(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 8223

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8223. And let the waters return upon the Egyptians. That this signifies that the falsities from evil would flow back to those, and would environ those, who are in falsities from evil, is evident from the signification of "waters," as being falsities (n. 6346, 7307, 8137, 8138); consequently by "let the waters return" is signified the flowing back or return of the falsity, here also an environment, because by the waters of the sea Suph, which denote the falsities from evil of those who being of the church had been in faith separate and in a life of evil; and from the signification of "the Egyptians," as being those who are in falsities from evil (of which frequently above). How the case herein is, that the falsities would flow back or return to those who intended to pour them forth upon those who were in truth and good, who are represented by the sons of Israel, see above (n. 8214), namely, that the evil which is intended to others returns upon themselves, and that this arises from the law of Divine order: "Do not to another save only what thou wouldest others should do to thee" (Matt. 7:12). From this law, which in the spiritual world is constant and perpetual, the laws of retaliation delivered in the representative church derived their origin; namely, the following:
If any harm shall happen, thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, blow for blow (Exod. 21:23-25).
If a man hath caused a blemish in his neighbor; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be caused in him (Lev. 24:19, 20).
If a witness shall answer a lie against his brother, ye shall do to him as he had thought to do to his brother (Deut. 19:18, 19).
From these passages it is clearly evident that these laws originate from that universal law which in the spiritual world is constant and perpetual, namely, that thou art not to do to others except as thou wouldst that others should do to thee. Thus it is clear how it is to be understood that the falsities from evil which are intended to be inflicted on others, flow back or return upon the persons themselves.
[2] But the case with this law in the other life is further as follows. When the like, or retaliation, is evil, it is inflicted by the evil, and never by the good; that is, it comes from the hells, and never from the heavens. For the hells, or the evil who are there, are in the continual cupidity of doing evil to others, for this is the very delight of their life; and therefore as soon as it is permitted, they do evil, caring not to whom, whether he is evil or good, whether he is a companion or an enemy; and as it is from a law of order that evil returns upon those who intend evil, consequently, when it is permitted by the law, they rush on them. This is done by the evil who are in the hells, never by the good who are in the heavens, for these latter are in the continual desire of doing good to others, because this is the delight of their life; and therefore as soon as there is an opportunity, they do good both to foes and to friends; nay, they do not resist evil, for the laws of order defend and protect what is good and true. Hence it is that the Lord says, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth; but I say to you that evil must not be resisted. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy; but I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, impart benefits to them that hate you; that ye may be sons of your Father in the heavens" (Matt. 5:38, 39, 43-45).
[3] It frequently happens in the other life that when evil spirits wish to inflict evil on the good, they are grievously punished, and that the evil which they intend to others returns upon themselves. At the time this appears as if it were revenge from the good; but it is not revenge, neither is it from the good, but from the evil, to whom an opportunity is then given from the law of order. Nay, the good do not wish evil to them, but still they cannot take away the evil of punishment, because they are then kept in the intention of good-just like a judge when he sees a malefactor being punished, or like a father when he sees his son punished by his master. The evil who punish do it from the cupidity of doing evil; but the good from the affection of doing good. From all this it can be seen what is meant by the Lord's words concerning love for an enemy, in Matthew, as above; and concerning the law of retaliation, which was not abrogated by the Lord, but explained; namely, that they who are in heavenly love ought not to have delight in retaliation or revenge, but in imparting benefits; and that the very law of order, which protects what is good, performs it from itself, through the evil ones.


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