The circles and spirals of His covenant

The QnA Zoom meeting based on this post can be found by clicking on the following link…

THE EMMAUS ROAD QNA: THE CIRCLES AND SPIRALS OF HIS COVENANT

 

Wherever we turn to in the Word, we find the same processes repeated: things being separated and good and truth coming together.

The questions that sometimes flow from this observation are:

Why do we have to keep being told this?

Why do we have to keep hearing it?

Why do we keep having to be reminded?

One of the answers I hear is that its because the stories are different in each place and therefore the correspondences are different. So we then get a slightly different version of the method and process with each story. Which is true but even when you read the same story or the same passage over and over, it can appear different on different days as well, depending on what our spiritual state is at the time.

As always, when I went to the Word with these questions in my mind, it offered answers to my questions, which led to more questions.  But one of them reminded me that the beauty and wonder of Lord can only be seen through many others. That the form that is One becomes more perfect as the things that enter into that form, are individually distinct and yet united.

Divine Providence 4(4)

The form makes a one the more perfectly as the things entering into the form, are distinctly different and yet united….  illustrated also by the marriage of good and truth, in that the more distinctly these are two, the more perfectly they can make a one; and the same is true of love and wisdom; while what is not distinct is mixed up, giving rise to every imperfection of form.

The more we see something, the more we are able to understand it and the more we understand it, the more its complementary loves are able to be married to it; the more wisdom is able to marry to its love; the more the understanding is able to marry to the new will that is being formed from the Word.

The concept of the Lord being seen through many others as the  “things entering into the form” to unite, also reminds me of the idea of the ‘others’ that aren’t the Lord. We know there is only One and yet there are also many others.

Mark 5: 8-9

For He said to it, “Come out, unclean spirit, out of the man!” And He inquired of it, “What is your name? And it is saying to Him, “Legion is my name, for many are we.

The self that believes it is God and that it is the source of life, worships many gods in this sense. They are all variations of self but there are many different forms of them and some are more obvious and some are more deceptive than others. And it is the false church that is built with the help of these ‘others’, that needs to be let go of and cast aside

“Come out, unclean spirit, out of the man!”

This experience though feels like destruction to us because there are affections and spiritual associations that have been integral in maintaining this false church.

 

And so the Word instructs us on what this process looks like so that when it occurs in our own life, we are able to recognise it and have some idea of what is involved.  Having the knowledge about what the process is doesn’t circumvent the fact that we still need to be moved through it but it does allow for some trust in the support that we will be offered from the Word, as it carries us through the experience, especially so in those times where we feel like we need to be carried.

An example of instruction of the process can be seen in Deuteronomy Chapter 8. In fact the whole book of Deuteronomy is one of instruction because at the end of it Moses dies and the children of Israel are ready to enter the promised land of Canaan and do so, in the start of the next book of Joshua. The scene before us is of Moses addressing the children of Israel and instructing the crowd as to what this process will involve. Moses represents the Word, specifically in relation to the historical Word.

Arcana Coelestia 6752

… But before one can show that Moses represents the law of God, one must say what the law of God is.

In a broad sense God’s law means the whole Word;

in a narrower sense it means the historical section of the Word;

in a restricted sense it means what was written through Moses;

and in a very restricted sense it means the Ten Commandments written upon Mount Sinai on tablets of stone.

Moses represents the law in the narrower sense as well as in the restricted sense and also in the very restricted.

Moses demonstrates a state of the Word for us that instructs. This is the state of the Word that has been taught about what the process looks like and it is the voice of this state of the Word that we hear speaking to us and reminding us of what happens and why. It is instructing us about what temptation looks like, what the desolation and the vastation that follows from this looks like, why this occurs and what the end goal is.

Deuteronomy 8: 1-2

All the instruction which I am enjoining on you today you shall observe to obey, that you may live and multiply and enter and tenant the land about which Yahweh had sworn to your fathers.

And remember all the way which Yahweh your Elohim caused you to go these forty years in the wilderness,

that He might make you humble,

to probe you so as to know what is in your heart,

whether or not you shall observe His instructions.

 

Right from the outset we are reminded that the purpose of the instruction of the process is that we enter heaven, the land that we have been promised for our home. That we are all created with this as the end goal and that this is our predestination.

Divine Providence 330

… all are predestined to heaven and none to hell…..  that means of salvation have been provided for every one, and that heaven is such that all who live well, of whatever religion they may be, have a place there

However, there are externals that need to be removed in order to uncover the states that belong to the Lord and the states that don’t.  And the voice of the Word instructs us regarding the process of seeing the states that aren’t of the Lord uncovered and of the devastation that follows.

