(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 9960

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9960. To cover the flesh of their nakedness. That this signifies lest the interior things of the love, which are filthy and infernal, should appear, is evident from the signification of "covering," as being to cause not to appear; and from the signification of "the genitals" and "the loins," which are here meant by "the flesh of nakedness," as being the interior things of conjugial love; for when by "breeches" are signified the external things of this love (see n. 9959), by "the flesh" which they cover are signified its internal things. (That "the loins" signify conjugial love, see n. 3021, 4280, 4575; as also "the genitals," n. 4462, 5050-5062; and "flesh," the good of love, n. 3813, 7850, 9127.) And as most things in the Word have also an opposite sense, so likewise have "the loins," "the genitals," and "the flesh," in which sense they signify the evil, filthy, and infernal things of this love (see n. 3813, 5059). That here they signify evil, filthy, and infernal things, is evident from the fact that it is said, "to cover the flesh of their nakedness." "The flesh of nakedness" here denotes that which is opposite to the good of conjugial love, which is the delight of adultery, thus what is infernal (of which in what follows).
[2] With respect to "nakedness," it derives its signification from the parts of the body which appear naked, just as garments derive their signification from the body which they clothe (n. 9827). Therefore "nakedness" has one signification when it has reference to the head, which is baldness; another when it has reference to the whole body; and another when it has reference to the loins and genitals. When "nakedness" has reference to the head, which is baldness, it signifies the loss of the intelligence of truth and the wisdom of good; when it has reference to the whole body, it signifies the loss of the truths of faith; but when it has reference to the loins and the genitals, it signifies the loss of the good of love.
[3] As regards the first point: That when "nakedness" has reference to the head, which is baldness, it signifies the loss of the intelligence of truth and the wisdom of good, is evident in Isaiah:
In that day shall the Lord shave by the king of Asshur the head and the hair of the feet, and shall consume the beard (Isa. 7:20).
"To shave the head" denotes to deprive of the internal truths of the church; "to shave the hair of the feet," and "to consume the beard," denotes to deprive of its external truths; "by the king of Asshur" denotes by means of reasonings from falsities. It is plain to everyone that neither the head, nor the hair of the feet, nor the beard, was to be shaved by the king of Asshur, and yet that these expressions are significative. (That "the head" denotes the interior things of wisdom and intelligence, see n. 6292, 6436, 9166, 9656; that "the king of Asshur" denotes reasoning, n. 119, 1186; "hair," the external truth of the church, n. 3301, 5247, 5569-5573; "the feet" also denote external or natural things, n. 2162, 3147, 3986, 4280, 4938-4952.) That "the beard" denotes sensuous memory-knowledges, which are ultimate truths, is evident from those passages in the Word where "the beard" is mentioned.
[4] Again:
On all the heads is baldness, every beard is cut off (Isa. 15:2);
where the meaning is the same. Again:
Baldness shall come upon Gaza; how long will thou cut thyself? (Jer. 47:5).
Shame shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all heads. They shall cast forth their silver into the streets, and their gold shall be for an abomination (Ezek. 7:18, 19).
"Baldness upon all heads" denotes the loss of the intelligence of truth and wisdom of good; and because this is signified it is also said "they shall cast forth their silver into the streets, and their gold shall be for an abomination;" for "silver" denotes the truth of intelligence, and "gold" the good of wisdom (n. 1551, 5658, 6914, 6917, 8932). It is evident that baldness upon all heads is not meant, that they were not to cast forth their silver into the streets, and that gold was not to be an abomination.
[5] Again:
Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Shave not your heads, neither rip open your garments; lest ye die, and He be angry with the whole assembly (Lev. 10:6).
The priests, the Levites, shall not shave the head, and shall not let down their hair (Ezek. 44:20).
As Aaron and his sons represented the Lord as to Divine good and as to Divine truth (n. 9806, 9807), and as by a "shaven head," and by "ripped garments," was signified the loss of these, therefore it was forbidden to shave the head and to rip open their garments; and it is said, "lest ye die, and He be angry with the whole assembly," by which is signified that thus would perish the representative of the Lord as to Divine good and as to Divine truth, thus the representative of the church.
