(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 8902

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8902. Thou shalt not kill. That this signifies not to take away spiritual life from anyone, also not to extinguish faith and charity, as also not to hold the neighbor in hatred, is evident from the signification of "killing," as being to deprive of spiritual life. That "killing" means this in the internal sense, is because in this sense spiritual life, or the life of heaven with man, is treated of; and spiritual life, or the life of heaven with man, is the life of faith and of charity; therefore by "not to kill" is signified also not to extinguish faith and charity in anyone. The reason why "not to kill" is also in the internal sense not to hold the neighbor in hatred, is that he who holds in hatred continually wishes to kill, and also would kill in act unless prevented by the fear of the penalty, of the loss of life, of reputation, and the like. For hatred is of evil, is contrary to charity, and breathes nothing but the murder of him whom it hates: in the world the murder of his body; in the other life the murder of his soul. This is meant by the words of the Lord in Matthew:
Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment; but I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother rashly shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the Gehenna of fire (Matt. 5:21, 22).
Hatred against the neighbor is meant by being "angry with the brother rashly," and the degrees of its increase are described by saying to him "Raca," and by calling him "a fool" (that anger is a turning away from charity, and is from evil, thus that it is hatred, see n. 357, 4164, 5034, 5798, 5887, 5888).
[2] That in the internal sense "to kill" denotes to take away spiritual life from anyone, consequently to extinguish faith and charity, is evident from almost all the passages in the Word where a "killing," or "to kill," is mentioned, as in Isaiah:
Behold the day of Jehovah cometh, cruel, and of indignation, and of wrath, and of anger; to make the land a waste, and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. Then the stars of the heavens and the constellations thereof shall not shine with their light, the sun shall be darkened in his rising, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. I will visit the wickedness upon the world, and their iniquity upon the wicked. I will make a man more rare than pure gold, and the son of man than the gold of Ophir. Everyone that is found shall be thrust through, and everyone that is gathered shall fall by the sword. Their infants shall be dashed in pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished. Their bows shall dash the young men in pieces, their eye shall not spare sons (Isa. 13:9-12, 15, 16, 18).
The subject treated of in this passage is the last time of the church, when there is no longer any faith and charity, which time is "the day of Jehovah cruel, full of indignation, of wrath, and of anger." Everyone can see that something else is here meant than that which the words nakedly declare; but what is meant cannot be known except from the significations of the words in their spiritual sense. In this sense "the land" denotes the church (n. 566, 662, 1067, 1262, 1413, 1607, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2928, 3355, 4447, 4535, 5577, 8011, 8732); therefore "to make the land a waste, and to destroy the sinners out of it" signifies that the man of the church is then without faith and charity.
[3] "Stars" and "constellations" denote the knowledges of truth and good (see n. 2120, 2495, 2849, 4697), and these are said "not to shine with their light," when they are no longer illuminated by the light of heaven which flows in through the faith of charity. That "the sun" denotes love to the Lord, and "the moon" faith in Him, see n. 2120, 2441, 2494, 3636, 3643, 4060, 4321, 4696, 5097, 5377, 7078, 7083, 7171, 7173, 8644, 8812; therefore "the sun being darkened in his rising," signifies that love to the Lord cannot arise with man; and "the moon not causing her light to shine," signifies that neither can charity and faith arise, thus that man cannot any longer be regenerated.
[4] "To make a man more rare than pure gold, and the son of man than the gold of Ophir," signifies that good is no longer seen, nor truth; for by "man" is signified the good of the church (n. 4287, 8547), and by "the son of man" truth from good, in the supreme sense the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord (n. 1729, 1733, 2813, 3704). That "everyone found shall be thrust through" signifies that all will perish by reason of the evil of falsity; and that "everyone that is gathered shall fall by the sword" signifies that they will perish by reason of falsity (that "to be thrust through" denotes to perish by reason of the evil of falsity, see n. 4503; also that "to fall by the sword" denotes to perish by reason of falsity, n. 2799, 4499, 7102, 8294).
