(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 8932

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8932. Ye shall not make with Me gods of silver and gods of gold. That this signifies that they should wholly abstain from such things as in the external form appear as true and good, but in the internal form are false and evil, is evident from the signification of "making gods," as being to worship, for he who makes unto himself gods does it for the sake of worship; from the signification of "silver," as being truth, consequently in the opposite sense, falsity; and from the signification of "gold," as being good, and consequently in the opposite sense, evil (see n. 113, 1551, 1552, 2954, 5658, 6914, 6917, 7999). That those things are meant which appear true and good in the external form, but in the internal are false and evil, is because it is said, "Ye shall not make them with Me," that is, with Jehovah God; for Divine truth itself and Divine good itself are in internals and are likewise in externals; but in externals Divine truth and good are in representative types; for external things in a type have reference to and represent internal things. External things are false and evil whenever, being separate from internal things, they are accounted holy or are worshiped; and yet they still appear as true and good, because they represent what is true and good. These things are signified by "making with Jehovah God gods of silver and gods of gold."
[2] This commandment follows immediately after the ten commandments, for the reason that the Israelitish and Jewish people was such that it accounted holy, and worshiped altogether as Divine, external things separated from internal (n. 3479, 3769, 4281, 4293, 4307, 4314, 4316, 4433, 4680, 4825, 4832, 4844, 4847, 4865, 4903, 6304, 6832, 8814, 8819). That it may be further known what and of what quality are those things which in the external form appear as true and good, but in the internal are false and evil, let us take as an example all the rites of the Jewish Church; as the sacrifices, incenses, washings, and many others. In the external form these were true and good, not of themselves, but because in a type they had reference to or represented internal truths and goods, which are of love and faith in the Lord. When such things were accounted holy in the external form, and especially when they were worshiped, as by the Jews and Israelites when becoming idolaters they applied them to the worship of strange gods, they then retained nothing of the truths and goods which in a type they had reference to or represented, except the appearance, because in the internal form they were falsities and evils.
[3] The case was similar with all the other things which with that people were types representative of heavenly and Divine things. For as soon as the external things which represented internal things were applied to the worship of other gods, they became idols which they worshiped, or gods of silver and of gold which they made with Jehovah God; for then in external form they appeared as true and good, but in the internal they were false and evil.
[4] In general "gods of silver and of gold" denote all the falsities and derivative evils of worship, which are rendered like truth and good by wrong applications and interpretations of the Word, and at the same time by reasonings from self-intelligence. Such things are signified by "the gods of silver and of gold" in the following passages. In Isaiah:
In that day a man shall cast forth his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made for themselves to bow down to, to the moles and to the bats; to enter into the clefts of the rocks, and into the clefts of the crags (Isa. 2:20, 21).
"Moles and bats" denote those who are in darkness, that is, in falsities and in the derivative evils.
[5] Again in Isaiah:
In that day they shall cast away every man his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your hands have made for you, a sin (Isa. 31:7).
"Which the hands have made" denotes those things which are from self-intelligence. Again:
The craftsman casteth a graven image, and the caster overlayeth it with gold, and casteth silver chains (Isa. 40:19).

"Graven images" denote those things which are from one's own (see n. 8869); "to overlay with gold" denotes to make them appear good in the external form; "casting silver chains," denotes to make them cohere together as if connected with truths. (That "gold" denotes good, and "silver" truth, may be seen in the passages cited above.)
[6] In like manner in Jeremiah:
The statutes of the nations are vanity: surely he cutteth out wood from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman. He decketh it with gold and with silver; they fasten them with nails and with hammers, that it sway not to and fro (Jer. 10:3, 4).
In Hosea:
The Ephraimites sin more and more, and make them a molten image of silver, idols in their intelligence, all the work of the craftsmen (Hos. 13:2).
"Ephraim" denotes the intellectual of the church (n. 5354, 6222, 6234, 6238, 6267); "a molten image of silver" denotes falsity appearing as truth, wherefore it is said "in their intelligence"; "all the work of the craftsmen" denotes that all was through reasonings from their own.
[7] In Habakkuk:
Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, This shall teach. Behold this is fixed with gold and silver, but there is no breath in the midst of it (Hab. 2:19).
"Wood" denotes evil; "stone" falsity; "fixed with gold and silver" denotes the appearance of good and truth by means of applications. In Daniel:
Belshazzar said while he well tasted the wine, that they should bring the vessels of gold and of silver which his father Nebuchadnezzar had brought out of the temple that was in Jerusalem; that the king and his great ones, his wives and his concubines, might drink therefrom. And they drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, of stone (Dan. 5:2-4, 23).
"The vessels of gold and of silver, which were from the temple of Jerusalem," represented the goods and truths of the church and kingdom of the Lord; "to drink wine out of them" signified to profane by means of evils and falsities, which are "the gods of gold and of silver."
[8] In David:
Their idols are silver and gold, the work of a man's hands. They have a mouth, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not (Ps. 115:4, 5; 135:15-16).
"The silver and gold which are idols" denote falsities and evils; "the work of a man's hands" denote that they are from self-intelligence. In Moses:
The graven images of the gods of the nations shall ye burn with fire; thou shalt not covet the silver and the gold that is on them, to take it unto thee, for that is an abomination to Jehovah thy God; therefore thou shalt not bring an abomination into thy house, that there become what is accursed, like unto it, thou shalt utterly abhor it (Deut. 7:25-26).
"The silver and gold upon graven images" denote the falsities and evils which are worshiped as truths and goods by reason of the appearance that is induced on them.


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