(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 2567

Remove Highlights | Highlight Search Terms


2567. And menservants and maidservants. That this signifies that it was enriched also with rational truths and natural truths, as well as with the affections of them, is evident from the signification of "menservants and maidservants." These are frequently mentioned in the Word, and by them are signified in the internal sense things that are relatively lower and of less value, such as are rational and natural things in comparison with spiritual and celestial things. By natural truths are meant memory-knowledges of every kind, for these are natural. That in the Word these are signified by "menservants and maidservants," is manifest from the internal sense of the words where they are mentioned, as in Isaiah:
Jehovah will have compassion on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and will set them upon their own ground; and the sojourner shall cleave unto them, and shall join themselves unto the house of Jacob; and the peoples shall take them, and shall bring them to their own place; and the house of Israel shall possess them for themselves upon the ground of Jehovah for menservants and for maidservants (Isa. 14:1-2),
[2] where "Jacob" denotes the external church; "Israel," the internal; "sojourners," those who are being instructed in truths and goods (see n. 1463, 2025); "menservants and maidservants," natural and rational truths together with the affections of them, which are to serve the church meant by "Jacob and Israel." It is evident that Jacob and Israel are not meant here, nor the Jews and Israelites, for the latter when dispersed among the Gentiles became Gentiles. The Jews still cherish this prophecy and expect its fulfillment, even according to the letter, namely, that sojourners will cleave to them, that the people will bring them to their place, and will be to them for menservants and maidservants; when yet not even the smallest thing is to be understood of the Jews and Israelites in the prophecies of the Word where these are mentioned; as must be evident even to themselves from the fact that it is often said of Israel equally as of Judah that they shall be brought back.
[3] Again in the same Prophet:
Behold, Jehovah maketh the earth empty, and emptieth it out, and will disfigure the face of it, and scatter the inhabitants thereof; and it shall be, as the people, so the priest; as the servant, so his master; as the maidservant, so her mistress (Isa. 24:1-2).
Here the "earth" denotes the church (n. 662, 1066, 1068, 1850), which is made empty and is emptied out, and its face is disfigured, and its inhabitants scattered, when there are no longer any interior truths and goods, which are the "people and the priest," nor any exterior truths and goods, which are the "servant" and the "maidservant," as comes to pass when external things rule over internal things.
[4] Again:
I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob and out of Judah an inheritor of My mountain, and My chosen shall possess it, and My servants shall dwell there (Isa. 65:9),
where "Jacob" denotes the external church; "Judah," the internal celestial church; the "chosen," its goods; and the "servants," its truths.
[5] In Joel:
I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy; also upon the servants and the maidservants will I pour out My spirit in those days (Joel 2:28-29);
where the Lord's kingdom is treated of; "to prophesy" denotes to teach (n. 2534); "sons," truths themselves (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147) "daughters," goods themselves (n. 489-491) "servants" and "maidservants," lower truths and goods, upon which the spirit is said to be poured out when they accede and confirm. That such things are signified by "menservants and maidservants" here and elsewhere, does not so appear, by reason both of the common idea respecting menservants and maidservants, and of the apparent history.
[6] In John:
I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried with a loud voice, saying to the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, Eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of them that sit thereon, and the flesh of all, both of free and bond, both of small and great (Rev. 19:17, 18). It is here evident that it is not the flesh of kings, of captains, of mighty men, of horses, of those who sit on them, of the free and of the bond, which they should eat; but that it is the truths of the church, both internal and external, that were made "flesh" for them.
[7] That "menservants" signify truths, and "maidservants" goods, which are subservient to and thus serve spiritual and celestial truths and goods, is more clearly evident from the laws enjoined in the Representative Church in regard to menservants and maidservants; which laws all have regard to the state of the church and of the Lord's kingdom in general and in particular; and to the way in which lower truths and goods, or those which are natural and rational, are to serve those which are spiritual and celestial, and thereby those which are Divine. For example: The Hebrew manservant and the Hebrew maidservant were to be free in the seventh year, and were then to be endowed from the flock, the threshing-floor, and the wine-press (Exod. 21:2, 6; Deut. 15:12-15; Jer. 34:9-14): The servant's wife was to be free if she entered into service with him; but if the master gave him his wife, the wife and children were to be the master's (Exod. 21:3, 4): A poor brother who had been purchased was not to serve as a bondservant, but as a hired servant and a sojourner; at