[5] The "infants being dashed in pieces" signifies that they will utterly extinguish innocence, for "infants" denote innocence (n. 430, 2126, 3183, 3494, 5608). The "wives being ravished" signifies that the goods of truth will be perverted by the evils of falsity, for "wives" denote the goods of truth (n. 2517, 4510, 4823, 7022), and "to be ravished" denotes to be perverted (see n. 2466, 4865). That "their bows shall dash the young men in pieces" signifies that the truths of good will perish through the doctrines of falsity from evil; for a "bow" denotes the doctrine of truth, and in the opposite sense the doctrine of falsity (n. 2686, 6422, 8800); "young men" denote truths confirmed (n. 7668). "And their eye shall not spare sons" signifies that he who understands truths will nevertheless extinguish them, for "sons" denote truths (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2803, 2813, 3373, 4257, 5542); and "the eye" denotes the understanding of truth (n. 2701, 4403-4421, 4523-4534). From all this it is now clear what is meant by the above prophetic words, namely, that when the church arrives at its end, all truth and all good will perish. It is also evident from what has been said, that "to be thrust through," "to be dashed in pieces," in a word "to be killed," denotes the extinction of faith and charity.
[6] In Jeremiah:
Drag them away like a sheep for the slaughter, and destine them for the day of killing. How long shall the land mourn, and the herb of every field wither? For the wickedness of them that dwell therein, the beasts shall be consumed and the bird (Jer. 12:3, 4).
"The day of killing" here denotes the time of the vastated church, which is its last time, when there is no longer faith because there is no charity; "the land shall mourn" denotes the church; "the herb of every field shall wither" denotes that every truth of the church will do so; "the beasts and the bird shall be consumed" denotes that goods and truths will be so. (That "the land" denotes the church, see just above; that "the herb of the field" denotes the truth of the church, see n. 7571; that "the field" denotes the church, n. 2971, 3310, 3766; that "beasts" denote goods and the affections of good, n. 45, 46, 142, 143, 246, 714, 715, 719, 1823, 2179, 2180, 3218, 3519, 5198; that "birds" denote truths and the affections of truth, n. 5149, 7441.) From all this it can be seen what is the internal sense of these words, and also that what is spiritual and holy of the church and of heaven is in all the particulars; and that without the internal sense it would not in any wise be understood what is meant by "the day of killing," by that "the earth shall mourn," that "every herb of the field shall wither," and that "the beasts and the bird shall then be consumed."
[7] In Zechariah:
Thus said Jehovah thy God, Feed the sheep of the killing, whose possessors kill them, and do not own themselves guilty (Zech. 11:4, 5);
where "the sheep of the killing" denote those who are in simple good, in whom the truths of faith are extinguished, not by their own fault, but by the fault of those who teach.
[8] In Isaiah:
In those that are to come shall Jacob take root; Israel shall blossom and flower; so that the faces of the world shall be filled with produce. Hath he smitten him according to the stroke of him that smote? is he killed according to the slaughter of his killed? (Isa. 27:6, 7).
Behold, Jehovah cometh forth out of His place to visit the iniquity of the land; then shall the land uncover its bloods, and shall not hide its killed (Isa. 26:21).
Here also in the internal sense the subject treated of is the last time of the church, when a new church shall be resuscitated, the old perishing. "Jacob" denotes those who are in the external of the church; "Israel" those who are in the internal; "the faces of the world" denote the church in general; "the land" denotes the old church; "the killed" those in whom there is no faith because no charity.
[9] In the same:
Thou art cast forth out of thy sepulcher like an abominable shoot, a vestment of the killed, thrust through with the sword. Thou shalt not be united with them in the grave, because thou hast destroyed thy land, thou hast killed thy people (Isa. 14:19, 20).
"The killed" denote those who have been deprived of spiritual life; "thou hast killed thy people" denotes the destruction of the truths and goods of faith. Babel is here treated of, by which is signified the profanation of good (n. 1182, 1283, 1295, 1306-1308, 1321, 1322, 1326), and also its vastation (n. 1327).
[10] In Jeremiah:
I have heard the voice of the daughter of Zion, she sigheth, she spreadeth out her hands, saying, Woe is me now, for my soul is wearied because of killers. Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see I pray, and know, and seek in the avenues thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that doeth judgment, that seeketh truth (Jer. 4:31; 5:1).
"The daughter of Zion" denotes the celestial church; "killers," those who destroy goods and truths; "a man who doeth judgment," denotes those who are in truths from good.
[11] In Ezekiel:
Ye have profaned Me among My people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to kill the souls that should not die, and to keep the souls alive that should not live (Ezek. 13:19).
"To kill souls" here plainly denotes to take away spiritual life. As "killing" had also this signification, therefore it was one of the curses upon Mount Ebal, "to slay one's companion in secret, and to take a gift to kill the soul innocent of blood" (Deut. 27:24, 25).
[12] Again:
In the consummation of the age they shall deliver you into tribulation, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all the nations for My name's sake (Matt. 24:9).
Jesus said to His disciples, The hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you shall think that he offereth holy worship to God; and these things will they do, because they know not the Father, nor Me (John 16:2, 3).