It points out the cycle of ownership, of the merit and guilt that we fall into.

Firstly, we turn to the Word in a state of wilderness, with a hunger to be fed and a body to be clothed and its truth provides us with nourishment and care.

Deuteronomy 8: 3,4

So He made you humble and let you hunger;

then He fed you with the manna which neither you had known, nor had your fathers known,

Your garment has not worn out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years,

We enter into a state of need, which is experienced as an uninhabited land that we are travelling in and therefore it doesn’t provide what the body requires in order to live. This is a state of temptation as represented by the wandering in the wilderness for the forty years.

Arcana Coelestia 8098

Thus by “wilderness” is signified the state of those with whom conjunction will be effected; and as conjunction is not effected except through temptations, these also are signified, but only when the number “forty” is added, whether “forty years,” or “forty months,” or “forty days;” for “forty” signifies temptations and their duration, whatever this may be

 

And what is a temptation? What does it look and feel like?

Arcana Coelestia 730

… a man when in temptation is in vastation as to all things that are of his Own, and of the body (for the things that are of his Own and of the body must die, and this through combats and temptations, before he is born again a new man, or is made spiritual and heavenly)

 

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrines 197

(Whence and of what quality temptations are)

…. Temptations exist from the evil spirits who are with man, who inject scandals against the goods and truths which a man loves and believes, and likewise they also excite the evils which he has done and the falsities which he has thought

…. There are two forces which act in temptations, a force from the interior from the Lord, and a force from the exterior from hell

…. Temptation is a combat between the internal or spiritual man, and the external or natural man. Thus between the delights of the internal and external man, which are then opposite to each other. It takes place on account of the disagreement between those delights. Thus it is concerning the dominion of one over the other.

 

Temptations therefore occur as states where we feel like we don’t have what we need to nourish us spiritually. They are states where it is hard to think and see clearly what the Lord is asking of us, and what He is offering. Hence, they occur in a land that feels like a wilderness in that it has very little or nothing at all to offer us.

And why do they feel like this? Because the self that is focused in the hellish proprium appears as more active than the self that is focused in the Lord.

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrines 197

(Whence and of what quality temptations are)

Because man perceives clearly what is doing in his external man, consequently, the things which evil spirits inject and call forth, according to which he thinks of his state;

but he does not perceive what is doing in his internal man, consequently the things which flow in by means of angels from the Lord, and therefore he cannot judge of his state therefrom

We need to also be reminded that temptations only occur when there is a waking up to the state of what this self is, of what the own is that is centred in the hells…

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrines 197

(Whence and of what quality temptations are)

No one can be tempted unless he is in the acknowledgment, and likewise in the affection of truth and good, because there is otherwise no combat, for there is nothing spiritual to act against what is natural, thus there is no contest for dominion

 

So the voice of the Word that has knowledge about the process, reminds us of what ownership looks like and wakes us up.

Deuteronomy 8: 11-14

Guard yourself lest you should forget Yahweh your Elohim by failing to observe His instructions and His judgments and His statutes that I am enjoining on you today,

lest, when you eat and are satisfied and build good houses and dwell in them, and your herd and your flock multiply, and silver and gold increase for you, and all that is yours is abundant,

then your heart becomes exalted and you forget Yahweh your Elohim Who was bringing you forth from the country of Egypt, from the house of servants,

And when we see this… when we see that we have owned the goodness and truth that is the Lord’s, then there is guilt, which is still another form of ownership and thus informs us that the hellish proprium is still attempting to rule. We feel the accusation of the scandals that the evil spirits incite. We own the lament that we have forgotten and have been self absorbed, whilst at the same time feeling the resistance to giving up the belief that some of it, even just a little of it, was our own doing.  We rationalise that without the effort we have made in receiving the truth and applying it in our life, then it wouldn’t have happened anyway.  And so it becomes a repeating spiral of merit and guilt as the internal man and external man combat against each other, each fighting to be the one in the rule… or so it feels.

We find ourselves back in the land of wilderness and struggle. We forget that we have been here before and that the Lord is always present and always offering exactly what is needed. So the Word reminds us…

Deuteronomy 8: 15- 16

Who was causing you to go through the great and fear-inspiring wilderness with burning serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground in which there is no water,

Who was bringing forth for you water from the flinty rock,

Who was feeding you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers had not known, that He might make you humble and that He might probe you, to do you good in your latter days.

