(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 4402

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4402. And he called it El Elohe Israel. That this signifies from the Divine Spiritual (namely, interior worship), is evident from the signification of "El Elohe" (explained in what follows); and from the signification of "Israel," as being the spiritual (see n. 4286, 4292). As regards what has been said from verse 17 of this chapter thus far, the case is this: In this chapter in the supreme sense the subject treated of is the Lord, how He made His natural Divine. But as the things which exist in the supreme sense concerning the Lord surpass the ideas of man's thought (for they are Divine), I may illustrate them by such things as fall more nearly into the ideas, namely, by the manner in which the Lord regenerates man's natural; for in the internal sense the regeneration of man as to his natural is also here treated of, because the regeneration of man is an image of the glorification of the Lord (n. 3138, 3212, 3296, 3490). For the Lord glorified Himself, that is, made Himself Divine, according to Divine order; and according to such order He also regenerates man, that is, makes him celestial and spiritual. Here it is explained how He makes man spiritual, for "Israel" signifies the spiritual man.
[2] The spiritual man is not the interior rational man, but the interior natural. The interior rational man is what is called the celestial man. What the difference is between the spiritual and the celestial man has already been frequently stated. A man is made spiritual by having the truths in him conjoined with good, that is, the things of faith conjoined with those of charity, and this in his natural. Exterior truths are there first conjoined with good, and afterwards interior truths. The conjunction of exterior truths in the natural was treated of in this chapter from verses 1 to 17; and the conjunction of interior truths with good, from verse 17 to the end. Interior truths are not conjoined with good in any other way than by enlightenment flowing in through the internal man into the external man. From this enlightenment Divine truths are manifest only in a general manner, comparatively as innumerable objects are seen by the eye as one obscure thing without distinction. This enlightenment from which truths are manifest only in a general manner, was signified by Esau's words to Jacob, "Let me set I pray with thee of the people that are with me;" and by Jacob's answer, "Wherefore is this? Let me find grace in thine eyes" (as explained above, n. 4385-4386).
[3] That the spiritual man is relatively in obscurity see n. 2708, 2715, 2716, 2718, 2831, 2849, 2935, 2937, 3241, 3246, 3833. It is this spiritual man who is represented by Israel (n. 4286). The spiritual man is so called from the fact that the light of heaven, in which is intelligence and wisdom, flows into those things in man which are of the light of the world, and causes the things which are of the light of heaven to be represented in those which are of the light of the world, and thereby to correspond. For regarded in itself the spiritual is the Divine light itself which is from the Lord, consequently it is the intelligence of truth and the wisdom thence derived. But with the spiritual man this light falls into the things which are of faith in him, and which he believes to be true; whereas with the celestial man it falls into the good of love. But although these things are clear to those who are in the light of heaven, they are nevertheless obscure to those who are in the light of the world, thus to most people at this day, and possibly so obscure as to be scarcely intelligible; and yet as they are treated of in the internal sense, and are of such a nature, the opening of them is not to be dispensed with; the time is coming when there will be enlightenment.
[4] The reason why the altar was called El Elohe Israel, and by it was signified interior worship from the Divine Spiritual, is that in the supreme sense "El Elohe" is the same as the Divine Spiritual, and so also is "Israel." (That "Israel" denotes the Lord as to the Divine Spiritual, and in the representative sense the Lord's spiritual church, or what is the same, the man who is spiritual, may be seen above, n. 4286, 4292.) In the original tongue "El Elohe" means "God God," and strictly according to the words, "God of gods." In the Word, Jehovah or the Lord is in many places called "El," in the singular, also "Eloah;" and He is likewise called "Elohim," in the plural; sometimes both in one verse, or in one series. He who is not acquainted with the internal sense of the Word cannot know why this is so. That "El" involves one thing, and "Eloah" another, and "Elohim" another, everyone may judge from the fact that the Word is Divine, that is, derives its origin from the Divine, and that it is thereby inspired as to all the words, nay, as to the least point of all.
[5] What "El" involves when mentioned, and what "Elohim," may be seen from what has been occasionally shown above, namely, that "El Elohim" or "God" is mentioned when truth is treated of (see n. 709, 2586, 2769, 2807, 2822, 3921e, 4287). Hence it is that by "El" and "Elohim" in the supreme sense is signified the Divine Spiritual, for this is the same as the Divine truth, but with the difference that by "El" is signified truth in the will and act, which is the same as the good of truth (n. 4337, 4353, 4390). The expression "Elohim" is used in the plural, because by truth Divine are meant all truths which are from the Lord. Hence also angels are sometimes called in the Word "Elohim" or "gods" (n. 4295), as will also appear from the passages adduced from the Word below. Now as in the supreme sense "El" and "Elohim" signify the Lord as to truth, they also signify Him as to power; for truth is that of which power is predicated, because good acts by truth when it exerts power (n. 3091, 4015). Therefore wherever power from truth is treated of in the Word, the Lord is called "El" and "Elohim," that is, "God." Hence also it is that in the original language "El" also signifies one who is powerful.
[6] That "El" and "Elohim," or "God," are mentioned in the Word where the Divine Spiritual is treated of, or what is the same, the Divine truth, and hence the Divine power, may be still more evident from the following passages. In Moses:
God said unto Israel in the visions of the night, I am the God of gods [El Elohe] of thy father; fear not to go down into Egypt, for I will there make of thee a great nation (Gen. 46:2-3);
as these words were spoken to Israel, whom He would make a great nation, and thus the subject treated of is truth and its power, it is here said "El Elohe," which in the proximate sense signifies "God of gods." That in the proximate sense "Elohim" denotes "gods," because predicated of truths and the derived power, is also evident in the same:
Jacob built there an altar, and called the place El-Beth-El, because there the Elohim were revealed unto him, when he fled before his brother (Gen. 35:7).
