(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 8904

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8904. Thou shalt not commit adultery. That this signifies that those things which are of the doctrine of faith and of charity are not to be perverted, thus that the Word is not to be applied to confirm falsities and evils, also that the laws of order are not to be upset, is evident from the signification of "committing adultery," "debauching," and "whoredom," as being in the spiritual or internal sense, to pervert the goods, and falsify the truths, which are of the doctrine of faith and of charity. And as these things are signified by "committing adultery," there is also signified to apply the Word to confirm evils and falsities; for the Word is the very doctrine itself of faith and charity, and the perversion of the truth and good of the Word is its application to falsities and evils. That these things are signified by "committing adultery" and "debauching" in the spiritual sense, is known to scarcely anyone at this day, for the reason that within the church few now know what the spiritual is, and in what respect it differs from the natural. And scarcely anyone knows that there is a correspondence between the two, and indeed of such a nature that the image of the one is presented in the other, that is, the spiritual is represented in the natural, consequently that the spiritual is like a soul, and the natural is like its body; and thus that through influx and the consequent conjunction they constitute a one; as in the regenerate man do his internal man which is also called spiritual, and his external man which is also called natural.
[2] Such things being at this day unknown, it therefore cannot be known what is signified by "committing adultery," further than being unlawfully conjoined as to the body. These things, as has been said, being at this day unknown, the reason may be told why "committing adultery" in the spiritual sense signifies to pervert those things which are of the doctrine of faith and charity, thus to adulterate goods and falsify truths. The reason, which at this day is a secret one, is that conjugial love descends from the marriage of good and truth, which is called "the heavenly marriage." The love which flows in from the Lord and which exists between good and truth in heaven, is turned into conjugial love on the earth, and this by correspondence. Hence it is that the falsification of truth is "whoredom," and the perversion of good is "adulteration," in the internal sense. Hence also it is that they who are not in the good and truth of faith cannot be in genuine conjugial love; and also that those who find the delight of life in adulteries can no longer receive anything of faith. I have heard it said by the angels that as soon as anyone commits adultery on the earth and takes delight in it, heaven is closed to him, that is, he refuses any longer to receive from heaven anything of faith and charity. That at this day in the kingdoms where the church is, adulteries are made light of by very many persons, is because the church is at its end, and thus there is no longer any faith, because there is no charity; for the one corresponds to the other. Where there is no faith, falsity is in the place of truth, and evil is in the place of good, and from this there flows the result that adulteries are no longer accounted as criminal; for when heaven is closed with a man, such things flow in from hell. (See what has been said and shown before on this subject, n. 2727-2759, 4434, 4835, 4837.)
[3] That "to debauch," and "to commit adultery," in the internal or spiritual sense denote to falsify and to pervert the truths and goods of faith and charity, consequently also to confirm falsity and evil by wrong applications from the Word, can be seen from the several passages in the Word where mention is made of "committing adultery," of "debauching," and of "committing whoredom;" as will plainly appear from the following passages; as in Ezekiel:
Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations. Thou didst commit whoredom because of thy name, and didst pour out thy whoredoms on everyone that passed by. Thou didst take of thy garments, and didst make for thee high places of various colors, and didst commit whoredom upon them. Thou didst take the vessels of thine adornment of My gold and of My silver, which I had given thee, and madest for thee images of a male; thou didst commit whoredom with them. Thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto Me, and these hast thou sacrificed. Was there little of thy whoredoms? Thou hast committed whoredom with the sons of Egypt, thy neighbors, great of flesh; and hast multiplied thy whoredom to provoke Me. And thou hast committed whoredom with the sons of Asshur, when thou wast insatiable; yea, thou hast committed whoredom with them, and yet thou wast not sated. And thou hast multiplied thy whoredom, even unto the land of traffic, unto Chaldea; and yet in this thou wast not sated. A woman, an adulteress under her man, taketh strangers. They give hire to all harlots; but thou hast given hirings to all thy lovers, and hast recompensed them, that they may come unto thee from every side for thy whoredoms. Wherefore, O harlot, hear the word of Jehovah. I will judge thee with the judgments of adulteresses, and of the shedders of blood (Ezek. 16:2, and following verses).
