(AR) - The Book of the Apocalypse Revealed, Uncovering the Secrets That Were Foretold There and Have Lain Hidden until Now

AR 774

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774. And all thyine wood, and every vessel of ivory, signifies that they no longer have these, because they have not the natural goods and truths, to which such things correspond. These things are similar to those which were explained above (n. 772, 773); with the difference only that by those named first spiritual goods and truths are meant, which are treated of above (n. 772); and that by those mentioned in the second place celestial goods and truths are meant, as explained just above (n. 773); and that by these now mentioned, which are "thyine wood and vessels of ivory," natural goods and truths are meant.
[2] For there are three degrees of wisdom and love, and thence three degrees of truth and good. The first degree is called celestial, the second spiritual, and the third natural. These three degrees are in every man from birth, and also in general they are in heaven and in the church; which is the cause of there being three heavens, the highest, the middle, and the lowest, altogether distinct from each other according to those degrees; in like manner the Lord's church on earth. But what its quality is with those who are in the celestial degree, and what in those who are in the spiritual degree, and what in those who are in the natural degree, does not belong to this place to explain, but see concerning them in The Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and Wisdom, chapter 3, where degrees are treated of; here only that with those who are of Babylon there are not spiritual goods and truths, nor celestial goods and truths, and not even natural goods and truths. That spiritual things are mentioned in the first place, is because many among them can be spiritual, provided they hold the Word holy in heart, as they say with their mouth; but they cannot become celestial, because they do not approach the Lord, but approach living and dead men, and worship them. This is the reason why the celestial things are named in the second place.
[3] By "thyine wood" is signified natural good, because "wood" in the Word signifies good, and "stone" truth; and "thyine wood" takes its name from two, and "two" also signifies good. That it is natural good, is because wood is not a costly material, like gold, silver, precious stone, pearl, fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet, stone likewise. It is the same with ivory, by which natural truth is signified. "Ivory" signifies natural truth, because it is white, and can be polished, and because it protrudes from the mouth of an elephant, and likewise makes his strength. That "ivory" may be the natural truth of that good which is signified by "thyine wood," it is said "a vessel of ivory;" for by "a vessel" that which contains is signified; here truth the containant of good.
[4] That "wood" signifies good may be in some degree evident from these passages:
That the bitter waters in Marah were made sweet by wood cast in (Exod. 15:25).
That the tables of stone, on which the Law was written, were laid up in an ark made of shittim wood (Exod. 25:10-16).
That the temple at Jerusalem was covered and sheathed within with wood (1 Kings 6:10, 15).
That the altar in the wilderness was made of wood (Exod. 27:1, 6).
Besides from these:
The stone crieth out from the wall, and the beam of wood answereth (Hab. 2:11).
They shall seize thy wealth, and make a prey of thy merchandise, and thy stones and thy woods shall they put into the midst of the sea (Ezek. 26:12).
It was said to the prophet, that he should take one piece of wood, and write upon it the name of Judah and of the sons of Israel; and also the name of Joseph and Ephraim; and should make them into one piece (Ezek. 37:16, 19).
We drink our waters for silver, and our wood cometh for a price (Lam. 5:4).
If anyone goeth into a forest with a companion, and his axe falleth from the wood upon his companion, that he die, he shall flee into a city of refuge (Deut. 19:5).
This was because "wood" signifies good, and thus that he had not put his companion to death from evil, or with evil intention, but from an error, because he was in good; besides other places.
[5] But by "wood" in the opposite sense is signified what is evil and cursed; as that they made graven images of wood, and adored them (Deut. 4:23-28; Isa. 37:19; 40:20; Jer. 10:3, 8; Ezek. 20:32); also that hanging upon wood was a curse (Deut. 21:22-23). That "ivory" signifies natural truth may be evident from the passages where ivory is mentioned; as Ezek. 27:6, 15; Amos 3:15; 6:4; Ps. 45:8.


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