And also elsewhere:
Jehovah your God, He is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God [El], powerful and formidable (Deut. 10:17);
where "God of gods" is expressed by "Elohe Elohim," and afterwards "God" by "El," to whom greatness and power are ascribed.
[7] In David:
Jehovah is a great God [El], and a great King above all gods [Elohim]. In His hand are the searchings out of the earth; and the strengths of the mountains are His (Ps. 95:3-4);
here "God" or "El" is used because the subject treated of is the Divine truth and the derivative power; and also "gods," because the subject treated of is also the truths thence derived; for in the internal sense a "king" signifies truth (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670). Hence it is evident what a "great king above all gods" involves. The "searchings out of the earth" also denote the truths of the church, which are called the "strengths of the mountains" from the power from this good. In the same:
Who in heaven shall compare himself to Jehovah? Who among the sons of the gods [Elim] shall be likened to Jehovah ? God [El] mighty in the secret of the holy ones. O Jehovah God Zebaoth, who is as Thou the strong Jah? (Ps.89:6-8).
Here the "sons of the gods" or "of Elim," denote truths Divine, of which it is evident that power is predicated; for it is said a "God [El] mighty, Jehovah God of Armies, who is strong as Thou?"
[8] So in another place in David:
Give unto Jehovah, O ye sons of the gods, give unto Jehovah glory and strength (Ps. 29:1);
In Moses:
They fell upon their faces, and said, God of gods [El Elohe] of the spirits of all flesh (Num. 14:22).
In David:
I said, ye are gods [Elohim] and ye are all sons of the Most High (Ps. 82:6; John 10:34);
where they are called "gods" from truths, for "sons" are truths (see n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2628, 3373, 3704).
Confess ye to the God of gods [Elohe Elohim]; confess ye to the Lord of lords (Ps. 136:2-3).
In Daniel:
The king will act according to his own pleasure, and will puff himself up, and will exalt himself above every god [El], and above the God of gods [El Elohim] will speak wondrous things (Dan. 11:36);
from this it is evident that in the proximate sense "El Elohe" is "God of gods," and that in the internal sense "gods" are predicated of the truths which are from the Lord.
[9] It is said "El," or "God," in the singular, where the subject treated of is the power which is from the Divine truth, or what is the same, from the Lord's Divine Spiritual, as may be seen from the following passages.
In Moses:
Let my hand be as God [El] to do evil to thee (Gen. 31:29).
And again:
Neither is there a hand for God [El] (Deut. 28:32).
And in Micah:
Neither is there a hand for God (Micah 2:1).
"A hand for God" denotes that there may be power. (That "hand" denotes power may be seen above, n. 878, 3387; and that "hand" is predicated of truth, n. 3091.) In David:
I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers; He shall call Me, Thou my Father, my God [El], the rock of my salvation (Ps. 89:25-26);
speaking of power from truths. Again:
The wicked saith in his heart, God [El] hath forgotten, He hath hidden His faces, He will never see: arise, Jehovah God [El], lift up Thy hand wherefore doth the wicked despise God [Elohim]? (Ps. 10:11-13);
denoting the same.
[10] Again:
Jehovah is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God [El], my rock (Ps. 18:2);
where power is treated of. In Isaiah:
The residue shall return, the residue of Jacob, to the powerful God [El](Isa. 10:21).
Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, God (El), Mighty, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).
Behold the God [El] of my salvation, I will trust, and not be afraid; for He is my strength (Isa. 12:2).
I am God [El] yea, from this day, I am He, and there is none that can rescue out of My hand, I am doing, and who shall withdraw it? (Isa. 43:12-13);
said of power. In Jeremiah:
God [El] the great, the powerful, whose name is Jehovah of Armies (Jer. 32:18).
In the second book of Samuel:
With my God [El] I will leap over a wall. God [El], His way is perfect, the discourse of Jehovah is pure. Who is God [El] save Jehovah? Who is a rock save our God [Elohim] ? God [El] is the strength of my refuge (2 Sam. 22:30-33).
[11] In Moses:
God [El] is not a man that He should lie, or the son of man that He should repent; hath He said, and shall He not do ? or hath He spoken, and shall He not establish? He brought them forth out of Egypt, He hath as it were the strengths of a unicorn; in that time it shall be said to Jacob and Israel, What hath God [El] wrought? (Num. 23:19, 22-23);
where in the internal sense power and truth are treated of. And again:
God [El] who brought him forth out of Egypt; He hath as it were the strengths of a unicorn; He shall consume the nations His enemies, and shall break their bones, and shall crush his darts (Num. 24:8).
That "horns" and "strengths of a unicorn" signify the power of truth from good, see n. 2832. Not to mention many other passages. As most things in the Word have also an opposite sense, so also have "god" and "gods," which names are used when falsity and power from falsity are treated of; as in Ezekiel:
The gods [Elim] of the strong shall speak to him in the midst of hell (Ezek. 32:21).
In Isaiah:
Ye have been in heat in the gods [Elim] under every green tree (Isa. 57:5);
where the term "gods" is used from falsities. In like manner in other places.


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