[4] Who cannot see that by "whoredoms" here are signified falsifications of truth and adulterations of good? And who can understand a syllable of the passage unless he knows that "whoredom" has such a signification; also unless he knows what is meant by "the sons of Egypt," by "the sons of Asshur," and by "Chaldea," with whom Jerusalem is said to have "committed whoredom?" That she did not do this with those peoples themselves is manifest. It must therefore be told what these things signify in the internal sense. By "Jerusalem" is meant the church perverted; her "garments" here denote truths which are perverted; consequently the falsities which are acknowledged are "the high places of various colors;" "the sons of Egypt" denote memory-knowledges; "the sons of Asshur," reasonings; "Chaldea," the profanation of truth (that "garments" denote truths, see n. 1073, 2576, 4545, 4763, 5248, 5319, 5954, 6914, 6918; that "high places" denote worship, and "the high places of various colors," here, the worship of falsity, n. 796); "vessels of adornment of gold and of silver" denote the knowledges of good and truth (that "vessels" denote knowledges, see n. 3068, 3079; that "gold" denotes good, n. 113, 1551, 1552, 5658, 6914, 6917; and "silver," the truth of good, n. 1551, 2048, 2954, 5658); "images of a male" signify appearances and likenesses of truth (n. 2046); "the sons and daughters whom they bare" denote the truths and goods which they have perverted. (That "sons" denote truths, see n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3373; and that "daughters" denote goods, see n. 489, 2362, 3024; that "the sons of Egypt" denote the memory-knowledges through which is perversion, see n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462, 2588, 4749, 4964, 4966, 5700, 5702, 6004, 6015, 6125, 6651, 6679, 6683, 6692, 6750, 7296, 7779, 7926; that "Asshur" denotes the reasoning through which by means of memory-knowledges the truths of faith are perverted, and the goods thereof adulterated, see n. 119, 1186; and that "multiplying whoredom even unto the land of Chaldea" denotes even to the profanation of truth; also that "Chaldea" denotes the profanation of truth, n. 1368); from this it is plain why she is called "a woman an adulteress," and also "a harlot."
[5] In like manner we read of Babylon in Revelation:
There came one of the seven angels that had the seven vials, and spake with me, saying to me, Come, I will show thee the judgment of the great harlot that sitteth upon many waters; with whom the kings of the earth have committed whoredom, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunken with the wine of her whoredom. It was Babylon the great, the mother of the harlots and of the abominations of the earth (Rev. 17:1, 2, 5; 14:8; 18:3).
That "Babylon" denotes those who pervert the truths and goods of the church for the sake of self-dominion and of self-gain, and this even to profanation, is evident from the signification of "Babel" (n. 1182, 1283, 1295, 1304, 1306-1308, 1321, 1322, 1326, 1327). Hence it is that Babylon is called "a harlot" and "the mother of harlots." They who know nothing of the internal sense will believe that the kings of the earth who committed whoredom with her signified kings upon the earth, or kingdoms. Yet they do not signify kings, or kingdoms, but the truths of faith of the church, to "commit whoredom" with which denotes to pervert them. (That "kings" denote the truths of faith, see n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 6148; and that "the earth" denotes the church, n. 566, 662, 1067, 1262, 1413, 1607, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2928, 3355, 4447, 4535, 5577, 8011, 8732.) "The inhabitants of the earth made drunk with the wine of whoredom" denotes that they who were within the church were brought into errors and ravings through the falsities of evil; for to be "made drunken" denotes to be led into errors through false reasonings and wrong interpretations of the Word (n. 1072). "Wine" denotes falsity from evil (n. 6377); consequently "the wine of whoredom" denotes falsity from the perversion of truth. That "earth" denotes the church has just been shown; she is said to "sit upon many waters," because upon falsities, for in the genuine sense "waters" denote truths, and in the opposite sense, falsities (n. 729, 790, 8137, 8138, 8568).
