7051. They who know nothing of the internal sense of the Word cannot believe otherwise than that the Israelitish and Jewish nation was chosen above every other nation, and hence was more excellent than all the rest, as also they themselves believed. And wonderful to say, this is believed not only by that nation itself, but also by Christians, in spite of the fact that the latter know that that nation is in filthy loves, in sordid avarice, in hatred, and in conceit; and that they also make light of, and even hold in aversion, the internal things which are of charity and faith, and which are of the Lord. The reason why Christians also believe that that nation was chosen above others, is that they believe that the election and salvation of man is from mercy, no matter how he lives, and thus that the wicked can be received into heaven equally with the pious and the upright; not considering that election is universal, namely, of all who live in good, and that the mercy of the Lord is toward every man who abstains from evil and is willing to live in good, and thus who suffers himself to be led of the Lord and to be regenerated, which is effected by the unbroken course of his life.
 Hence also it is that most persons in the Christian world also believe that that nation will again be chosen, and will then be brought back into the land of Canaan, and this also according to the sense of the letter, as in many passages (Isa. 10:20-22; 11:11, 12; 29 at the end; 43:5, 6; 49:6-26; 46:8; 60:4; 61:3-10; 62; Jer. 3:14-19; 15:4, 14; 16:13, 15; 23:7, 8; 24:9, 10; 25:29; 29:14, 18; 30:3, 8-11; 31:8-10, 17; 33:16, 20, 26; Ezek. 5:10, 12, 15; 16:60; 20:41; 22:15, 16; 34:12, 13; 37:21, 22; 38:12; 39:23, 27, 28; Dan. 7:27; 12:7; Hosea 3:4, 5; Joel 2:32; 3; Amos 9:8, 9; and in Micah 5:7, 8). From these and also from other passages, even Christians believe that that nation will again be chosen and will be brought into the land of Canaan, although they know that that nation is waiting for a Messiah who will bring them in, and although they know that this expectation is vain, and that the kingdom of the Messiah or Christ is not of this world, and thus that the land of Canaan, into which the Messiah will bring men, is heaven.
 Neither do they consider that in the Word there is a spiritual sense, and that in this sense by "Israel" is not meant Israel, nor by "Jacob" Jacob, nor by "Judah" Judah; but that by these men are meant what they represent. Neither do they consider the history of that nation, showing what its quality was in the wilderness, and afterward in the land of Canaan, that at heart it was idolatrous; and what the prophets say of it, and of its spiritual whoredom and abominations. This quality is described in the song in Moses, in these words:
I will hide My faces from them, I will see what their posterity will be; for they are a generation of perversions, sons in whom is no faithfulness. I said, I will cast them out into the furthest corners; I will make the memory of men to cease from man; unless their foes should say, Our hand is high, and Jehovah hath not done all this. For they are a nation lost in counsels, and there is no intelligence in them. Their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of gall, clusters of bitterness are theirs. Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel gall of asps. Is not this hidden with Me, sealed up in My treasuries? Vengeance is Mine, and recompense, in time their foot shall slide; for the day of their destruction is near, and the things that are to come upon them make haste (Deut. 32:20, 26-28, 32-35).
That Jehovah dictated this song to Moses may be seen in the previous chapter (Deut. 31:19, 21). Of that nation the Lord also says in John:
Ye are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father ye will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stood not in the truth (John 8:44);
besides in many other passages.
 That although they know these things, Christians nevertheless believe that that nation will at last be converted to the Lord, and will then be brought into the land where they were before, is because, as already said, they do not know the internal sense of the Word; and because they suppose that the life of man effects nothing, and that evil, even when rooted in by repeated acts, is no hindrance to a man's becoming spiritual, and being regenerated, and thus accepted by the Lord, through faith, even that of one short hour; also that admission into heaven is of mercy alone, and that this mercy is toward a single nation, and not so toward all in the universe who receive the mercy of the Lord. They who think thus do not know that it is quite contrary to the Divine that some should be born as the elect to salvation and heaven, and some as the nonelect to damnation and hell. To think so about the Divine would be horrible, because such conduct would be the height of unmercifulness, when yet the Divine is mercy itself. From all this it can now be seen that the Israelitish and Jewish nation was not chosen, and still less that it will be chosen; and also that there was not anything of the church with it, nor could be, but only the representative of a church; and that the reason why it has been preserved even to this day, has been for the sake of the Word of the Old Testament (n. 3479).