 

And so the state of feeling in the wilderness again is present, because we have forgotten to remember the Lord and this brings us into states of vastations and desolations.

Arcana Coelestia 6828

For a “wilderness” signifies what is but little inhabited and cultivated, and also what is not inhabited and cultivated at all,

thus in the spiritual sense a man vastated as to good

and desolated as to truth,

consequently a man who is in temptation;

for he who is in temptation is in vastation and in desolation, because the falsity and evil in him come out and darken and almost take away the influx of truth and good from the Lord;

and the truth which flows in does not appear to him to have sufficient life to disperse the falsities and evils.

Moreover, evil spirits are then present, who inject grief, and despair of salvation.

 

The good is vastated and the truth is desolated.

To vastate means to purify something or someone by the destruction of evil. The word itself comes from a Latin origin meaning to ‘lay waste” and hence the word devastation means to ‘thoroughly(de) lay waste’ and completely destroy.

The word ‘desolate’ on the other hand, comes from the Latin origin meaning abandoned; ‘thoroughly’(de) and  ‘alone’(solus).  It is to make a place appear bleak and empty and uninhabited.

So we have two words that are frequently paired together in the Heavenly Doctrines when temptations are being explained but each with a slight distinction of what role it plays in the process.  If we think about this in our own experience of spiritual processes, we can recognise that when the loves and beliefs of the church within us are being challenged and we are being asked to let them be laid aside so that higher loves can be in focus, it can often feel like the sense of self is being destroyed. When that happens, when those affections are vastated and devastated, we’re then left with a state that feels barren and empty, hence desolated.

Deuteronomy 8: 19-20

It will come to be that if you forget, yea forget Yahweh your Elohim and go after other elohim and serve them and bow yourself down to them, I testify against you today that you shall perish, yea perish.

Like the nations which Yahweh is destroying before your face so shall you perish, inasmuch as you do not hearken to the voice of Yahweh your Elohim.

 

When affections are removed though vastation, then the thoughts and the apparent truths that flow from them, are also in question. So the loves and affections that are perceived ‘goods’ are vastated and the truth or falsities that flow from them are desolated, that is, isolated without their loves. And we then have the fall of the church as we know it because the church is none other than the goods and truths in marriage that our life is founded on, that we identify with as the source of our motivations.

Arcana Coelestia 1666  [3]

…evil desires and falsities are what vastate a person, that is, deprive him of all the life belonging to the love of good and to the affection for truth,

But if the love and its wisdom aren’t in a state of ‘distinctly different and yet united’ (DP 4) then there is no experience of One and hence no church, because the Lord as the One is known through the church. This is the marriage covenant.

Conjugial Love 122 (v)

…from the marriage of good and truth which proceeds and flows in from the Lord, man receives truth, and to this the Lord conjoins good; and that thus the church is formed by the Lord with man.

So we need the experience of seeing Legion,

Legion is my name, for many are we. (Mark 5: 8-9)

… of seeing the other gods

… you forget, yea forget Yahweh your Elohim and go after other elohim and serve them and bow yourself down to them (Deuteronomy 8:19)

We need the experiences of seeing them in order to remind ourselves again that the Lord is the One God. The cyclic processes of temptations and vastations and desolations are what enable these multiple false gods to be seen.

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrines 197

(Whence and of what quality temptations are)

Those who are being regenerated do not undergo temptations only once, but many times, because many evils and falsities are to be removed

 

Forgetting that the Lord is the source of all life… is part of the process

Conjugial Love 307

… after the initial stages of marriage, the state preceding betrothal returns at times, and in this state remembrance vanishes and forgetfulness of the contracted covenant comes in. Yea, by reason of enticements to things unchaste coming from unchaste persons, it becomes wholly obliterated, and if it is then recalled to mind, there comes a disparagement of it.

We need to be put in front of the covenant that is the marriage of the church and the Lord, many times over.  The only way this covenant can be strengthened and reinforced in us, is for us to be allowed to see what is present that isn’t part of that.  So we move into separations and sometimes divorces and then coming together in marriage again. This is the ongoing cycle of creation, of the Divine coming into being for us. And it is temptations that enable this. They are necessary and part of the process of regeneration.

Arcana Coelestia 2967

…. these evils and falsities must be vastated before the man can be regenerated; and insofar as there is a residue of heavenly and spiritual life after vastation, this can be enlightened with truth and enriched with good.

It is the remains,

which are goods and truths from the Lord stored up with man,

that then receive life.

