(SS) - Teachings for the New Jerusalem on Sacred Scripture

SS 35

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35. It has been shown in Doctrine of the Lord (n. 28) that the prophets of the Old Testament represented the Lord in respect to the Word, and thereby signified the doctrine of the church from the Word, and that for this reason they were called "sons of man." From this it follows that by means of the various things they suffered and endured, they represented the violence done by the Jews to the sense of the letter of the Word. Thus:
The prophet Isaiah was commanded to put off the sackcloth from off his loins, and to put off his shoe from off his foot, and to go naked and barefoot three years (Isa. 20:2-3).
And so
The prophet Ezekiel was commanded to pass a barber's razor upon his head and upon his beard, and to burn a third part in the midst of the city, to smite a third part with the sword, and to scatter a third part in the wind, and to wrap a few of the hairs in his skirts, and at last to cast them into the midst of the fire and burn them (Ezek. 5:1-4).
[2] As the "prophets" represented the Word, and consequently signified the doctrine of the church from the Word, as said above, and as the "head" signifies wisdom from the Word, therefore the "hair" and "beard" signify the ultimate of truth. By reason of this signification, it was a mark of deep mourning, and also a great disgrace, for anyone to make himself bald, or to be seen bald. For this and no other reason it was that the prophet shaved off the hair of his head and his beard, that so he might represent the state of the Jewish Church in respect to the Word. For this and no other reason was it that
The forty-two children who called Elisha bald were torn to pieces by two she-bears (2 Kings 2:23-24).
For as before said a "prophet" represented the Word, and "baldness" signified the Word without its ultimate sense.
[3] It will be seen in the next chapter (n. 49) that the "Nazirites" represented the Lord in respect to the Word in its ultimates; and therefore it was an ordinance for them that they should let their hair grow, and shave off none of it. Moreover the term "Nazirite" in the Hebrew tongue means the hair of the head.
It was also an ordinance for the high priest that he should not shave his head (Lev. 21:10).
Likewise for the head of a household (Lev. 21:5).
[4] This was why baldness was to them a great disgrace, as is evident from the following passages:
On all heads baldness, and every beard shaven (Isa. 15:2; Jer. 48:37).
Shame upon all faces, and baldness upon all heads (Ezek. 7:18).
Every head made bald, and every shoulder plucked (Ezek. 29:18).
I will cause sackcloth to come up upon all loins, and baldness upon every head (Amos 8:10).
Put on baldness, and shave thee on account of the sons of thy delights, and enlarge thy baldness, for they are gone into exile from thee (Micah 1:16).
To "put on baldness" and to "enlarge" it here signifies to falsify the truths of the Word in its ultimates, for when these are falsified (as was done by the Jews) the whole Word is destroyed; for the ultimates of the Word are its props and supports; indeed, each word is a prop and a support to its celestial and spiritual truths. As the "hair" signifies truth in the ultimates, in the spiritual world all who despise the Word, and falsify its sense of the letter, appear bald; whereas they who honor and love it appear with becoming hair. On this subject see also below (n. 49).


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