(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 4169

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4169. Thy sheep and thy she-goats have not cast their young. That this signifies its state as to good and the good of truth, is evident from the signification of a "sheep," as being good (concerning which in what follows); and from the signification of a "she-goat," as being the good of truth (see n. 3995, 4006). By "good" simply so called is meant the good of the will; but by the "good of truth" is meant the good of the understanding. The good of the will is to do good from good; but the good of the understanding is to do good from truth. To those who do good from truth these two appear to be one and the same thing; but yet they differ much from each other; for to do good from good is to do it from the perception of good, and the perception of good exists solely with the celestial; whereas to do good from truth is to do it from memory-knowledge and the consequent understanding; but without the perception that it is so; and only because we have been so instructed by others, or by our own intellectual faculty have of ourselves arrived at the conclusion in question. This may indeed be a fallacious truth, but still if it has good as its end, that which the man does from this truth becomes as good.
[2] That "sheep" signify goods, may be seen from many passages in the Word, of which the following only shall be adduced. In Isaiah:
He was afflicted, and He opened not His mouth; He is led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers, and He opened not His mouth (Isa. 53:7);
concerning the Lord, where He is compared to a sheep, not from truth, but from good. In Matthew:
Jesus said to the twelve whom He sent out, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 10:5-6);
the "Gentiles to whom they should not go," denote those who are in evils. (That the "Gentiles" denote evils may be seen above, n. 1259, 1260, 1849.) The "cities of the Samaritans" denote those who are in falsities; "sheep," those who are in goods.
[3] In John:
Jesus after His resurrection said to Peter, Feed My lambs; the second time He said, Feed My sheep; and the third time, Feed My sheep (John 21:15-17);
"lambs" here denote those who are in innocence; "sheep" as first mentioned, those who are in good from good; and "sheep" as last mentioned, those who are in good from truth. In Matthew:
When the Son of man shall come in His glory, He shall set the sheep on His right hand, and the goats on His left; and He shall say unto them on His right hand, Come ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was a hungered, and ye gave Me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me to drink; I was a stranger, and ye took Me in; I was naked, and ye clothed Me; I was sick, and ye visited Me; I was in prison, and ye came unto Me. Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye did it unto Me (Matt. 25:31-40);
that "sheep" here denote goods (that is, those who are in good) is very evident. All kinds of the goods of charity are here contained in the internal sense, as of the Lord's Divine mercy will be shown elsewhere. By "he-goats" are specifically signified those who are in faith and in no charity.
[4] In like manner in Ezekiel:
As for you, O My flock, saith the Lord Jehovih, behold I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams of the sheep, and the he-goats (Ezek. 34:17);
that the "he-goats" are specifically those who are in the faith of no charity, may be seen from the signification of "he-goats," as being in a good sense those who are in the truth of faith, and thence in some charity; but in the opposite sense, those who are in the faith of no charity, and who reason concerning salvation from the starting point that faith saves. The same appears also from what the Lord says concerning the goats in Matthew, as cited above. But they who are in no truth of faith, and at the same time in no good of charity, are carried away into hell without such a judgment, that is, without any conviction that they are in falsity.


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