(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 5895

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5895. Wherein is no plowing and harvest. That this signifies that meanwhile good and the derivative truth will not appear, is evident from the signification of "plowing," as being preparation by good for receiving truths (of which in what follows); and from the signification of "harvest," as being truths from good-for harvest is the already ripe crop when it is being gathered, hence "harvest" is the truth which is from good. Before this truth comes into existence, truths indeed appear, but they are truths through which is good, and not truths from good. A man who acts from truth is in truths through which is good, but he who acts from good is in truths which are from good. That "plowing" is said to denote good, is because a "field" which is plowed signifies the church as to good (n. 2971), thus good which is of the church (n. 3310, 3317, 4982). Thus "plowing" is preparation by good for receiving truths; moreover the oxen which were used in plowing signify goods in the natural (n. 2180, 2566, 2781).
[2] As this was the signification of "plowing," it was forbidden in the representative church "to plow with an ox and an ass together" (Deut. 22:10), which never would have been forbidden except for some reason from within, thus from the spiritual world. For otherwise what harm could there be in their plowing together? and what the worthiness of such a law in the Word? The reason from within, or from the spiritual world, is that "plowing with an ox" signifies good in the natural, and "plowing with an ass" signifies truth therein. (That an "ass" denotes the truth of memory-knowledge, thus truth in the natural, may be seen n. 5492, 5741.) The interior or spiritual reason of this command was that the angels could not have a separate idea of good and truth, but they must be conjoined and make a one; and therefore they were not willing to view such plowing by an ox and an ass. The celestial angels are not even willing to think of truth separate from good, for all the truth with them is in good; thus also to them truth is good. For the same reason it was forbidden "to wear a mixed garment, of wool and linen together" (Deut 22:11), for "wool" signifies good, and "linen" truth.
[3] That "to plow" and also "to harrow," "to sow" and "to reap," signify such things as belong to good and its truth, is manifest in Hosea:
I will make Ephraim ride; Judah shall plow, Jacob shall harrow for him; sow for yourselves according to righteousness, reap according to piety; break up for you the fallow ground: and it is time to seek Jehovah, till He come and teach righteousness (Hos. 5:11, 12);
"to ride" is predicated of Ephraim because "to ride" is to enjoy understanding; and "Ephraim" is the intellectual of the church; but "to plow" is predicated of Judah because "Judah" is the good of the church.
[4] In Amos:
Shall horses run on the rock? will one plow with oxen? that ye have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood (Amos 6:12);
"shall horses run on the rock?" denotes shall the truth of faith be understood? for "rock" in the spiritual sense is faith (see preface to Gen. 22); and "horses" are those things which are of the understanding (n. 2761, 2762, 3217, 5321); "will one plow with oxen?" denotes shall he do good? "oxen" being good in the natural (n. 2180, 2566, 2781). That this could not be done is signified by the words which follow: "because ye have turned judgment into gall and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood."
[5] In Luke:
Jesus said, No man putting his hand to the plow, but looking backward, is fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62).
These words signify the same as those which the Lord speaks in Matthew:
He that is upon the house, let him not go down to take anything out of his house; and he that is in the field, let him not return back to take his garments (Matt. 24:17, 18);
the sense of these words is: he who is in good shall not betake himself therefrom to the things that belong to the doctrinals of faith (see above, where these words were unfolded n. 3652). Thus "he who puts his hand to the plow" is he who is in good; "but looking backward" is he who then looks to the doctrinal things of faith, and thus forsakes good. It was on this account that Elijah was displeased that Elisha, who was plowing in the field, when called, asked that he might first kiss his father and mother; for Elijah said, "Go, return; for what have I done to thee?" (1 Kings 19:19-21). In the opposite sense "plowing" signifies the evil which blots out good, thus vastation; as in Jeremiah:
Zion shall be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall be heaps, and the mountain of the house as the lofty places of the forest (Jer. 26:18; Mic. 3:12).


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