In these passages also by "killing" is signified to deprive of spiritual life, that is, of faith and charity; for by "the disciples" are signified all things of the truth and good of faith and charity (n. 3488, 3858, 6397). That the disciples to whom the Lord spoke are not here meant, is evident from the fact that the subject treated of is the consummation of the age, when the Lord is to come in the clouds of heaven, concerning which the disciples had asked, and by which is meant the last time of the church, when the disciples would not be alive (see n. 3488).
[13] In like manner in Mark:
Brother shall deliver up brother to death, and the father his children; children shall rise up against parents, and shall kill them (Mark 13:12).
Here also the last times are treated of, and by "killing" here also is signified to deprive of the truths and goods which are of faith and charity, thus of spiritual life.
[14] In Luke:
I will send unto them prophets and apostles; but some of them they shall kill and persecute; from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zachariah the prophet it shall be required of this generation (Luke 11:49, 51).
"Prophets and apostles" denote in the spiritual sense the truths and goods of the church; "to kill" denotes to extinguish them; "the blood of Abel" denotes the extinction of charity. (That "prophets" denote the truths of doctrine from the Word, see n. 2534, 7269; and that "the blood of Abel" denotes the extinction of charity, n. 374.)
[15] In like manner in John:
The blood of saints, and of prophets, and of the killed, was found in Babylon (Rev. 18:24);
where also "the blood of saints and of prophets" denotes the extinction of the good and truth of faith and charity, and "the killed" denote those who have perished as to spiritual life. (That "blood" denotes violence done to charity, as well as all evil in general, n. 374, 1005; as also, specifically, the profanation of truth, n. 4735, 6978, 7317, 7326.)
[16] As by one "killed," or "thrust through," is signified the extinction of good and truth, and as all things which were instituted in the Jewish Church were representative of the spiritual and celestial things in the Lord's kingdom, and in the supreme sense, of the Divine things in the Lord, therefore when one was found lying in the field thrust through, the following procedure of expiation for the people was commanded, namely:
They were to measure toward the cities from him that was lying in the field thrust through, and the elders of the nearest city were to take a she-calf of an ox, by which no labor had yet been done, and upon which there had not yet been a yoke, and were to bring her down to a rapid stream, and the priests, the sons of Levi, were to behead her there, and then the elders of the city were to wash their hands over the calf, and were to say that their hands had not shed that blood, neither had their eyes seen it, and that thus the blood would be expiated (Deut. 21:1-8).
Who would ever know why such a procedure was instituted on account of one lying in the field thrust through, unless it were known from the internal sense what is signified by "one in a field thrust through," by "the nearest city," by "a calf," by "a rapid stream," by "the washing of hands," and by the other things there mentioned? By "one in the field thrust through" is signified truth and good extinguished (n. 4503); by "field," the church (n. 2971, 3310, 3766); by "city," the doctrine of truth (n. 402, 2449, 2943, 3216, 4492, 4493); by "the elders of the city," truths agreeing with good (n. 6524, 6525, 8578, 8585); by "a calf upon which there had not yet been a yoke," truth not as yet confirmed (what "a calf" signifies, see n. 1824, 1825); by "washing the hands over the calf at a rapid stream" is signified purification from that evil, because done from the immoderate zeal of one ignorant of what truth is.
[17] From the above, as from the other passages, it can be seen what and how great arcana are contained in the particulars of the Word, which will not appear even as arcana if it is believed that the sense of the letter is the whole of the Word; and thus it will not be believed that anything more holy and heavenly lies inwardly hidden therein; when yet the sense of the letter is for man in the world, that is, for the natural man; while the internal sense is for man in heaven, that is, for the spiritual man. Hence it is plain what is involved in the commandment "not to kill," namely, that not only is man not to be killed as to the body, but also that he is not to be killed as to the soul; thus that he is not only not to be deprived of life in the world, but especially that he is not to be deprived of life in heaven. If this commandment had not involved within it at the same time this meaning, it would not have been pronounced by Jehovah Himself, that is, the Lord, in a living voice upon Mount Sinai with so great a miracle; for all peoples and nations know without immediate revelation, and moreover their laws decree, that man is not to be killed, as also that adultery, theft, and false witness are not to be committed. Neither is it to be believed that the Israelitish nation was so stupid as alone to be ignorant of what all other nations on the globe know. But the revealed Word, being from the Divine Itself, over and above this stores up in its bosom higher and more universal things, namely, such things as are of heaven, thus which not only concern the life of the body, but which also concern the life of the soul, or eternal life. Herein the Word differs from, is separated from, and is preeminent over, all other writing.


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