[6] As mourning represented spiritual mourning, which is mourning on account of the loss of the truth and good of the church, therefore when mourning they made bald their heads; as we read in the following passages:
Men shall not lament for them, nor shall they make themselves bald for them (Jer. 16:6).
I will turn your feasts into mourning, and I will make baldness to go up upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning for the only-begotten (Amos 8:10).
Put on baldness, and shave thee for the sons of thy delights; enlarge thy baldness as the eagle; for they have gone away from thee (Micah 1:16).
"Sons of delights" denote Divine truths; their "going away" denotes the loss of these (that "sons" denote truths, see n. 9807).
[7] Secondly: That when "nakedness" has reference to the whole body, it signifies the loss of the truths of faith, is evident in John:
To the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, Because thou sayest, I am rich, and have need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and needy, and blind, and naked; I counsel thee to buy of Me gold purified in the fire, and white garments, that thou mayest be clothed, that the shame of thy nakedness be not made manifest (Rev. 3:14, 17, 18).
"The angel of the church" denotes the truth Divine there; "saying that it is rich" denotes that it is in the knowledges of truth and good; "wretched, needy, blind, and naked," denotes that nevertheless it is devoid of truths implanted in the life, thus is devoid of good; "buying gold purified in the fire" denotes to procure for themselves good; "white garments" denote the genuine truths of faith from good. From this it is evident what is meant by "the shame of thy nakedness not being made manifest."
[8] Again:
Behold I come as a thief, blessed is he that watcheth, and preserveth his garments, that he walk not naked, and they see his shame (Rev. 16:15);
where the meaning is similar. Again:
They shall hate the harlot, and shall make her devastate and naked (Rev. 17:16).
"The harlot" denotes those who falsify truths Divine; "making her naked" plainly denotes depriving them of these truths, for it is said "devastate and naked," and "to devastate" denotes to deprive of truths.
[9] By "nakedness" is also signified ignorance of truth, and by "being clothed," information, in these passages:
When thou shalt see the naked, and shalt cover him, thy light shall break forth as the dawn (Isa. 58:7, 8).
The King shall say unto them on His right hand, I was naked, and ye clothed Me; and unto them on His left hand, I was naked, and ye clothed Me not (Matt. 25:34, 36, 41, 43).
"Naked" here denotes those who are not in truths, and yet long for truths, and also those who acknowledge that there is nothing of good and truth in them (n. 4956, 4958). [10] Thirdly: That when "nakedness" has reference to the loins and genitals, it signifies the loss of the good of love, is evident in Isaiah:
O virgin, daughter of Babylon, take the millstone, and grind meal; uncover thy hair, make bare thy feet, uncover the thigh, pass through the streams; thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy reproach shall be seen (Isa. 47:1-3).
The "daughter of Babylon" denotes the church, or a semblance of the church, where there is what is holy in externals, but what is profane in internals. That which is profane in internals is that they regard themselves and the world as their end, thus dominion and abundance of wealth; and holy things as means to this end. "Taking a millstone and grinding meal" denotes to string together doctrine from such things as will serve for means to promote the end (n. 7780); "uncovering the hair, making bare the feet, and uncovering the thigh" denotes to dishonor holy things, both external and internal, without shame and fear; thus "uncovering the nakedness" denotes to cause to appear the filthy and infernal things which are their ends.
[11] In Jeremiah:
Jerusalem hath sinned a sin, all that honored her despise her, because they see her nakedness. Her uncleanness was in her skirts (Lam. 1:8, 9).
"Jerusalem" denotes the church, here the church which is in falsities from evil; "seeing the nakedness" denotes filthy and infernal loves, "uncleanness in the skirts" denotes such things in the extremes (that "the skirts" denote the extremes, see n. 9917). In Nahum:
I will uncover thy skirts upon thy faces; and I will show the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame (Nah. 3:5).
"Uncovering the skirts" denotes to take away the externals so that the interiors appear; "the nakedness which shall be shown to the nations, and the shame which shall be shown to the kingdoms," denote infernal loves, which are the loves of self and of the world, which defile the interiors.
[12] Again:
Thou camest to ornaments of ornaments; thy breasts were made firm, and thy hair grew; thou wast naked and bare. With all thine abominations and thy whoredoms thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and stripped, trampled upon in thy blood. Thy nakedness was uncovered through thy whoredoms over thy lovers (Ezek. 16:7, 22, 36).
