(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 9824

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9824. And an ephod. That this signifies Divine truth in this kingdom in the external form in which interior things cease, is evident from the signification of "the ephod," as being Divine truth in an external form. The reason why this is signified by "the ephod" is that by Aaron's garments of holiness were represented Divine truths in the spiritual kingdom in their order (see above, n. 9522); and the ephod was the outermost of three garments; Aaron's garments for the priest's office being the ephod, the robe, and the checkered tunic. That which is outermost not only contains the interior things, but the interior things also cease in it. This is the case in the human body, and consequently also in the heavens, to which the things of the human body correspond. The case is similar with truths and goods, for these make the heavens.
[2] As the ephod represented the outermost of the Lord's spiritual kingdom, it was more holy than the rest of the garments, and on it was the breastplate, in which were the Urim and Thummim, through which answers were given by the Divine. That what is most external is more holy than the internal things, is because the external holds all the interior things in their order, and in their form and connection, insomuch that if the external were removed, the internal things would be dispersed; for internal things not only cease in the external, but they are also together in it. That this is so can be known to those who know how it is with things successive and things simultaneous; namely, that successive things, which proceed and follow one another in their order, are nevertheless presented together in the ultimate things. Take for example, end, cause, and effect; the end is the first in order, the cause is the second, and the effect is the ultimate. So also do they advance in succession. Nevertheless the cause is presented simultaneously in the effect, which is the ultimate; and the end is so presented in the cause. Consequently the effect is the completion, in which the interior or prior things are collected together and are lodged.
[3] The case is similar in man, with will, thought, and action. To will comes first, to think second, and to do is the ultimate, and this is also the effect in which the prior or interior things come forth in simultaneous order. For insofar as the act contains within itself that which the man is thinking, and that which he is willing, so far the interior things are held together in their form and in their connection. It is from this that it is said in the Word, that man will be judged according to his deeds, or according to his works, which means that he will be judged according to his thought and will, for these are in his deeds as the soul is in his body. As then the interior things are presented simultaneously in the ultimate, it follows that, as already said, if the order is perfect, the ultimate is accounted more holy than the interior things, for therein is complete the holiness of the interior things.
[4] As the interior things are together in the ultimate ones (as for instance, as just said, man's thought and will are together in his deeds or works; or in regard to spiritual things, his faith and love are so), therefore John was beloved by the Lord more than the rest of the disciples, and lay on His breast (John 13:23; 21:20, 22), for the reason that this disciple represented the works of charity. (See the prefaces to Genesis 18 and 22, and also n. 3934.) From this it is also evident why the external or ultimate which is in perfect order, is more holy than the internal things regarded singly; for when the Lord is in the ultimate, He is simultaneously in all things, and when He is in this, the interior things are held together in their order, connection, and form; and under super-vision and guidance at His good pleasure. This is the secret which is meant in n. 9360, which see.
[5] This then is the reason why the ephod, being a representative of the ultimate in the Lord's spiritual kingdom, was accounted more holy than the rest of the garments of the priesthood. Wherefore the ephod was the chief priestly vestment, and was made of threads of gold in the midst of blue, of crimson, of scarlet double-dyed, and of fine twined linen (Exod. 39:3); but the rest of the priests had ephods of linen (1 Sam. 2:18; 22:18). On this account also the ephod stood for all the vestments of a priest, and he was said "to wear the ephod," whereby was signified that he was a priest (1 Sam. 2:28; 14:3). On this account also the breastplate was fastened to the ephod, and answers were given by means of the Urim and Thummim thereon, for the reason that this vestment was a representative of the ultimate in the Lord's spiritual kingdom; and Divine answers are presented in ultimates, for they pass through all the interior things in succession, and are there dictated, because there they cease. That answers were given when the priests were clothed with the ephod, is evident from 1 Samuel 23:6-13; 30:7, 8; and also in Hosea:
The sons of Israel tarried many days without king, and without prince, and without sacrifice, and without pillar, and without ephod, and teraphim (Hos. 3:4);
where "teraphim" signify Divine answers, for answers were formerly given by means of these (Zech. 10:2). Moreover, in the original tongue the word "ephod" comes from "to enclose all the interior things," as is evident from the meaning of the word in Exodus 29:5; Leviticus 8:7.


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