4422. Genesis 34
THE LAST JUDGMENT
Prefatory to this chapter the Lord's words in Matthew 24, verse 42 to the end, remain to be unfolded. These words are the last in that chapter which treat of the consummation of the age, or the advent of the Lord, and which in the letter are these: Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord cometh. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would assuredly have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken through. Therefore be ye also ready, for in an hour that ye think not the Son of man will come. Who therefore is the faithful and prudent servant, whom his lord hath set over his domestics, to give them their food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, that he will set him over all his goods. But if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth to come; and shall begin to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour when he knoweth not, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. What these words involve may be seen from the series of things, for the subject treated of in this whole chapter of the evangelist is the last period of the church, which in the internal sense is the consummation of the age and the advent of the Lord. That this is the case is evident from the explication of all the contents of the chapter, as may be seen in the prefaces to the immediately preceding chapters of Genesis (namely, 26, n. 3353-3356; 27, n. 3486-3489; 28, n. 3650-3655; 29, n. 3751- 3757; 30, n. 3897-3901; 31, n. 4056-4060; 32, n. 4229-4231; 33, n. 4332-4335).
 What these contents are in a series has also been there stated, namely, that when the Christian Church that was set up after the Lord's coming began to vastate itself, that is, to recede from good, then: (1) They began not to know what good and truth are, but disputed about them. (2) They despised them. (3) Next they did not at heart acknowledge them. (4) Afterwards they profaned them. (5) And as the truth of faith and the good of charity were still to remain with some, who are called the "elect," the state of faith at that time is described. (6) And then the state of charity. (7) Lastly, the beginning of a new church is treated of; and, (8) The state as to good and truth within the so-called church, when that church is being rejected and a new church is being adopted. From this series it may appear what is involved in the words that have been transcribed above, and are the last of the chapter, namely, that they are words of exhortation to those in the church, that they should be in the good of faith, and that if not they must perish.