These goods and truths are acquired from infancy even to the time of reformation, with one person more, with another fewer.

These are reserved in his internal man; nor can they be brought forward until his external man has been reduced to correspondence, which is effected chiefly by temptations, and by many kinds of vastation; for until corporeal things, which are contrary to them, become quiescent (such as the things of the love of self and of the world), celestial and spiritual things, which are of the affection of good and truth, cannot flow in;

 

The process is a cycle of wandering in the wilderness, being fed and clothed, then owning what is received and forgetting the Lord, then lamenting that we have done so, then feeling like we are back in the wilderness again, then coming into a waking acknowledgement and a recommitting to the covenant of marriage and hence finally coming to promised land….. until we fall asleep again, until we forget again.

But Moses as the voice of the Word that instructs us of this process, also reminds us that this is the way we come into deeper knowing of the Lord, as we return each time with a stronger affirmation and confirmation of Him as our life. This cyclic process that spirals more and more inward to the Divine, is the path that leads us always to the land that is beautiful and full of wonder and abundance.

Deuteronomy 8: 1, 7-10

All the instruction which I am enjoining on you today you shall observe to obey, that you may live and multiply and enter and tenant the land about which Yahweh had sworn to your fathers.

For Yahweh your Elohim is bringing you into a land good and wide,

a land of watercourses, with water from springs and from the abyss coming forth in valley and in mountain,

a land of wheat and barley and vine and fig and pomegranate, a land of olive oil and honey,

a land in which you may eat bread, not in frugality.

You shall not lack anything in it,

a land whose stones have iron-ore, and from its mountain ranges you may hew copper.

When you have eaten and are satisfied, then bless Yahweh your Elohim for the good land that He has given to you.

Amen

 

References

AC 747. And shall make her desolate and naked, signifies that they will put off from themselves her falsities and evils. By “making her desolate” is signified to put off from themselves her falsities; and by “making her naked” is signified to put off from themselves her evils; for they make her desolate and naked with themselves.

Desolation in the Word is predicated of truths and falsities, and nakedness of goods and evils; as may be evident from the passages that were adduced above concerning nakedness, (213[1-4], 706).

From these things it may be evident that by “their making her desolate and naked” is signified that they will put off from themselves all the falsities and evils of that religious persuasion. That the Protestants or the Reformed have

 

AC 1666  [3] Since evil desires and falsities are what vastate a person, that is, deprive him of all the life belonging to the love of good and to the affection for truth, such vastation is described in various places as a salt region, as in Jeremiah,

He who makes flesh his arm will be like a bare shrub in the solitary place, and will not see when good comes; and he will inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, a salt land, and not inhabited. Jeremiah 17:5-6.

 

AC 2708. And he dwelt in the wilderness. That this signifies in what is relatively obscure, is evident from the signification of “dwelling,” as being to live (see n. 2451); and from the signification of “wilderness,” as being that which has little vitality (see n. 1927); here what is obscure, but relatively. By what is relatively obscure is meant the state of the spiritual church relatively to the state of the celestial church, or the state of those who are spiritual relatively to that of those who are celestial. The celestial are in the affection of good, the spiritual in the affection of truth; the celestial have perception, but the spiritual a dictate of conscience; to the celestial the Lord appears as a Sun, but to the spiritual as a Moon (n. 1521, 1530, 1531, 2495). The former have light from the Lord, but giving both sight and the perception of good and truth, like the light of day from the sun; but the latter have light from the Lord like the light of night from the moon, and thus they are in relative obscurity. The reason is that the celestial are in love to the Lord, and thus in the Lord’s life itself; but the spiritual are in charity toward the neighbor and in faith, and thus in the Lord’s life indeed, but more obscurely. Hence it is that the celestial never reason about faith and its truths, but being in perception of truth from good, they say that it is so; whereas the spiritual speak and reason concerning the truths of faith, because they are in the conscience of good from truth; and also because with the celestial the good of love has been implanted in their will part, wherein is the chief life of man, but with the spiritual in their intellectual part, wherein is the secondary life of man; this is the reason why the spiritual are in what is relatively obscure (see n. 81, 202, 337, 765, 784, 895, 1114-1125, 1155, 1577, 1824, 2048, 2088, 2227, 2454, 2507).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1530-1531)

[2] This comparative obscurity is here called a “wilderness.” In the Word a “wilderness” signifies what is little inhabited and cultivated, and also signifies what is not at all inhabited and cultivated, and is thus used in a twofold sense.

