(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 4769

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4769. And killed a he-goat of the goats. That this signifies external truths from delights, is evident from the signification in the Word of a "he-goat of the goats" as being natural truths, that is, truths of the external man from which are the delights of life; and as also being external truths derived from delights, of which hereafter. The truths of the external man, from which are the delights of life, are Divine truths such as those of the literal sense of the Word, from which truths the doctrinals of a genuine church are derived; these truths are properly signified by a "he-goat" and the delights from them are signified by "goats;" thus by a "he-goat of the goats" in the genuine sense, are signified those who are in such truths and in delights therefrom. In the opposite sense however, by a "he-goat of the goats" are signified those who are in external truths (that is, in appearances of truth derived from the sense of the letter) which are in agreement with the delights of their life, such as the delights of the body, which in general are called pleasures, and the delights of the lower mind, which in general are honors and gains. Such persons are signified by a "he-goat of the goats" in the opposite sense. In a word, by a "he-goat of the goats" in this sense are signified those who are in faith separate from charity, for these select from the Word those truths only which are in agreement with the delights of their life, that is, which favor the loves of self and the world. The other truths they bring into conformity by interpretations, and thereby present falsities as appearances of truth.
[2] That a "he-goat of the goats" signifies those who are in faith separate, is evident from Daniel:
Behold a he-goat of the goats came from the west over the faces of the whole earth, and touched not the earth; and the he-goat had a horn of aspect between his eyes. Out of one of the four horns came forth a little horn, and it grew exceedingly toward the south, and toward the east, and toward comeliness. Yea it grew even to the army of the heavens; and some of the army and of the stars it cast down to the earth, and trampled upon them; and it cast down truth unto the earth (Dan. 8:5, 9-10, 12);
the subject here treated of is the state of the church in general, not only the state of the Jewish Church, but also that of the following, which is the Christian Church; for the Word of the Lord is universal. The "he-goat of the goats" in respect to the Jewish Church, signifies those who made nothing of internal truths, but accepted external truths so far as they favored their loves, which were that they might be the greatest and the wealthiest. For this reason they recognized the Christ or Messiah whom they were expecting, simply as a king, who would exalt them above all the nations and peoples in the whole world, and would make these subject to them as vilest slaves; this was the source of their love for Him. They did not at all know what love toward the neighbor was, except that it was conjunction by participation in such honor, and through gain.
[3] But the "he-goat of the goats" in respect to the Christian Church signifies those who are in external truths from delights, that is, who are in faith separate; for these also care nothing for internal truths, and if they teach them it is only that they may thereby win reputation, be exalted to honors, and acquire gain. These are the delights which are in their hearts while truths are in their mouth. Moreover, by wrong interpretations they force the truths which are of genuine faith to favor their loves. Hence it is evident what is signified in the internal sense by the above words in Daniel-namely, that by a "he-goat of the goats" are signified those who are in faith separate. The he-goat's coming from the west denotes from evil (that the "west" denotes evil may be seen above, n. 3708). His coming over the face of the whole earth, not touching the earth, denotes that he came over the whole church; for by the "earth" in the Word nothing else is meant than the land where the church is, thus the church (n. 566, 662, 1068, 1262, 1413, 1607, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2928, 3355, 4447, 4453). The "horns" which he had are powers from falsity (n. 2832). The "horn of aspect between the eyes" is power from reasoning about the truths of faith, as may be seen from what was shown concerning the eye (n. 4403-4421, 4523-4534). The "one horn which grew toward the south, the east, and comeliness" is power from faith separate growing even toward those things which are states of the light of heaven, and states of good and truth. That the "south" is a state of light may be seen above (n. 3708), and that the "east" is a state of good (n. 1250, 3249, 3708); that "comeliness" is a state of truth is evident from the Word here and there. Its "growing even to the army of the heavens, and casting down to the earth some of the army and of the stars, and trampling upon them" denotes that it did so with the knowledges of good and truth. (That the "army of the heavens" and the "stars" are the knowledges of good and truth may be seen above, n. 4697.) From this is known what is meant by "casting down truth unto the earth" namely, the casting down of real faith, which in itself is charity; for faith has regard to charity, because it proceeds from charity. That which in the Ancient Church was called truth, in the new church is called faith (n. 4690).
[4] The "he-goat" has a similar signification in Ezekiel:
Behold I judge between small cattle and small cattle, between the rams and the he-goats. Is it a small thing to you that ye eat up the good pasture, and trample with your feet the residue of your pastures? Ye drink the settling of the waters, the remains ye disturb with your feet; ye strike with your horns all the infirm till ye have scattered them abroad (Ezek. 34:17-18, 21);
in this passage also by "he-goats" are signified those who are in faith separate, that is, who set doctrine before life, and at last have no care about life; when yet life, and not doctrine separate, makes the man; and the life remains after death, but not doctrine except insofar as it partakes of the life. Of these it is said that they "eat up the good pasture, and trample with their feet the residue of the pastures;" and that they "drink the settling of the waters, and disturb the remains with their feet;" also that they "strike the infirm with their horns till they have scattered them."
[5] From all this it is now evident who are meant by the "he-goats" and who by the "sheep" of whom the Lord speaks in Matthew:
Before Him shall be gathered all nations, and He shall separate them one from another as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the he-goats; and He shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the he-goats on the left, etc. (Matt. 25:32-33);
that the "sheep" are they who are in charity and thence in the truths of faith, and that the "he-goats" are they who are in no charity, although in the truths of faith, that is, who are in faith separate, is clear from the particulars, in which such persons are described.
[6] Who and of what quality are those who are in faith separate and are meant by "he-goats" may be seen from the two following passages:
"Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of the heavens; but he that doeth the will of My Father who is in the heavens. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied by Thy name, and by Thy name cast out demons, and in Thy name done many mighty works? And then will I confess unto them, I know you not; depart from Me ye workers of iniquity" (Matt. 7:19-23).
And in Luke:
"Then will ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us; but He shall answer and say to you, I know you not whence ye are. Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk before Thee, and Thou hast taught in our streets. But He shall say, I tell you I know you not whence ye are; depart from Me all ye workers of iniquity" (Luke 13:25-27).
These are they who are in faith separate, and are called "he-goats." But what "he-goats" signify in a good sense-as those used in sacrifices and occasionally mentioned in the prophets-will of the Lord's Divine mercy be told elsewhere.


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