(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 10570

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10570. And we shall be rendered pre-eminent, I and Thy people, above all the people that are upon the faces of the ground. That this signifies their consequent pre-eminence to all in the whole world where the church is, is evident from the signification of "being rendered preeminent above all the people that are upon the faces of the ground," as being preeminence to all in the whole world. That it also denotes where the church is, is because by "the ground" is signified the church (of which below).
[2] That this end, that they might be rendered preeminent above all in the whole world, was the end for which the Israelitish nation worshiped Jehovah, and for the sake of which they could be in a holy external, is evident from what has been already shown concerning that nation. That such can be in a holy external, and appear to others as worshipers of God, is evident from the idolaters spoken of in the historical parts of the Word, who in like manner could be in external things. But that they had no holy internal can be known and inferred by everyone from the fact that it is the Divine truths revealed in the Word which cause worship to be internal, provided that men know them and live according to them. For if a man could worship God in a holy manner without them, there would be no need of any doctrine of the church, nor of any preaching.
[3] As that nation was of such a nature that they could be in a holy external for the sake of preeminence to others as their end in view; and as with such people the representatives of celestial and spiritual things, which are the externals of worship, can be in communication with the angels, and thereby there may be conjunction with heaven, therefore that nation was received. But he who believes that they were thereby worshipers of God, is very much mistaken, for they were worshipers of self and of the world, and at heart were idolaters. And as they were of such a character, the interior things of worship which belong to faith and love to the Lord were not revealed to them, as is plain from the books of the Old Testament, and also from the fact that they did not acknowledge the Lord when He came into the world, nay, do not yet acknowledge Him, and if instructed from the prophetic utterances concerning the Lord, still they do not receive it. They wish for a Messiah who shall exalt them above all in the whole world, and not a Messiah whose kingdom is in the heavens, and who consequently provides also for the salvation of all upon the earth. From all this it can be seen what was the character of that nation from the earliest ages, and why it is here said that by "Jehovah going with them they would be rendered preeminent above all the people that are upon the faces of the ground."
[4] It is said "upon the faces of the ground," and thereby is meant wheresoever the church is, for by "ground," in like manner as by "land" or "earth" is signified the church (that it is signified by "land" or "earth," may be seen in the places cited in n. 9325). But "ground" signifies the church for a similar reason as does "field," thus from the reception of various seeds, and their growth and produce, by which are signified the truths and goods of faith and of love, of which man is such a receptacle as the ground is of seeds. But the church is called "land" or "earth" from the people with whom the church is who dwell therein. But as "ground" involves extension in respect to space, equally as does "land" or "earth," therefore instead of "ground" the translators say "earth;" as here "upon the faces of the earth," instead of "upon the faces of the ground" as also in other passages. And yet in the original tongue the Word which means "ground" is from a totally different origin from that of the Word which means "earth." That "the ground" signifies the church equally as does "land" or "earth," is evident from various passages in the Word, of which only a few may be adduced.
[5] In Jeremiah:
Their grandees have sent their little ones for water; they came unto the pits, and found no waters; they returned with their vessels empty; because the ground hath been broken to pieces, in that no rain hath been in the land (Jer. 14:3, 4).
Here "ground" denotes the church, and so does "land," for the subject treated of in the internal sense is the lack of truth, and the consequent vastation of the church; "waters" denote truths; "pits" denote where these are, thus doctrine; "vessels" denote the recipients; "rain" denotes influx from heaven; "land" denotes where the church is; and "ground" denotes the church itself, which on account of the drought is said to be "broken to pieces," thus on account of the lack of truth from heaven.
[6] And in Isaiah:
It shall come to pass at the end of seventy years, that Jehovah will visit Tyre, and she shall return unto her harlot hire, and shall commit whoredom with all the kingdoms of the earth upon the faces of the ground; at last her merchandise and her harlot hire shall be holiness to Jehovah (Isa. 23:17, 18).
By "Tyre" is signified the church in respect to the knowledges of truth and good, thus in the abstract sense these knowledges, which are called "harlot hire" when they are taught for the sake of gain, of honor, and of reputation for the sake of these, and are thus as it were sold, and are not taught for the sake of truth itself. In the Word this is called "harlotry," and "whoredom." "To commit whoredom with all the kingdoms of the earth" denotes to do so with all the truths of the church; "upon the faces of the ground" denotes wheresoever the church is. As the knowledges of truth and good still remain knowledges of truth and good in themselves, thus Divine, although to the man who teaches and "sells" them they are for profit, and consequently are "harlot hire," therefore it is said that "her merchandise and her harlot hire shall be holiness to Jehovah." Everyone who thinks beyond the sense of the letter can see that harlot hire is not meant here, nor whoredom with all the kingdoms of the earth, nor that such things shall be holiness to Jehovah.
[7] In David:
Thou sendest forth Thy spirit; they are created; and Thou renewest the faces of the ground (Ps. 104:30).
"The spirit of Jehovah" denotes the Divine truth that proceeds from the Lord (n. 9818); "to be created" denotes to be created anew, that is, to be regenerated (n. 10373); "to renew the faces of the ground" denotes to reform and to set up the church; "the faces of the ground" denote wheresoever anything of the church can be received. In like manner in other passages where "the faces of the ground" are mentioned (as Gen. 7:4; 8:8, 13; Exod. 32:12; Num. 12:3; Deut. 6:15; 7:6; 1 Sam. 20:15; 2 Sam. 14:7).


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