[6] That "to commit adultery and whoredom" denotes to pervert the goods and the truths of the church, is plainly evident also from another passage in Ezekiel:
Two women, the daughters of one mother, committed whoredom in Egypt; they committed whoredom in their youth. Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem. Oholah committed whoredom under Me; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbors, clothed in blue, governors and leaders, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on horses. She bestowed her whoredoms upon them, the choice of all the sons of Asshur. Yet she forsook not her whoredoms from Egypt; for they lay with her in her youth. Oholibah was more corrupt in her love than she, and in her whoredoms above the whoredoms of her sister. She doted on the sons of Asshur. She added to her whoredoms, when she saw men portrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion, and she loved them at the look of her eyes. The sons of Babel also came to her unto the copulation of loves; they defiled her with their whoredom. Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, while she remembered the days of her youth, wherein she had committed whoredom in the land of Egypt. She doted on them more than their courtesans (Ezek. 23:2 and following verses).
In this passage also no one can fail to see that by "whoredoms" are meant spiritual whoredoms, that is, perversions of the good, and falsifications of the truth, which are of the church; also that the things here contained in the internal sense are not manifest unless it is known what is signified by "the sons of Egypt," by "the Assyrians" or "the sons of Asshur," by "Chaldea," and by "Babel;" for it is clear that these nations are not meant, but such things as are of falsity; because the inhabitants of Samaria and Jerusalem did not commit whoredom with them. But what is signified by "Egypt," "Asshur," "Chaldea," and "Babylon" can be seen shown just above.
[7] From the following passages also it is evident that "whoredoms" and "adulteries" in the internal sense denote falsifications and perversions of good and truth, thus adulterations of these; as in Hosea:
Strive ye with your mother, strive ye, because she is not My wife, and I am not her husband; that she may remove her whoredoms from her faces, and her adulteries from between her breasts. I will not have mercy on her sons; because they are sons of whoredoms. For their mother hath committed whoredom, saying, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drinks. But I will lay waste her vine and her fig-tree, whereof she hath said, These are my harlot-hire that my lovers have given me (Hos. 2:2, 4, 5, 12).
By "mother" in the internal sense is here meant the church (n. 289, 2691, 2717, 4257, 5581, 8897); in like manner by "wife" (n. 252, 253, 409, 749, 770), who is said "not to be a wife," because in truths perverted, that is, in falsities; by "sons" are meant the truths of the church, here falsities, because they are called "sons of whoredoms" (n. 489, 491, 533, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3373, 3704, 4257). What is meant by "bread," what by "water," what by "wool and flax," also by "oil and drink," and likewise by "vine and fig-tree," has been shown in their places; namely, that they are the goods of love and of charity, also the goods and truths of faith interior and exterior; but in the opposite sense evils and falsities; for goods become evils, and truths become falsities, when they are perverted. (What is meant by "bread," see n. 276, 680, 2165, 2177, 3464, 3478, 3735, 3813, 4217, 4735, 4976, 5915, 6118, 6409; also what by "waters," n. 739, 790, 8137, 8138, 8568; what by "flax," n. 7601; and what by "oil," n. 886, 3728, 4582; what by "drink," n. 3069, 3168, 3772, 8562; what by "vine," n. 1069, 5113, 6376; and what by "fig-tree," n. 4231, 5113.) "Harlot-hire" denotes the falsity of doctrine which they vaunt as truth.
[8] In the same:
My people asketh wood, and their staff answereth to it, because the spirit of whoredom hath led them astray, and they have committed whoredom from under their god. They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, therefore your daughters commit whoredom, and your daughters-in-law commit adultery. If thou, Israel, committest whoredom, let not Judah become guilty. Shall I not visit upon your daughters, because they commit whoredom, and upon your daughters-in-law, because they commit adultery? for they divide with whores, and they sacrifice with prostitutes (Hos. 4:12-16).
"To commit whoredom from under their god" denotes to pervert truth, for by "god" in the internal sense is signified truth, and in the opposite sense, falsity (n. 2586, 2769, 2807, 2822, 4295, 4402, 4544, 7010, 7268, 7873, 8301, 8867); "mountains and hills" denotes loves, here the loves of self and of the world (n. 795, 796, 1691, 2722, 6435); "the wood of which counsel is asked" denotes the good of the delight of some cupidity (n. 643); "the staff which answereth" denotes imaginary power from one's own intellectual (n. 4013, 4015, 4876, 4936, 7011, 7026). As "gods" in the genuine sense signify truths, and in the opposite sense falsities, therefore falsifying truths and adulterating goods is signified by:
They have gone a whoring after strange gods, as after Baal, after Molech, after idols (Ezek. 6:9; Lev. 20:5; and elsewhere).
