(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 9688

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9688. The work of the embroiderer. That this signifies matters of memory-knowledge, is evident from the signification of "the work of the embroiderer," or of "embroidery," as being memory-knowledge. In many passages in the Word mention is made of "what is embroidered," and of "embroidery," and everywhere is thereby signified memory-knowledge. This originates in the representatives in the other life, where embroidered garments of various kinds appear, by which are signified memory-truths.
[2] Such truths differ from intellectual truths as external things differ from internal, or as in man the natural differs from the spiritual; for memory-knowledges serve the understanding as objects from which it may hatch out truths. For the understanding is the organ of sight of the internal man, and memory-knowledges are the objects of the same in the external or natural man. These latter are signified by "the work of the embroiderer," but the former by "the work of the thinker,"* for thinking belongs to the understanding, and "embroidering" denotes the work of one who knows and executes from the understanding. It is for this reason that those things in the Habitation which signified internal things were "from the work of the thinker,"* as for instance the curtains themselves therein (verse 1), and the veil between the holy and the holy of holies (verse 31); but those which signified what is external were "from the work of the embroiderer," as for instance the covering for the door of the Tent, and for the gate of the court (Exod. 38:18), and also the belt (Exod. 39:29); for "the belt" denotes the external thing which conjoins all the internal things. "The court" denotes the ultimate of heaven, and "the door of the Tent" denotes where there is an exit from the middle heaven into the ultimate one.
[3] That "embroidery" and "what is embroidered" denote the memory-knowledge that belongs to the external or natural man, is evident from the following passages in the Word. In Ezekiel:
Fine linen in embroidery from Egypt was thy spreading forth, blue and crimson from the isles of Elishah were thy covering. Syria was thy trader by reason of the multitude of thy works, with chrysoprase, crimson, and broidered work, and fine linen. The traders of Sheba with bales of blue and broidered work (Ezek. 27:7, 16, 24);
treating of Tyre, by which are signified those who are in the knowledges of truth and of good, and in the abstract sense these knowledges themselves (n. 1201). By "fine linen in embroidery" is signified memory-truth, for "fine linen" denotes truth from a celestial origin (n. 5319, 9469), and "embroidery" denotes memory-knowledge; and therefore it is said to come "from Egypt," because by "Egypt" is signified memory-knowledge (n. 1164, 1186, 1462, 2588, 4749, 4964, 4966, 5700, 5702, 6004, 6015, 6125, 6651, 6679, 6683, 6692, 6750, 7779, 9391); and also to come "from Syria" and" Sheba," because by "Syria" is signified the knowledges of truth and of good (n. 1232, 1234, 3051, 3249, 3664, 3680, 4112), and in like manner by "Sheba" (n. 1171, 3240). The knowledges of truth and of good are the memory-knowledges of the church. Everyone who possesses the capacity of thinking intellectually, and of taking things into consideration, can see that in the above passage is not meant embroidery, nor fine linen, nor blue, nor crimson; but that by these things are signified such as are worthy of the Word, thus spiritual things that belong to heaven and the church.
[4] In the same:
All the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones, and shall cast away their mantles, and put off their broidered garments; they shall be clothed with terrors (Ezek. 26:16);
speaking here also of Tyre; "the princes of the sea" denote primary memory-knowledges, which are called dogmas (that "princes" denote primary things, see n. 1482, 2089, 5044; and "the sea" memory-knowledge in general, n. 28, 2850); "mantles" denote external truths; "embroideries" denote memory-truths, which are also external (that "garments" denote truths, see n. 2576, 4545, 4763, 5248, 5319, 5954, 6914, 6917, 6918, 9093, 9158, 9212, 9216).
[5] In the same:
I clothed thee with broidered work, and shod thee with badger; I girded thee about with fine linen, and covered thee with silk. Thus wast thou adorned with gold and silver; and thy garments were of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work. But thou hast taken the garments of thy broidered work, and hast covered images, with which thou didst commit whoredom (Ezek. 16:10, 13, 16, 18);
speaking of Jerusalem, by which is signified the church; "garments of broidered work" denote memory-truths; "covering images with which whoredom was committed," denotes to confirm falsities, for "committing whoredom" denotes to pervert truths by applying them to falsities or evils. Who does not see that by "fine linen," "silk," and "broidered work," are not here meant fine linen, silk, and embroidered work? For the subject treated of is Jerusalem. But what is meant the Christian world does not inquire, because it places the celestial and spiritual things of the Word in its literal sense, and calls its interior ones mystical things that it does not care for.
[6] In the same:
A great eagle, with great wings, with long pinions, full of feathers, which had embroidery (Ezek. 17:3);
speaking of the house of Israel, by which is signified the spiritual church, which is called an "eagle" from perception (n. 3901, 8764); its having "embroidery" denotes that it has memory-knowledge. In David:
The King's daughter is all glorious within; her garment is of interweavings of gold. She is brought unto the King in broidered work (Ps. 45:13, 14);
where "the King's daughter" denotes the affection of truth, "broidered work" denotes the memory-knowledge of truth. In the book of Judges:
They shall divide the spoil, to Sisera a spoil of colors, a spoil of colors of embroidered work, the color of the broidered works on the necks of the spoil (Judg. 5:30);
the song of Deborah and Barak, where "broidered work" denotes the memory-knowledge which is of the natural man.
* skilled craftsman


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