5585. Saying, Ye shall not see my faces. That this signifies that there will be no compassion, is evident from the signification of "faces" when predicated of man, as being his interiors, that is, his affections and derivative thoughts (see n. 358, 1999, 2434, 3527, 3573, 4066, 4796, 4797, 5102); but when predicated of the Lord, they denote mercy or compassion. Therefore "not to see his faces" means that there will be no mercy, or no compassion; for in the supreme sense the Lord is here represented by Joseph. Not that the Lord has no compassion, for He is mercy itself; but when there is no intermediate that conjoins, it appears to the man as if there were no compassion in the Lord. The reason is that if there is not a conjoining intermediate, there is no reception of good, and when there is no reception of good; there is evil in its stead. If the man then cries to the Lord, and because he cries from evil and thus for himself against all others, is not heard, it appears to him as if there were no compassion. That the "faces" of Jehovah or the Lord denote mercy, is evident from the Word; for the "face" of Jehovah or the Lord in the proper sense denotes the Divine love itself; and because it denotes the Divine love, it denotes what is of mercy, for this from love is shown toward the human race steeped in miseries so great.
 That the "face" of Jehovah or the Lord is the Divine love, is evident from the face of the Lord when He was transfigured before Peter, James, and John, that is, when He showed them His Divine; for then His face did shine as the sun (Matt. 17:2); that the "sun" is the Divine love may be seen shown above (n. 30-38, 1521, 1529-1531, 2441, 2495, 3636, 3643, 4060, 4321, 4696). The Lord's Divine Itself never appeared in any face, but His Divine Human, and through this as in it the Divine love, or relatively to the human race, the Divine mercy. This Divine mercy in the Divine Human is called the "angel of faces," in Isaiah:
I will make mention of the mercies of Jehovah. He will recompense them according to His mercies, and according to the multitude of His mercies, and He became for them a Saviour. And the angel of His faces saved them, for the sake of His love, and for the sake of His pity (Isa. 63:7-9);
it is called an "angel" because "angels" in the internal sense of the word signify something of the Lord (n. 1925, 2821, 4085), here His mercy and therefore it is said "the angel of His faces."
 That the "face" of Jehovah or the Lord is mercy, and also peace and good, because these are of mercy, may likewise be seen from the following passages. In the benediction:
Jehovah make His faces to shine upon thee, and be merciful unto thee. Jehovah lift up His faces unto thee, and give thee peace (Num. 6:25-26);
it is very evident that "to make the faces to shine" is to be merciful, and "to lift up the faces" is to give peace. In David:
God be merciful unto us, and bless us, and cause His faces to shine upon us (Ps. 67:2);
the "faces" here again denote mercy. In the same:
Bring us back, O God, and cause Thy faces to shine, that we may be saved (Ps. 80:3, 7, 19);
with a similar meaning. Again:
Deliver me from the hands of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. Make Thy faces to shine upon Thy servant (Ps. 31:15, 16; so too Ps. 119:134-135).
Hear, O our God, the praying of Thy servant, and his prayers, and cause Thy faces to shine upon Thy sanctuary that is desolate (Dan. 9:17);
"causing the faces to shine" denoting to be merciful.
 In David:
There are many that say, Who will make us see good? Lift up the light of Thy faces upon us (Ps. 4:6, 7);
"lifting up the light of the faces" denotes to give good from mercy. In Hosea:
Let them seek My faces when distress is theirs; in the morning let them seek Me (Hos. 5:15).
Again in David:
Seek ye My faces; Thy faces, Jehovah, will I seek (Ps. 27:8-9).
Seek Jehovah and His strength; seek His faces continually (Ps. 105:4);
"to seek the faces of Jehovah" denotes to seek His mercy.
I shall see Thy faces in righteousness (Ps. 17:15);
and in Matthew:
See that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you that their angels in the heavens do always behold the face of My Father who is in the heavens (Matt. 18:10);
"to behold the face of God" denotes to enjoy peace and good from mercy.
 But the opposite is "to conceal," or "hide," and also "to turn away the faces" which signifies not to be merciful; as in Isaiah:
In the overflowing of My anger I hid My faces from thee for a moment; but with mercy of eternity will I have mercy on thee (Isa. 54:8);
where the "overflowing of anger" denotes temptation, and because the Lord appears not to be merciful therein, it is said "I hid My faces from thee for a moment." In Ezekiel:
I will turn away My faces from them (Ezek. 7:22).
How long wilt Thou forget me, O Jehovah? to eternity? How long wilt Thou hide Thy faces from me? (Ps. 13:1.)
In the same:
Hide not Thy faces from me; put not Thy servant away in anger (Ps. 27:9).
Wherefore Jehovah dost Thou forsake my soul? why hidest Thou Thy faces from me? (Ps. 88:14.)
Make haste, answer me, O Jehovah; my spirit is consumed. Hide not Thy faces from me, lest I become like them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear Thy mercy in the morning (Ps. 143:7-8).
And in Moses:
My anger shall wax hot against this people in that day, so that I will forsake them; and I will hide My faces from them, whence it will be for consuming; I will surely hide My faces in that day for all the evil which they have done (Deut. 31:17-18);
 "the anger waxing hot" denotes a turning away (n. 5034); and "hiding the faces" denotes not being merciful. These things are predicated of Jehovah or the Lord, although He is never angry, and never turns away or hides His faces; but it is so said from the appearance with the man who is in evil; for the man who is in evil turns himself away, and hides from himself the Lord's faces, that is, removes His mercy from himself. That it is the evils in man that do this, may also be seen from the Word, as in Micah:
Jehovah will hide His faces from them at that time, according as they have rendered their works evil (Micah 3:4).
Because they trespassed against Me, therefore I hid My faces from them. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions did I with them; and I hid My faces from them (Ezek. 39:23-24).
And especially in Isaiah:
It is your iniquities that separate between you and your God, and your sins do hide His faces from you (Isa. 59:2).
From these and many other passages the internal sense is plain, which here and there stands forth, and is found by him who seeks it.