I will give thee into the hand of those whom thou hatest, that they may deal with thee from hatred, and they shall leave thee naked and stripped; and the nakedness of thy whoredoms shall be uncovered (Ezek. 23:28, 29).
Contend with your mother that she put away her whoredoms from her faces, and her adulteries from between her breasts; lest perchance I strip her naked, and set her according to the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and dispose of her like a land of drought, and slay her with thirst. I will return, and take My grain, My new wine, My wool, and My flax, which should have covered her nakedness. And I will uncover her baseness in the eyes of her lovers (Hos. 2:2, 3, 9 ,10).
[13] In these passages the subject treated of is Jerusalem, which is also called "mother," and by which is signified the church; its perversity is described by "whoredoms, adulteries," and by "the uncovering of her nakedness," which denote nothing else than filthy and infernal loves, such as are the loves of self and of the world when they are ends, from which all evils and the derivative falsities take their rise. Consequently falsifications of truth and adulterations of good are described in the Word by "whoredoms" and "adulteries," and are also there called "whoredoms" and "adulteries" (n. 8904). From this it is evident what is meant by "nakedness," and by "the uncovering of nakedness." As the subject treated of is the truths of the church falsified, and the goods thereof adulterated, therefore it is said, "I will make her as a wilderness, and dispose of her like a land of drought, and will slay her with thirst;" "a wilderness" denotes that which is devoid of goods; "a land of drought," that which is devoid of truths; and "thirst" denotes the loss of all things of faith.
[14] It is also said that He would "take away His grain, His new wine, His wool, and His flax, with which He had covered her nakedness," because by "grain" is signified the interior good of the spiritual church, by "new wine" [mustum], the interior truth thereof, by "wool," its exterior good, and by "flax," its exterior truth. That flax, wool, new wine, and grain are not meant, can be seen by everyone who reads these things from a reason in some measure enlightened, who believes that in the Word there is no word devoid of value, and that there is nothing in it anywhere that is not holy, because it is Divine.
[15] Again:
O daughter of Edom, the cup shall pass through unto thee also; thou shalt be drunken, and shalt become naked (Lam. 4:21).
Woe unto him that causeth his neighbor to drink, making him drunken, and looking on their nakednesses! Thou shalt be sated with shames for glory; drink thou also that thy foreskin may be uncovered (Hab. 2:15, 16).
In thee they have shed blood, in thee hath he uncovered his father's nakedness (Ezek. 22:9, 10).
No one can know what these words signify, unless he knows what is meant by a "cup," by "drinking," by "being drunken," by "being made naked," by "looking on nakednesses, and uncovering them," and by "the foreskin." That all these expressions are to be spiritually understood, is plain; spiritually, "drinking" denotes to be instructed in truths, and in the opposite sense in falsities, thus to imbibe them (n. 3069, 3168, 3772, 8562, 9412); from which it is evident what is meant by a "cup," out of which men drink (n. 5120); "being drunken" denotes to be insane from this; and "being made naked" denotes to be made destitute of truths; "to uncover nakedness" denotes to reveal the evils of the loves of self and of the world, which are infernal; "to uncover a father's nakedness" denotes to reveal those evils which are from inheritance and from the will; "to uncover the foreskin" denotes to defile celestial goods by these loves. (That "the foreskin" denotes this defilement, see n. 2056, 3412, 4462, 7045; consequently "circumcision" denotes purification from these loves, n. 2036, 2632.)
[16] From all this it can be seen what is signified by the "drunkenness" and consequent "uncovering of the nakedness" of Noah, as described in Genesis:
Noah drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered in the midst of his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and put it upon the shoulder, both of them, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness (Gen. 9:21-23).
Here is described the man of the Ancient Church, who is "Noah;" "the wine which he drank, and with which he was made drunken," denotes the falsity with which that church in the beginning was imbued; his consequent lying "uncovered in the midst of his tent" signifies evils resulting from a deficiency of truth in worship; "the garment with which Shem and Japheth covered his nakedness," denotes the truth of faith by means of which these evils were covered and amended; the implanting of the truth and good of faith in the intellectual part is described by their "laying the garment upon the shoulder, going backward, and turning the face backward," for this is exactly the case with the truths and goods of faith with the man of the spiritual church; "Shem and Japheth" signify those of the spiritual church who have received the truths of faith in good, which is charity; but "Canaan" signifies those who have not received the truths of faith in good, that is, in charity.
