(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 7456

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7456. And will they not stone us? That this signifies that they would thus extinguish the truths of faith which are of worship, is evident from the signification of "stoning," as being to extinguish and blot out falsities; but in the opposite sense, when done by the evil, as being to extinguish and blot out the truths of faith. If the infernal foulness and filthiness spoken of above (n. 7454) were to flow in with those who are in the holy of worship, the holy of worship would be extinguished; for the reason that when man is in the holy of worship, he is withheld from such things, and they who are in the good of faith and of life are elevated from the sensuous where such things are; but when such objects flow in, there are then excited the filthy things which are in the sensuous mind (and from which, as just said, the man is withheld when he is in the holy of worship, and they who are in good are being elevated), and thereupon the holy of worship is extinguished. This may also be plain from experience, for if when a man is engaged in Divine worship a filthy object appears, and is not removed, so long as it remains, the worship perishes and is extinguished. This is what is meant by the truths of faith which are of worship being extinguished by those who are in falsities from evils if these were in the neighborhood.
[2] As regards the signification of "stoning," be it known that there were two death penalties among the Israelites and Jews, with whom the representative of a church had been instituted, of which the one was stoning, and the other was hanging upon wood. Stoning was for anyone who desired to destroy the truths of worship that had been commanded, and hanging was for anyone who desired to destroy the good of life. That those were stoned who desired to destroy the truths of worship, was because a "stone" signified truth, and in the opposite sense falsity (n. 643, 1298, 3720, 6426); and that those were hanged upon wood who desired to destroy the good of life, was because "wood" signified good, and in the opposite sense the evil of cupidities (n. 643, 2784, 2812, 3720).
[3] That the penalty of stoning was inflicted if anyone destroyed the truths which are of worship, is plain from the following passages:
At last they will make the company come up upon thee, and they shall stone thee with stone, and cut thee in sunder with their swords (Ezek. 16:40);
speaking of Jerusalem perverted, and of the destruction of the truth of faith by means of falsities; hence it is said that they shall "stone with stone," and also "cut in sunder with swords;" for a "sword" signifies truth fighting and destroying falsity, and in the opposite sense falsity fighting and destroying truth (n. 2799, 4499, 6353, 7102).
[4] So in another passage in the same:
Make the company come up against them, that the companies stone them with stone, and cleave them asunder with their swords (Ezek. 23:46-47);
speaking of Jerusalem and Samaria, by which is signified the church, by "Jerusalem" the celestial spiritual church, by "Samaria" the spiritual church; and in this chapter is described how the goods and truths of faith have been destroyed in them.
[5] In Moses:
If when an ox shall gore a man or a woman that they die, stoning, the ox shall be stoned (Exod. 21:28);
"to gore a man or a woman" signifies falsity fighting and destroying truth and good, for a "horn" denotes falsity fighting, and also the power of falsity (n. 2832); by "man" and "woman" are signified in the Word truth and good. From this it is evident what is the internal sense in this command, and what the reason why the ox was to be stoned.
[6] In the same:
He that blasphemeth the name of Jehovah slaying shall be slain; all the assembly stoning shall stone him (Lev. 24:15);
"to blaspheme the name of Jehovah" signifies to do violence to the truths and goods of worship by means of malevolent falsities. (That the "name of Jehovah" denotes everything in one complex whereby Jehovah is worshiped, see n. 2724, 3006, thus everything of faith and charity, n. 6674.) For this reason the son of the Israelitish woman who blasphemed the name of Jehovah was brought forth out of the camp and stoned (Lev. 24:11, 14, 23). It was also ordered that those who served other gods should be stoned (Deut. 17:3, 5); and also those who incited others to serve other gods (Deut. 13:7-11). By "serving other gods" is signified profane worship, by which true worship is extinguished.
[7] If a damsel were married, and the tokens of virginity were not found in her, she was to be stoned, because she had wrought folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her father's house (Deut. 22:20, 21). This was because by "whoredom" was signified the falsification of truth, thus its destruction (n. 2466, 4865). If a man lay in a city with a damsel, a virgin betrothed to a man, they were both to be stoned (Deut. 22:23, 24), for the same reason, namely, because of whoredom, for spiritual whoredom is the falsification of truth.
[8] In Luke:
They concluded among themselves that if they were to say that the baptism of John was from heaven, He would say, Why did ye not believe him? But if they said, From men, all the people would stone them (Luke 20:5-6);
where also "stoning" is predicated of what is contrary to truth. The Jews desired to stone Jesus because He said that before Abraham was, He was (John 8:58, 59); and this was because that nation believed it to be false. It was the same when they desired to stone Jesus because He said that He and His Father are one (John 10:30-33); for this they believed to be blasphemy, as is there said. From all this it is now evident what "stoning" involves, and why it was commanded, and also that the penalty of stoning being in Egypt from ancient times, had been derived from the representatives of the Ancient Church.


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