Where it signifies what is little inhabited and cultivated, or where there are few habitations, folds of flocks, pastures, and waters, it signifies what has relatively little life and light-as what is spiritual, or those who are spiritual, in comparison with what is celestial, or those who are celestial.

But where it signifies what is not inhabited or cultivated at all, or where there are no habitations, folds of flocks, pastures, or waters, it signifies those who are in vastation as to good and in desolation as to truth.

 

AC 2967

[2] Concerning the signification of “merchant” and of “merchandise,” something will be said presently; but as regards the thing itself the case is this. All who are being reformed and regenerated are gifted with charity and faith by the Lord, but each according to his capacity and his state; for there are evils and falsities with which man has imbued himself from infancy, which stand in the way of one person’s receiving a like gift with another; these evils and falsities must be vastated before the man can be regenerated; and insofar as there is a residue of heavenly and spiritual life after vastation, this can be enlightened with truth and enriched with good.

It is the remains,

which are goods and truths from the Lord stored up with man,

that then receive life.

These goods and truths are acquired from infancy even to the time of reformation, with one person more, with another fewer.

These are reserved in his internal man; nor can they be brought forward until his external man has been reduced to correspondence, which is effected chiefly by temptations, and by many kinds of vastation; for until corporeal things, which are contrary to the them, become quiescent (such as the things of the love of self and of the world), celestial and spiritual things, which are of the affection of good and truth, cannot flow in; this is the reason why everyone is reformed according to his state and capacity.

This also the Lord teaches in the parable concerning the man who went abroad:

Who called his own servants and delivered unto them his goods; and unto one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his several ability. He that received the five talents traded with them, and made other five talents; in like manner he also that received the two, he also gained other two (Matthew 25:14-17, etc.).

So too concerning the ten servants, to whom were given ten pounds, that they might trade with them (Luke 19:12-13, etc.).

 

AC 5915. And I will sustain thee there. That this signifies continuous influx of spiritual life from the internal celestial, is evident from the signification of “sustaining,” when it is said by Joseph, by whom is represented the internal celestial, as being the influx of spiritual life from the internal celestial; sustenance in the spiritual sense being nothing else than the influx of good and of truth through heaven from the Lord. From this are the angels sustained, and from this is the soul of man (that is, his internal man) sustained. To this sustenance corresponds the sustenance of the external man by food and drink; and therefore by “food” is signified good, and by “drink,” truth. Such also is the correspondence, that when a man is partaking of food, the angels with him are in the idea of good and truth, and wonderful to say with a difference according to the species of the food. Thus when a man in the Holy Supper receives the bread and the wine, the angels with him are in the idea of the good of love and the good of faith (n. 3464, 3735), for the reason that bread corresponds to the good of love, and wine to the good of faith; and because they correspond, they also signify the same in the Word.

[2] That man’s soul (that is, the internal man) is sustained by spiritual food and drink, that is, by good and truth, is evident from the Lord’s words in Moses:

Man doth not live by bread only, but by every utterance of the mouth of Jehovah doth man live (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4).

The “utterance of the mouth of Jehovah” is the good and the truth which proceed from Him.

In John:

Labor not for the food which perisheth, but for the food which remaineth into eternal life, which the Son of man will give you (John 6:27).

Again:

The disciples besought Jesus, saying, Master, eat. He said to them, I have food to eat that ye know not (John 4:31-32).

And concerning drink, in the same:

Jesus said, If anyone thirst, let him come unto me and drink; whosoever believeth in Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow streams of living water (John 7:37-38).

(References: Genesis 45:11)

 

AC 6752. ‘And she called his name Moses’ means the essential nature of the state then. This is clear from the meaning of ‘name’ and ‘calling the name as the essential nature, dealt with in 144, 145, 1754, 1896, 2009, 2714, 3006, 3421, 6674, at this point the essential nature of a state because when someone’s name is mentioned, that particular name used then means the state, 1946, 2643, 3422, 4298. This essential nature of a state that is meant is the nature of the state of the law of God as it was in the beginning with the Lord, and the nature of the state of God’s truth as it is in the beginning with a person who is being regenerated. There are two people primarily who represent the Lord with respect to the Word, namely Moses and Elijah. Moses represents the Lord with respect to the historical books, Elijah with respect to the Prophets. In addition to those two there is Elisha, and lastly John the Baptist, who is therefore the one who is meant by ‘the Elijah who is to come’, Matthew 17:10-13; Luke 1:17. But before one can show that Moses represents the law of God, one must say what the law of God is.

