529. Verse 19. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His covenant, signifies the New Heaven, in which the Lord in His Divine Human is worshiped, and they live according to the commandments of His Decalogue, which are the two essentials of the New Church, by which is conjunction. By "the temple of God" is signified the Lord's Divine Human, likewise heaven, where angels are, and also the church on earth; that these three are signified by "the temple of God," and that they cannot be separated, may be seen (n. 191); but here, by "the temple of God," is signified the Lord in His Divine Human in heaven where the angels are, because it is called "the temple of God in heaven." By "the ark in the temple" is meant the Decalogue, for in the ark there were only the two tables on which the Decalogue was written. By the temple being "open" is signified that these two, the Divine Human and the Decalogue, which are the two essentials of the New Church, are now seen, and were seen after the evil were cast into hell (n. 528). The reason why it is said "the ark of His covenant was in His temple," is, because a covenant signifies conjunction, as will be seen below.
 But something shall first be said of the Decalogue. What nation is there in the whole world which does not know that it is evil to kill, to commit adultery, to steal, to testify falsely? If mankind did not know these things, and if laws were not made to guard against these crimes, they must perish; for a society, republic, and kingdom, would fall without such laws. Who can suppose that the Israelitish nation could have been so much more stupid than all others, as not to know that these things were evils? Therefore anyone may wonder why these laws, universally known throughout the whole world, should have been promulgated by Jehovah Himself from Mount Sinai with so great a miracle, and were written with His own finger. But hear: they were promulgated with so great a miracle by Jehovah Himself, and were written by His finger, to make known to them that those laws were not only civil and moral laws, but also spiritual laws, and that to act contrary to them, was not only to commit evil against a fellow citizen and against society, but that it was also to sin against God.
Wherefore these laws, by being promulgated from Mount Sinai by Jehovah, were made laws of religion. For it is evident that whatsoever Jehovah God commands, He commands that it may be a thing of religion, and that it should be done for His sake, and for man's sake, that he may be saved.
 These laws, because they were the first fruits of the church about to be established by the Lord among the Israelitish nation, and because they were in a short summary the complex of all things of religion, whereby a conjunction of the Lord with man and of man with the Lord was given, therefore they were so holy, that nothing could be more holy. That they were most holy may appear from this that:
Jehovah Himself, that is the Lord, descended in fire, and the mountain then smoked and quaked, and there were thunders, and lightnings, and a thick cloud, and the voice of a trumpet (Exod. 19:16, 18; Deut. 5:22-26).
The people before the descent of Jehovah prepared and sanctified themselves three days (Exod. 19:10-11, 15).
The mountain was hedged about lest anyone come near to the lowest part, lest he die (Exod. 19:12-13, 20-23; 24:1-2).
This law was written upon two tables of stone, and that it was written with the finger of God (Exod. 31:18; 32:15-16; Deut. 9:10).
The face of Moses shone, when he brought those tables a second time down from the mount (Exod. 34:29-35).
Those tables were deposited in the ark (Exod. 25:16; 40:20; Deut. 10:5; 1 Kings 8:9).
The place in the tabernacle, where the ark was, was called the Holy of Holies (Exod. 26:33; and in other places).
The ark, from the law in it, was called Jehovah there (Num. 10:35-36; 2 Sam. 6:2; Ps. 132:8).
Jehovah spoke with Moses over the ark (Exod. 25:22; Num. 7:89).
On account of the holiness of that law, it was not permitted Aaron to enter within the veil, where the ark was, except with sacrifices and incense, lest he die (Lev. 16:2-14 seq.).
From the Lord's presence and power in the law which was in the ark, the waters of Jordan were divided, and so long as it rested in the midst, the people passed over on dry ground (Josh. 3:1-17; 4:5-20).
By carrying the ark around Jericho, the walls fell down (Josh. 6:1-20).
Dagon, the god of the Philistines, fell down to the earth before the ark, and afterwards lay upon the threshold of the temple with his head broken off (1 Sam. 5:3-4).
The Ekronites and the Bethshemites were smitten on account of the ark to the number of several thousands (1 Sam. 5; 6).
The ark was introduced by David into Zion with sacrifices and rejoicing (2 Sam. 6:1-19).
Uzzah, because he then touched it, died (2 Sam. 6:6-7).
The ark in the temple of Jerusalem was the inmost part (1 Kings 6:19 seq.; 8:3-9).
The tables upon which the law was written, were called the tables of the covenant, and the ark, from them, was called the ark of the covenant, and the law itself the covenant (Num. 10:33; Deut. 4:13, 23; 5:2-3; 9:9; Josh. 3:11; 1 Kings 8:19, 21; and other places).
 By that law called "a covenant," conjunction is signified; the reason is, because covenants were entered into for the sake of love, of friendship, of consociation, and thus of conjunction. Therefore it is said of the Lord, that:
He shall be for a covenant to the people (Isa. 42:6; 49:8).
And He is called:
The angel of the covenant (Mal. 3:1).
And His blood:
The blood of the covenant (Matt. 26:28; Zech. 9:11; Exod. 24:4-10).
And therefore the Word is called the Old and the New Testament or Covenant.