(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 5236

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5236. And there was with us there a Hebrew boy. That this signifies that because of temptation the guiltlessness of the church was rejected thither, is evident from the signification of a "boy," as being what is guiltless (of which in what follows); and from the signification of "Hebrew," as being one who is of the church (see n. 5136), thus that which is of the church. Its being rejected thither because of temptation, is signified by his being there, namely, in custody, for by the "custody" into which Joseph was put is signified a state of temptation (see n. 5036, 5037, 5039, 5044, 5045); which state has been treated of in chapters 39 and 40.
[2] The reason why a "boy" denotes guiltlessness, is that in the internal sense a "little child" denotes what is innocent; for in the Word we read of "sucklings," "little children," and "boys" (or "children"); and by them are signified three degrees of innocence, the first degree by a "suckling," the second by a "little child," and the third by a "child." But as with the "child" innocence begins to be put off, therefore by him is signified that degree of innocence called "guiltlessness." As by these three are signified three degrees of innocence, three degrees of love and charity are also signified by the same, for the reason that celestial and spiritual love, that is, love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor, cannot exist except in innocence. But be it known that the innocence of sucklings, little children, and children is only external; and that internal innocence is not possible in man till after he has been born anew, that is, becomes again as it were a suckling, a little child, and a child. It is these states that are signified in the Word by these three; for in the internal sense of the Word nothing but what is spiritual is understood; consequently none but spiritual birth, which is called rebirth and also regeneration.
[3] That the innocent quality which is called "guiltlessness" is signified by a "boy" or "child," is evident in Luke:
Jesus said, Whosoever receiveth not the kingdom of God as a child shall not enter therein (Luke 18:17);
"to receive the kingdom of God as a child" is to receive charity and faith from innocence. In Mark:
Jesus took a child and set him in the midst of them; and when He had taken him in His arms He said to them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in My name, receiveth Me (Mark 9:36-37; Luke 9:47-48);

by a "child" here is represented innocence; and one who receives this, receives the Lord, because He is the source of all innocence. Everyone can see that "to receive a child in the Lord's name" is not literally to receive a child, thus that something heavenly must be represented thereby.
[4] In Matthew:
The children cried in the temple, Hosanna to the son of David. The priests were indignant; and therefore Jesus saith to them, Did ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise? (Matt. 21:15-16; Ps. 8:2);
the children's crying "Hosanna to the son of David" was to represent that only innocence acknowledges and receives the Lord, that is, they in whom there is innocence. By "out of the mouth of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise" is signified that praise can come to the Lord by no other way than through innocence; for by this alone is effected all communication and all influx, and consequently access. It is for this reason that the Lord says:
Unless ye be converted, and become as children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of the heavens (Matt. 18:3).
[5] In the following passages also by a "boy" or "child" is signified innocence. In Zechariah:
The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof (Zech. 8:5);
speaking of the new Jerusalem, or the Lord's kingdom. In David:
Praise Jehovah, young men and maidens, old men with children (Ps. 148:12).
Jehovah reneweth thy life from the pit, He sateth thy mouth with good, so that thou renewest thy childhood like the eagle (Ps. 103:4-5).
In Joel:
They have cast a lot upon My people; because they have given a boy for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine that they have drunk (Joel 3:3).
In Jeremiah:
Through thee will I scatter man and woman, and through thee will I scatter the old man and the child, and through thee will I scatter the young man and the maid (Jer. 51:22).
In Isaiah:
Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).


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