(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 4825

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4825. And she added again and bare a son. That this signifies what is idolatrous, is evident from the signification of a "son" here, as being what is idolatrous, for those who were born before signified falsity and evil (n. 4821, 4823). From this it follows that the third son means what is idolatrous, for both falsity and evil produce this, and are in it. Of the three sons who were born to Judah of the Canaanite woman, this son was the only one that survived, from whom came a third part of the Jewish nation; and that this nation took its rise from what is idolatrous, is here meant in the internal sense. That this nation was very prone to idolatry is evident from the historic and prophetic parts of the Word according to the sense of the letter; and that it was continually idolatrous is plain from the internal sense. For idolatry consists not only in worshiping idols, graven images, and other gods, but also in worshiping external things without their internals. In this that nation was continually idolatrous, adoring external things only, and entirely removing internal things, not being willing even to know about them. They had indeed holy things with them-as the tent of meeting, with the ark, the mercy-seat on it, the tables on which were the loaves, the lampstand, incenses, and the altar outside the tent, on which were offered burnt-offerings and sacrifices - all which things were called holy; and the inmost of the tent was called the holy of holies, and also the sanctuary. They also had with them the garments that belonged to Aaron and to their high priests, and were called the garments of holiness; for there was the ephod with the breast-plate in which was the Urim and Thummim, besides other things. Yet these things were not holy in themselves, but were holy from representing holy things, namely, the Divine celestial and spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom, and also the Lord Himself. Still less were they holy from the people with whom they were, for that people were not at all affected by the internal things which were represented, but only by the external; and to be affected by external things only is idolatrous, for it is to worship wood and stone, and also the gold and silver with which they are covered, from a phantasy that they are holy in themselves. Such was that nation, and such also it is at this day.
[2] But still there might be with them a representative of a church, because the representative does not regard the person, but the thing (see n. 665, 1097e, 3670, 4208, 4281, 4288). Thus their worship did not make them blessed and happy in the other life, but only prosperous in the world so long as they continued in the representatives, and did not turn aside to the idols of the Gentiles, and thus become openly idolaters; for then not anything of the church could any longer be represented with that nation. These are the things which are meant by what is idolatrous that is signified by the third son of Judah by the Canaanite woman. This idolatry with that nation had its origin from their internal idolatry, for they above other nations were in the love of self and the world (n. 4459e, 4750); and those who are in the love of self and of the world are in internal idolatry, for they worship themselves and the world, and perform holy ceremonies for the sake of self-adoration and gain, that is, for self as an end-not for the Lord's church and kingdom as an end, thus not for the Lord.


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