(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 922

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922. And took of every clean beast and of every clean fowl. That this signifies the goods of charity and the truths of faith, has been shown above; that "beast" signifies the goods of charity (n. 45-46, 142-143, 246); and that "fowl" signifies the truths of faith (n. 40, 776). Burnt-offerings were made of oxen, of lambs and goats, and of turtledoves and young pigeons (Lev. 1:3-17; Num. 15:2-15; 28:1-31).1:3-17; Num. 15:2-15, 28:1-31). These were clean beasts, and each one of them signified some special heavenly thing. And because they signified these things in the Ancient Church and represented them in the churches that followed, it is evident that burnt-offerings and sacrifices were nothing else than representatives of internal worship; and that when they were separated from internal worship they became idolatrous. This anyone of sound reason may see. For what is an altar but something of stone, and what is burnt-offering and sacrifice but the slaying of a beast? If there be Divine worship, it must represent something heavenly which they know and acknowledge, and from which they worship Him whom they represent.
[2] That these were representatives of the Lord no one can be ignorant, unless he is unwilling to understand anything about the Lord. It is by internal things, namely, charity and the faith therefrom, that He who is represented is to be seen and acknowledged and believed, as is clearly evident in the Prophets, for example, in Jeremiah:
Thus saith Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel, Add your burnt-offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat ye flesh for I spake not unto your fathers, and I commanded them not in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt-offerings and sacrifices but this thing I commanded them, saying, Hearken unto My voice, and I will be your God (Jer. 7:21-23).
To "hearken to" or obey, "the voice" is to obey the law, which all relates to the one command: to love God above all things, and the neighbor as one's self; for in this is the Law and the Prophets (Matt. 22:35-40; 7:12). In David:
O Jehovah, sacrifice and offering Thou hast not desired, burnt-offering and sin-offering hast Thou not required; I have desired to do Thy will, O my God; yea, Thy law is within my heart (Ps. 40:7, 9).
[3] In Samuel, who said to Saul,
Hath Jehovah as great pleasure in burnt-offerings and sacrifices as in hearkening to the voice of Jehovah? behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams (1 Sam. 15:22).
What is meant by " hearkening to the voice" may be seen in
Shall I come before Jehovah with burnt-offerings, with calves of a year old? will Jehovah be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Jehovih require of thee, but to do judgment, and to love mercy; and to humble thyself in walking with thy God? (Micah 6:6-8).
This is what is signified by "burnt-offerings and sacrifices of clean beasts and birds." So in Amos:
Though you offer Me your burnt-offerings and gifts I will not accept them neither will I regard the peace-offering of your fat ones; let judgment flow like waters, and righteousness like a mighty river (Amos 5:22, 24).
"Judgment" is truth, and "righteousness" is good, both from charity, and these are the "burnt-offerings and sacrifices" of the internal man. In Hosea:
For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God rather than burnt-offerings (Hosea 6:. 6).
From these passages it is evident what sacrifices and burnt-offerings are where there is no charity and faith; and it is also evident that clean beasts and clean birds represented, because they signified, the goods of charity and of faith.


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