[17] (That Noah represents the man of the Ancient Church in its beginning, and that they were of such a character, see n. 736, 773, 788, 1126; that Shem represents the man of the internal spiritual church, and Japheth the man of the external spiritual church, n. 1102, 1127, 1140, 1141, 1150; that Canaan represented those who are in faith separated from charity, or what is the same thing, in external worship separated from internal, thus specifically the Jewish nation, see n. 1093, 1140, 1141, 1167; that with the men of the spiritual church the truth and good of faith are implanted in the intellectual part, see n. 9596; moreover, that "the wine with which Noah was made drunken" signifies falsity, n. 6377; "the tent" in which he lay uncovered signifies the holiness of worship, n. 2145, 2152, 3312, 4128, 4391; "the garment" with which they covered their father's nakedness signifies the truth of faith, n. 5954, 9212, 9216.) "The nakedness" itself signifies his evil will, which is covered by means of the truths of faith; and while it is being covered the truths look backward. That these arcana are involved in these historical things is plain from the internal sense. And that these arcana are arcana of the church, can be seen from the fact that Shem and Japheth were blessed, and with them all their posterity, merely because they covered their father's nakedness; and that Canaan with all his posterity was cursed, merely because his father told this to his brothers.
[18] As with the Jewish and Israelitish nation the interiors were filthy, because of their being in the loves of self and of the world more than other nations; and because the genitals together with the loins signify conjugial love, and this love is the fundamental love of all celestial and spiritual loves, and thus comprehends them; therefore a warning was given lest the nakedness of these parts with Aaron and his sons should in any manner appear while they were in holy worship, which is the reason why it is said that they should "make them linen breeches to cover the flesh of their nakedness, from the loins even to the thighs;" and in another place, that they should "not go up by steps upon the altar, that their nakedness be not uncovered thereon" (Exod. 20:23). (That with the Jewish and Israelitish nation the interiors were filthy, and that these were closed while they were in worship, see the places cited in n. 9320e, 9380; that the genitals together with the loins signify conjugial love, n. 3021, 4280, 4462, 4575, 5050-5062; and that conjugial love is the fundamental love of all celestial and spiritual loves, and consequently that these loves also are meant by conjugial love, n. 686, 2734, 3021, 4280, 5054.) From all this it is now evident what "nakedness" signifies-especially the nakedness of the parts assigned to generation-when the interiors are filthy.
[19] But when the interiors are chaste, then "nakedness" signifies innocence, because it signifies conjugial love, for the reason that in its essence love truly conjugial is innocence. (That love truly conjugial belongs to innocence, see n. 2736; consequently that in this sense "nakedness" denotes innocence, n. 165, 8375; wherefore also the angels of the inmost heaven, who are called celestial angels, appear naked, n. 165, 2306, 2736.) As the Most Ancient Church, which is described in the first chapters of Genesis, and is meant in the internal sense by the "Man," or "Adam," and by his "wife," was a celestial church, therefore it was said of them, that "they were both naked, and were not ashamed" (Gen. 2:25). But when that church had fallen, which was caused by their eating of the tree of knowledge, by which was signified reasoning from memory-knowledges about Divine things, then it is said that "they knew that they were naked," and that "they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves girdles," thus that they covered their nakednesses; and that the man also said, when Jehovah called unto him, that he "was afraid because he was naked;" and that "Jehovah then made for them tunics of skin, and clothed them" (Gen. 3:6-11, 21).
[20] By "the fig leaves of which they made themselves girdles," and also by "the tunics of skin," are meant the truths and goods of the external man. The reason why their state after the fall is thus described, is that from being internal men they became external; their internal is signified by "the paradise," for "the paradise" denotes the intelligence and wisdom of the internal man, and its being closed up is signified by their being cast out of the paradise. (That "a leaf" denotes natural truth, which is memory-knowledge, see n. 885; that a "fig-tree" denotes natural good, that is, the good of the external man, n. 217, 4231, 5113; and that a "tunic of skin" also denotes the truth and good of the external man, n. 294-296; that "skin" denotes what is external, n. 3540.)


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