[9] From all this it can now he seen what is meant by "adulteries" and "whoredoms" in the following passages:
Come hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer, and she hath committed whoredom; against whom do ye delight yourselves? against whom make ye wide the mouth, and thrust out the tongue? are ye not born of transgression, a seed of a lie, who have been hated among gods under every green tree? (Isa. 57:3-5).
It shall come to pass at the end of seventy years, Jehovah will visit Tyre, that it may return to its harlot-hire, and commit whoredom with all the kingdoms of the earth upon the faces of the world (Isa. 23:17).
And a man put away his wife, and she went from him, and was another man's; she committed whoredom with many companions. Thou hast profaned the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. Hast thou seen what backsliding Israel hath done? She goeth away upon every high mountain, and under every green tree, and thou committest whoredom there. Moreover her treacherous sister Judah went away, and she also committed whoredom, insomuch that she hath profaned the land by the voice of her whoredom; she hath committed debauchery with stone and with wood (Jer. 3:1, 2, 6, 8, 9).
This is thy lot, because thou hast forgotten Me, and trusted in a lie; thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the wickedness of thy whoredom, on the hills in the field I have seen thine abominations. Woe to thee, O Jerusalem (Jer. 13:25, 27).
Against the prophets: The land is full of adulterers; for because of the curse the land mourneth; the pastures of the wilderness have dried up, because both prophet and priest practice hypocrisy. In the prophets of Jerusalem also I have seen a horrible stubbornness, in committing adultery and walking in a lie; they have strengthened the hands of the evil; they speak a vision of their heart, not out of the mouth of Jehovah (Jer. 23:9-11, 14, 16).
They have wrought folly in Israel, and have committed debauchery with the wives of their companions, and have spoken a word in My name falsely, which I commanded them not (Jer. 29:23).
[10] From these passages it is very manifest that "to commit adultery," and "to debauch," denote to explain and pervert the truths of the Word from one's own heart, that is, from one's own, in such a manner as the loves of self and of the world persuade one to do; consequently it is to speak lies, that is, falsities, as is openly said. Again:
Be not glad, O Israel, because thou hast committed whoredom from under thy God, thou hast loved harlot-hire upon all the cornfloors (Hos. 9:1).
Jehovah spake unto Hosea, Go, take unto thee a woman of whoredoms and children of whoredoms; because in whoring the land doth commit whoredom from behind Jehovah (Hos. 1:2).
Woe to the city of bloods! Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the well-favored harlot, the mistress of sorceries, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her sorceries (Nah. 3:1, 4).
Your sons shall be feeders in the wilderness forty years, and they shall bear your whoredoms forty years; according to the number of the days in which ye spied out the land, for every day a year, shall ye bear your iniquities (Num. 14:33, 34).
[11] Inasmuch as falsifications of truth and adulterations of good corresponded to whoredoms on the earth, therefore the penalty of death was for adulterers (Lev. 20:10); and the daughter of a man who was a priest, if she profaned herself by committing whoredom, was to be burnt with fire (Lev. 21:9); also no daughter in Israel was to be exposed to whoredom (Lev. 19:19). In like manner a bastard was not to come into the congregation of Jehovah, not even his tenth generation (Deut. 23:2); and the hire of a harlot was not to be brought into the house of Jehovah, because it is an abomination (Deut. 23:18).
[12] From these passages it can now be fully seen what is signified by "committing adultery," namely, that in the external sense it is to commit adulteries; in the internal representative sense it is to worship idols and other gods by means of such things as are of the church, consequently idolatry external and internal; but in the internal spiritual sense are signified adulterations of good and perversions of truth. From all this it is plainly evident whence it is that adulteries are in themselves so wicked, and are called "abominations," namely, from the fact that they correspond to the marriage of falsity and evil, which is the infernal marriage; and on the other hand, why genuine marriages are holy, namely, from the fact that they correspond to the marriage of good and truth, which is the heavenly marriage. Nay, genuine conjugial love descends from the marriage of good and truth, thus out of heaven, that is, through heaven from the Lord; whereas the love of adultery is from the marriage of falsity and evil, thus from hell, that is, from the devil.


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