(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 4779

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4779. And put sackcloth upon his loins. That this signifies mourning for destroyed good, is evident from the signification of "putting sackcloth upon the loins," as being a representative of mourning for destroyed good. For the "loins" signify conjugial love, and hence all celestial and spiritual love (n. 3021, 3294, 4277, 4280, 4575), and this from correspondence; for as all the organs, members, and viscera of the human body correspond to the Grand Man - as has been shown at the end of the chapters - so also the loins correspond to those in the Grand Man, or heaven, who have been in genuine conjugial love; and as conjugial love is the fundamental of all loves, therefore by the "loins" is signified in general all celestial and spiritual love. From this came the rite of putting sackcloth on the loins when they mourned over good destroyed, for all good is of love.
[2] That they put sackcloth on the loins to testify to this mourning may be seen from the historic and prophetic parts of the Word, as in Amos:
I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; thus I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only-begotten, and the end thereof as a bitter day (Amos 8:10);
where "bringing up sackcloth upon all loins" denotes mourning over destroyed goods; "all loins" denotes all the goods of love. In Jonah:
The men of Nineveh believed in God, and therefore they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least. And when the word came unto the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, and laid his robe from upon him, and covered him with sackcloths, and sat on ashes. And he made proclamation, Let man and beast be covered with sackcloth (Jonah 3:5-8);
manifestly for a sign representative of mourning over the evil on account of which Nineveh was to perish; thus over destroyed good.
[3] In Ezekiel:
They shall utter a cry over thee with their voice, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cause dust to come up upon their heads, they shall roll themselves in ashes; and they shall make themselves bald for thee, and gird them with sackcloths (Ezek. 27:30-31);
said of Tyre, the particulars being representative of mourning for falsities and evils, thus for destroyed truths and goods. "To utter a cry and to cry bitterly" denotes a lamentation over falsity or destroyed truth (n. 2240); "causing dust to come up upon the head" denotes being damned on account of evil (n. 278); "rolling themselves in ashes" denotes being damned on account of falsity; "making themselves bald" denotes mourning because the natural man had no truth (n. 3301); "girding them with sackcloths" denotes mourning because it had no good. Likewise in Jeremiah:
O daughter of My people gird thyself with sackcloth, and roll thyself in ashes; make thee the mourning of an only-begotten, the wailing of bitternesses; for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us (Jer. 6:26).
The elders of the daughter of Zion shall sit in the earth, they shall keep silence, they shall cause dust to go up upon their head, they shall gird themselves with sackcloths, the virgins of Jerusalem shall cause their head to go down into the earth (Lam. 2:10);
here there are similar representatives according to the kinds of good and truth which were destroyed, as above.
[4] In Isaiah:
The prophecy concerning Moab; he shall go up to Bayith and Dibon, into the lofty places to weep; Moab shall howl over Nebo, and over Medeba; on all his heads is baldness, every beard is shaven. In his streets they have girded on sackcloth, on his housetops and in his streets he shall wholly howl, going down into weeping (Isa. 15:2-3);
"Moab" denotes those who adulterate goods (n. 2468). The mourning over this adulteration which is signified by "Moab," is described by such things as correspond to evil of this kind; and therefore almost the same occurs in Jeremiah:
Every head is baldness, and every beard shaven; upon all hands are cuttings, and upon the loins sackcloth. On all the housetops of Moab and in the streets thereof is wholly mourning (Jer. 48:37-38).
[5] When king Hezekiah heard the blasphemies which Rabshakeh spoke against Jerusalem, he rent his garments and covered himself with sackcloths (Isa. 37:1; 2 Kings 19:1); because he spoke against Jehovah, the king, and Jerusalem, wherefore there was mourning; that it was against truth is signified by his rending his garments (n. 4763); and that it was against good, by his covering himself with sackcloth. For where truth is treated of in the Word, good also is treated of, on account of the heavenly marriage which is that of good and truth and of truth and good in every particular; as also in David:
Thou hast turned my mourning into dancing; Thou hast opened my sackcloth and girded me with joy (Ps. 30:11);
here "dancing" is predicated of truths, and "joy" of goods, as also in other passages in the Word; thus "to open sackcloth" denotes to take away mourning over destroyed good.
[6] In the second book of Samuel:
David said to Joab and to all the people that were with him, Rend your garments, and gird yourselves with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner (2 Sam. 3:31);
because a wicked deed had been committed against what is true and good, it was therefore commanded by David that they should rend their garments and gird themselves with sackcloth.
So likewise because Ahab had acted contrary to what was equitable and just (in the spiritual sense contrary to truth and good), when he heard the words of Elijah that he should be cut off, he rent his garments, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went slowly (1 Kings 21:27).
[7] That sackcloth is predicated of destroyed good, is also evident in Revelation:
When he opened the sixth seal, lo there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, and the whole moon became as blood (Rev. 6:12);
an "earthquake" denotes a change of the state of the church as to good and truth (n. 3355); the "sun" denotes the good of love (n. 1529, 1530, 2441, 2495, 4060, 4300, 4696), and therefore sackcloth is predicated of it when it is destroyed; the "moon" denotes the truth of faith (1529, 1530, 2120, 2495, 4060), of which blood is predicated, because "blood" is truth falsified and profaned (n. 4735).
[8] As being clothed in sackcloth and rolling in ashes represented mourning over evils and falsities, it also represented humiliation, and likewise repentance; for the primary thing in humiliation is to acknowledge that of himself one is nothing but evil and falsity. The same is true of repentance, which is effected solely through humiliation, and this through the confession of the heart that of himself one is of such a nature. That putting on sackcloth was a token of humiliation can be seen in 1 Kings 21:27-29; and that it was of repentance, in Matthew 11:21; Luke 10:13; but that it was nothing but a representative, thus only an external thing of the body, and not an internal thing of the heart, is plain from Isaiah:
Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Jehovah? Is not this the fast that I choose, to open the bonds of wickedness, to break bread to the hungry? etc. (Isa. 58:5-7).


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