In a broad sense God’s law means the whole Word;

in a narrower sense it means the historical section of the Word; in a restricted sense it means what was written through Moses; and in a very restricted sense it means the Ten Commandments written upon Mount Sinai on tablets of stone. Moses represents the law in the narrower sense as well as in the restricted sense and also in the very restricted.

 

AC 7474. ‘And did not send the people away’ means that they did not leave those who belonged to the spiritual Church. This is clear from the meaning of ‘sending away’ as leaving; and from the representation of the children of Israel, to whom ‘the people’ refers here, as those who belong to the spiritual Church, dealt with in 6426, 6637, 6862, 6868, 7035, 7062, 7198, 7201, 7215, 7223.

[2] With regard to the spiritual Church, represented here by the children of Israel, it should be recognized that it has an internal part and an external part, and that those people are in the internal part of the Church who are governed by the good of charity, while those are in the external part who are governed by the good of faith. People governed by the good of charity are those who out of charity towards the neighbour behold the truths of faith, whereas people governed by the good of faith are those who out of faith look towards charity. Thus the latter do good not out of affection belonging to charity but out of obedience belonging to faith, that is, because they are commanded to do it. These are precisely the ones who are represented here by the children of Israel, since they are the ones who are molested in the next life by those steeped in falsities. People who are governed by affection belonging to charity cannot be molested in the same way, for spirits who are steeped in falsities and evils cannot go near those governed by that good because the Lord is within that good. If they do suffer molestation, it involves only the illusions and appearances which have led them to believe things to be true which are not actually true, and such things as were presented by the teachings of their Church as truths but are not in fact truths. In the next life those people willingly reject falsities and accept truths, the reason being that the good of charity is receptive of truth because it loves it and is desirous of it.

[3] Since mention is made so many times of molestations what they are and what they are like must be stated. Molestations are brought about by introduction of falsity opposed to truths; but those falsities are refuted by an influx from heaven, that is, from the Lord by way of heaven, with those suffering such molestation. This kind of state is what those undergoing vastation of their falsities are held in, until they have absorbed the truths of faith, and, stage by stage, more internal truths. And in the measure that they have absorbed those truths they are released from molestation. Molestations are not temptations, since temptations when they take place involve torment of conscience. For people undergoing temptations are held in a state of damnation, which brings them torment and grief.

[4] All this shows what the vastations in the next life are like which those governed by the good of faith undergo. Those vastations are vastations of falsity. But with those who have not been governed by the good of faith, only by some truth of faith which with them is merely factual knowledge, and have led an evil life, the vastations are vastations of truth.

Those who undergo vastation of falsities gradually absorb truths and forms of the good of faith and charity,

whereas those who undergo vastation of truths gradually cast off truths and invest themselves with the evils which have been a feature of the life they led. From all this one may see what is meant in the Word by vastations and desolations.

(References: Exodus 8:28)

 

AC 8098. And God led the people about, by the way of the wilderness. That this signifies that under the Divine auspices they were brought to confirm the truths and goods of faith through temptations, is evident from the signification of “God led,” as being Providence (see n. 8093), or what is the same, the Divine auspices, and from the signification of “the way of the wilderness,” as being to undergo temptations, thus to confirm the truths and goods of faith, for they are confirmed by temptations. By “wilderness” is signified where there is what is uninhabited and uncultivated (see n. 2708), in the spiritual sense, where are no good and truth, and also where truth is not yet conjoined with good. Thus by “wilderness” is signified the state of those with whom conjunction will be effected; and as conjunction is not effected except through temptations, these also are signified, but only when the number “forty” is added, whether “forty years,” or “forty months,” or “forty days;” for “forty” signifies temptations and their duration, whatever this may be (n. 730, 862, 2272, 2273). These things are signified by the sojournings of the sons of Israel in the wilderness forty years; moreover the temptations which they underwent are described. That they were led into the wilderness in order that they might undergo these temptations and might thus represent them, is clear from these words in Moses:

Thou shalt remember all the way in which Jehovah thy God hath led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to afflict thee, to tempt thee, to know what was in thy heart. He fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, to afflict thee, and to tempt thee, to do thee good in thy future time (Deuteronomy 8:2, 6).

As by “forty” were signified temptations and their duration, and by the “wilderness” the state of those who undergo them, therefore when the Lord was tempted, He also went out into the wilderness, and was there forty days (Matthew 4:1-2, seq.; Luke 4:1-2, seq.; Mark 1:12-13).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2272-2273; Deuteronomy 8:16; Exodus 13:18)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments