(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 6914

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6914. And I will give this people favor in the eyes of the Egyptians. That this signifies the fear of those who are in falsities before those who are of the spiritual church, by reason of the plagues, is evident from the signification of "giving favor," as being fear by reason of plagues (of which below); from the representation of the sons of Israel, who are here "the people," as being those who are of the spiritual church (see n. 6637); and from the representation of the Egyptians, as being those who are in falsities (of which frequently above). That "to give favor in the eyes of the Egyptians" signifies fear by reason of plagues with those who are in falsities, is evident from the meaning of the things in the internal sense, for those who are in falsities are treated of, who are signified by the "Egyptians," in that truths and goods were to be taken away from them, and to be transferred to those who are of the spiritual church; and as those who are in falsities are treated of, by "favor" is not meant favor, for they who are in falsities and evils never have any favor for anyone; but if they benefit anyone, or do not injure him, it is from fear of plagues; this is the source of their favor, and this is the "favor" which is here meant in the internal sense. The internal sense sets forth things such as they are, not such as they are presented in the letter; and applies each to the subject. That this is so, is plain also from what follows concerning the Egyptians, in that they did not let the sons of Israel go from any favor, but from fear on account of further plagues (Exod. 11:1; 12:33).
[2] As the spoiling of the Egyptians is treated of in these two verses by the women of Israel asking from the Egyptian women silver, gold, and garments, and as it cannot possibly be known how this is, except from revelation about the things that take place in the other life, for the internal sense involves such things as take place among angels and spirits, therefore it shall be told. That before the Lord's coming the lower part of heaven was occupied by evil genii and spirits, and that they were afterward expelled thence and that region given to those of the spiritual church, may be seen above (n. 6858). So long as the evil genii and spirits were there, they were under the continual view of the angels of the higher heaven, and by this they were restrained from doing evils openly. At this day also some who are more deceitful than others, because they deceive by a pretence of innocence and charity, are under the view of the celestials, and so long as this is the case they are withheld from their wicked arts. They are directly above the head, and the celestial angels, under whose view they are, are still higher. From this it has been given me to know what was the state of the evil genii and spirits who before the coming of the Lord occupied the lower region of heaven, namely, that at that time they were withheld by the angels of the higher heaven from doing evils openly.
[3] But in what manner they were withheld from doing evils openly, it has also been given me to know. They were kept in external bonds, namely, in fear of the loss of honor and reputation, and in fear of the deprivation of possessions in that region of heaven, and of being thrust down into hell; and then there were joined to them simple good spirits; as is the case with men in the world, who, though inwardly devils, are nevertheless kept by such external bonds in the pretence of what is honorable and just, and in well-doing; and in order that they may be so kept, there are joined to them spirits who are in simple good. This was the case with the evil who were in the lower region of heaven before the coming of the Lord; and then they also could be driven to speak truth and to do good by means of their own loves; no otherwise than evil priests, even the worst, who are devils inwardly, who can preach the doctrinal things of their own church with such ardor and pretended zeal as to move the hearts of their hearers to piety, and yet at the same time they are in the love of self and of the world. For thought about honor and gain is what universally reigns within them, and from this fire they are stirred up so to preach. It is the evil spirits with whom they are, and who are in similar love, and thence in similar thought, who lead them; and to these are joined simple good spirits. From all this it can be seen what the state of heaven was before the Lord's coming.
[4] But after His coming the states of heaven and of hell were quite changed, for then the evil genii and spirits who occupied the lower region of heaven were cast down, and in their stead they who were of the spiritual church were taken up thither. The evil who were cast down were then deprived of the external bonds which as before said were fears of the loss of honor and reputation, and of the losing of possessions in that region; and in this way they were left to their interiors, which were no other than diabolical and infernal, and so they were consigned to the hells. The taking away of external bonds is effected in the other life by the removal of the good spirits who had been joined to the evil ones. When these are removed, the infernals can no longer be in any pretence of what is good, just, and honorable, but are such as they had been inwardly in the world, that is, such as they had been in thought and will, which they had there concealed from others; and then they desire nothing else than to do evil. These simple good spirits who were taken away from them, were given or joined to those who were of the spiritual church, to whom that region of heaven was given for a possession; and it was from this that these latter were enriched with the truths and goods which were before in the possession of the evil genii and spirits; for enrichment in truths and goods in the other life is effected by the adjoining of spirits who are in truth and good, because through these is effected communication.
[5] This is what is signified by the sons of Israel not going empty from Egypt, and by a woman asking of her neighbor, and of her that sojourned in her house, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments, and thus spoiling the Egyptians. Everyone can see that unless such things had been represented, the Divine would never have commanded that the sons of Israel should use such guile against the Egyptians; for every such thing is very far from the Divine. But as the Israelitish people was altogether representative, it was permitted them by the Divine to do so, because it was so done with the evil in the other life. Be it known that very many things which were commanded by Jehovah or the Lord, in the internal sense do not signify that they were commanded, but that they were permitted.

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