven (as in Lev. 4:12; 8:17; 13:46; 14:8; 16:26, 28; 24:14, 23; Num. 2; 4:5-33; 5:2-4; 9:17 to the end; 10:1-10, 28; 11:31, 32; 12:14, 15; 31:19-24; Deut. 23:10-14).
[3] That the "camp of God" denotes heaven may also be seen in Joel:
The earth quaked before Him, the heavens trembled, the sun and the moon were blackened, and the stars withdrew their brightness, and Jehovah uttered His voice before His army, for His camp is exceeding many, for numerous is he that doeth His word (Joel 2:10-11).
In Zechariah:
I will encamp at my house from the army, on account of him who passeth by, and on account of him who goeth away, lest the extortioner should pass over them (Zech. 9:8).
In John:
Gog and Magog went up over the plain of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city; but fire came up from God and consumed them (Rev. 20:9);
"Gog and Magog" denote those who are in external worship that is separated from internal and made idolatrous (n. 1151); the "plain of the earth" denotes the truth of the church (that a "plain" is the truth which is of doctrine may be seen above, n. 2450; and that the "earth" is the church, n. 556, 662, 1066, 1067, 1850, 2117, 2118, 3355); the "camp of the saints" denotes the heaven or kingdom of the Lord on the earth, which is the church.
[4] As most things in the Word have also an opposite sense, so likewise has a "camp," which then signifies evils and falsities, consequently hell; as in David:
Though the evil should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear (Ps. 27:3).
In the same:
God hath scattered the bones of them that encamp against me; thou hast put them to shame, because God hath rejected them (Ps. 53:5).
By the camp of Assyria, in which the angel of Jehovah smote a hundred and eighty-five thousand (Isa. 37:36), nothing else is meant; and the same by the camp of the Egyptians (Exod. 14:20).


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