(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 4552

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4552. And Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. That this signifies eternal rejection, is evident from the signification of "hiding," as being to reject and bury as dead; and from the signification of "under the oak," as being to eternity; for as the oak is a very long-lived tree, when anything was hidden under it, it signified what is perpetual; and it also signified what is entangled, and moreover what is fallacious and false, because the lowest of the natural is relatively entangled and fallacious insofar as it derives its knowledge and its pleasure from the sensuous things of the body, and thus from fallacies. For by the "oak" is specifically signified the lowest of the natural, consequently in a good sense the truths and goods which are therein, and in the opposite sense the evils and falsities which are therein.
[2] Moreover, when falsities are removed in a regenerate man, they are rejected to the lowest of the natural; and therefore when a man becomes mature in judgment and clearsighted, and especially when he becomes intelligent and wise, they appear still further removed from his interior sight. For with the regenerate man truths are in the inmost of his natural near good, which is like a little sun there; and the truths which depend on these are distant therefrom according to the degrees of-so to speak-their consanguinity and affinity with good. Fallacious truths are in the more outward circumferences, and falsities are rejected to the outermost ones. The latter remain with man forever, but are in this order when the man suffers himself to be led by the Lord, for this order is heavenly order, inasmuch as heaven itself is in such an order. But when a man does not suffer himself to be led by the Lord, but by evil, these things are then in the opposite order, evil with falsities then being in the middle, truths being rejected to the circumferences, and the veriest Divine truths to the outermost circumferences, which order is infernal, for in such an order is hell, the outermost circumferences being the lowest things of the natural.
[3] That "oaks" denote the falsities which are the lowest things of the natural, is because in the Ancient Church, when there was external worship representative of the Lord's kingdom, all trees of whatever kind signified something spiritual or celestial; for instance the olive and the oil from it signified the things which are of celestial love; the vine and the wine from it, the things which are of charity and its derivative faith; and so with the other trees, as the cedar, the fig, the poplar, the beech, and the oak, the signification of which has been occasionally shown in the explications. It is for this reason that they are so often mentioned in the Word, and also in general gardens, groves, and forests, and that men had their worship in these under certain trees. But as this worship became idolatrous, and the posterity of Jacob, with whom the representative of a church was instituted, was prone to idolatry, and consequently set up so many idols therein, they were forbidden to hold worship in gardens and groves, and under the trees therein; nevertheless the trees retained their signification, and therefore not only the more noble, as the olive, the vine, and the cedar, but also the poplar, the beech, and the oak, where mentioned in the Word, are each significative as in the Ancient Church.
[4] That "oaks" in a good sense signify the truths and goods which are lowest of the natural, and in the opposite sense falsities and evils, is evident from the passages in the Word where they are mentioned, when understood in the internal sense, as in Isaiah:
They who forsake Jehovah shall be consumed, for they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired; and ye shall be as an oak that casteth its leaves, and as a garden that hath no water (Isa. 1:28-30).
The day of Jehovah Zebaoth shall be upon everyone lifted up and low, and upon all the cedars of Lebanon, and upon all the oaks of Bashan (Isa. 2:12-13);
that the day of Jehovah will not be upon the cedars and the oaks, everyone may know, but upon those who are signified by them. Again:
He who formeth a god heweth him down cedars, and taketh the beech and the oak, and strengtheneth for himself in the trees of the forest (Isa. 44:14).
[5] In Ezekiel:
Ye shall acknowledge that I am Jehovah when their pierced ones shall be in the midst of the idols round about their altars, upon every high hill, in all the heads of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every tangled oak, the place where they have given an odor of rest to all their idols (Ezek. 6:13).
Moreover the ancients had worship upon hills and mountains because hills and mountains signified celestial love; but when the worship was performed by idolaters, as here, they signify the love of self and of the world (n. 795, 796, 1430, 2722, 4210); and they held it under trees, because as before said these were significative according to their species. "Under the tangled oak" here denotes that the worship was from falsities, which are the lowest things of the natural, for these are in an entangled state (n. 2831). In Hosea:
They sacrifice upon the heads of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under the oak, the poplar, and the hard oak, because the shade thereof is good; therefore your daughters commit whoredom, and your daughters-in-law commit adultery (Hos. 4:13);
that "to commit whoredom" is to falsify truths, and "to commit adultery" is to pervert goods, may be seen in n. 2466, 2729, 3399. In Zechariah:
Open thy doors, O Lebanon, and let the fire devour the cedars, because the magnificent ones are laid waste; howl, ye oaks of Bashan, for the forest of Bazar is come down (Zech. 11:1-2).


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