the jubilee he was to go out together with his children (Lev. 25:39-43): If a brother were bought by a foreign sojourner, he might be redeemed, and was to go out in the year of the jubilee (Lev. 25:47, etc.): Menservants and maidservants might be bought of the nations around, and of the sons of foreign sojourners, and they were to be their perpetual possession, whom they might rule absolutely, but not the sons of Israel (Lev. 25:44-46): If a manservant did not desire to go out of service, his ear was to be pierced with an awl, at the door, and he was to be a perpetual servant; and the same with a maidservant (Exod. 21:6; Deut. 15:16, 17): If anyone smote his manservant or his maidservant with a rod, so that he died, vengeance was to be taken on him; but if he survived a day or more, he was to be free, because he was his money (Exod. 21:20, 21): If he should smite a servant's eye or tooth, he was to go forth free (Exod. 21:26, 27): If an ox should gore a manservant or a maidservant so that he died, the owner was to pay thirty shekels to his master, and the ox was to be stoned (Exod. 21:32): A servant who had escaped from his master was not to be placed in confinement, but should dwell in the place where he chose, and was not to be afflicted (Deut. 23:15, 16): A servant bought with silver, and circumcised, was to eat of the Passover (Exod. 12:44): Anyone's daughter that was bought was not to go out of service like the manservants; if she were evil, her master was not to sell her to a stranger; if she were betrothed to his son, she was to be as a daughter; if he took another, he was not to diminish her food, her raiment, nor her duty of marriage; if these things were not done, she was to go out of service without price (Exod. 21:7-12).
[8] All these laws have their origin from the laws of truth and good in heaven, and in the internal sense have reference to them; partly by correspondences, partly by representatives, and partly by significatives. But after the representatives and significatives of the church (which were the most external and lowest things of worship) had been abolished, the necessity for these laws ceased also. Now if these laws were to be unfolded from the laws of order of truth and good, and from representatives and significatives, it would be plain that nothing else was meant by "menservants" than rational and memory truths [vera rationalia et scientifica], which are lower truths, and therefore ought to serve spiritual truths; and that by "maidservants" were signified the goods of these, which being also lower, ought to serve indeed, but in another manner; and therefore certain of the laws laid down respecting maidservants differ from those laid down respecting menservants; for regarded in themselves truths are more fully servants than their goods are.
[9] By the "king's right," in Samuel, nothing else is signified in the internal sense than the "right" of truth, and likewise the "right" of falsity when it begins to rule over truth and over good; as is evident from the explication of the words by which this is described:
This will be the right of the king that shall reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to him over his chariots and for his horsemen, and they shall run before his chariots; he will take your daughters for perfumers, and for cooks, and for bakers; your menservants and your maidservants and your goodliest young men and your asses will he take and put them to his work; he will take the tenth of your flock; and ye shall be for servants. And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king whom ye have chosen for you, and Jehovah will not answer you in that day (1 Sam. 8:11, 13, 16-18).
[10] That by a "king" is signified truths, may be seen above (n. 1672, 2015, 2069); thus in the opposite sense things that are not true, that is, falsities. By the "sons whom he would appoint for himself over his chariots and for his horsemen," are signified the truths of doctrine, which should be subservient to principles of falsity, which are the "chariots and horsemen." By the "daughters whom he should take for perfumers, cooks, and bakers," are signified the goods of doctrine, by which those falsities would be filled with delight; and which would be made to favor the falsities.
By the "menservants and maidservants, the young men, and the asses, by which he would do his work," are signified the things of reason and of memory-knowledge, by which those falsities would be confirmed. By the "flock of which he will take a tenth" are signified the remains of good that he would do violence to. And by their "being servants" is signified that it would come to pass that the celestial and spiritual things of the Word and of doctrine, instead of ruling, would be subservient to the confirmation of the falsities of his principles, and the evils of his cupidities. For there is nothing that cannot be injected into principles of falsity as confirmatory of them, either by a false application, by a wrong interpretation, by perversion, or by a rejection of those things which do not favor; and therefore it is added: "if ye cry out in that day because of your king whom ye have chosen for you, Jehovah will not answer in that day."


User-Contributed Related Pages

Be the First to Find a Related Page!

Add a Related Page

Translate This Page

Add Small Canon Search to Your Website

Add a Small Canon Search™ button to my Google Toolbar

Add Small Canon Search™ to my Firefox Search Bar!

Add to Google

Daily Bible Verse

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Green Hosting

5 FREE Domains with Select Hosting Plans. Get yours!