COUNTRIES >> Spiritual Qualities and States of their Inhabitants

EGYPT, ASSYRIA, ISRAEL >> Natural, Rational, Spiritual

mapp1 When we hear the names of countries, France, Brazil, China, Africa, do we think of anything besides the mountains and plains and rivers and other geographical features of  the countries? A botanist thinks of the flowers, an entomologist thinks of the insects which are found there; most of us think rather of the people and of the kind of domestic and social life which exists in each country. Suppose countries should be named to angels, on what would their thought rest? On the kind of belief in the Lord which is found there, and the kind of good life which the people live. (AC 10568) So when we read the Bible to learn its spiritual lessons, the names of countries will suggest the spiritual qualities which have been characteristic of the inhabitants of those countries. (AC 7278; AE 21; AR 11) Further than this, we shall in some cases see that the natural features of Bible lands were so formed as to be representative of the states of their inhabitants. (AC 1585)

Suppose we should select a country, among those of Bible-times, to stand as a type of a genuine spiritual, heavenly life; what country would it be? It could only be the Holy Land, where innocent people lived in the Golden and Silver Ages, where the Word of the Lord was spoken by prophets, and where the Lord Himself lived. Every one accepts that land as a type of a heavenly state of life, and speaks of journeying to the heavenly Canaan. (AC 1413, 3686, 4447) There is so much of interest to learn about the Holy Land and its representative character, that we shall reserve it for our next lesson. Other countries near to Palestine, we should expect to learn, represent states of life and faculties not in themselves heavenly; sometimes hostile to heavenly life, sometimes its useful servants. Let us think especially of Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon.

Do you know something of the character of the ancient Egyptians? Their country was the great storehouse of knowledge, especially of knowledge of correspondences, which formed the basis of their hieroglyphics. The Egyptians were not people of spiritual perception, but, like a great memory for the world, they stored up the knowledge handed down from wiser days. Egypt, in the Bible, means especially this knowledge of spiritual things, not intelligently perceived, but laid away as matters of memory. (AC 4964, 10437; AE 650, 654; AR 503) A familiar verse in Deuteronomy points to this quality of Egypt, and also shows how even the natural features of the country are representative. "For the land, whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowest thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot as a garden of herbs: but the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven." (Deut. xi. 10, 11; Chapter 28) These words contrast a natural state of mind which draws its truth of life from the reservoirs of memory and the streams of tradition, with a spiritual state which is open to heaven and has perception of truth from the Lord. The Egyptians were without perception, but drew their learning from tradition; in one of their oldest books which is preserved to us, they refer to "the wisdom of the ancients." So their country was without the rain of heaven, and depended for its water upon a stream of remote and unknown sources. (AC 2702, 5196; AE 644)

You remember that Egypt was the storehouse for grain to which Palestine looked in times of famine. Abraham went down into Egypt when the famine was grievous in Pales tine. (Gen. xii. 10) And later, "All countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands." (Gen. xli. 57) So in times of spiritual drought and famine, when there is little perception of truth and little satisfaction in good life, we must depend on what we have learned and have laid away in memory. There is a stage in life, before more spiritual perception is developed, when we eagerly learn and remember all kinds of natural knowledge. Children are in this stage of development when they ask so many eager questions about everything they see, and when they easily learn the literal lessons of the Word. It is this stage of life which is described in the story of Abraham; and childhood's hunger for natural knowledge is especially meant by the grievous famine which brought him into Egypt. In the deepest sense this famine and this going into Egypt represent our Lord's need of instruction as a child, especially from the letter of the Word. (AC 1460-1462, 5376) This stage in the life of everyone, and especially in our Lord's life, is referred to in the words: "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt." (Hosea xi. 1; PP; AC 1462, 4964; AE 654) And the same state is represented by our Lord's sojourn as a little child in Egypt, which came to pass, the Gospel tells us, "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son." (Matt. ii. 15; AC 1462; AE 654; AR 503)

In many places in the Bible we know that Egypt has a less good meaning. The learning of Egypt became in time perverted into idolatry and magic, and ministered to all kinds of natural evil indulgence. Egypt therefore often stands for a merely natural state and natural evils of all kinds. (AC 6692, 10407, 10437; AE 654; AR 503) This is the Egypt where we all come into bondage, and from which we need the Lord's deliverance. This is the Egypt of which we think when we hear the words: "I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." (Exod. xx. 2; AC 8866, 6666) "Woe unto them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD. . . . Now the Egyptians are men, and not God." (Isa. xxxi. 1, 3, xxxvi. 6) How feeble a stay in temptation are learning and one's own natural intelligence! (D. Life 30; AC 9818; AE 355, 654; AR 298)

"Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt thou hast cast out the heathen and planted it." (Ps. lxxx. 8) This Psalm recalls the story of the Exodus, and it tells also of our deliverance. It reminds us too that we, and even the Lord in His human life, must advance from natural knowledge into spiritual intelligence. (AR 503; AC 1462, 3142, 5 113; AE 405, 654)

Another country often named with Egypt and Israel is Assyria, whose capital was Nineveh on the Tigris, and which in the height of its power conquered and ruled a large part of south-western Asia. Assyria, we are taught, represents the rational understanding. (AC 1186; AE 654; AR 444)

We know from history hardly enough of the character of the Assyrians to see their fitness to represent this faculty, but we find a hint of it in the careful system of satraps and officers of special departments of government, by which they ruled their large and widely scattered dominions. Assyria is said to have been the first nation to consolidate its Provinces into one empire. This is one manifestation of the rational faculty which delights to see the true relation of things and their logical connection. No doubt as we learn more of the Assyrians we shall find other evidences of rational development.

Do you remember the correspondence of the cedar of Lebanon? (Chapter 27) If so, you will see the meaning of this comparison: "Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him." (Ezek. xxxi. 3-9; AC 119, 9489)

But we are not surprised to find Assyria sometimes an enemy to the Lord's people; and it was the nation which finally led into captivity the northern kingdom, Israel; for the rational faculty may become self-confident and may use its reason to make the false appear true. It is then the special enemy of spiritual intelligence which is represented by Israel. (2 Kings xvii. 6; AC 1189) "I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent." (Isa. x. 12, 13; AC 1186, 5044, 10227)

We find both Egypt and Assyria restored to their orderly place, in the prophecy: "In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: whole the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance." (Isa. xix. 23-25) Knowledge and reason shall serve spiritual intelligence which shall fill them both with blessing. (AC 119, 1186, 2588, 6047; HH 307; TCR 200; PP; AE 313, 340, 585)

Babylon, or Babel, is mentioned early in Genesis (x) where also the names Nineveh and Asshur (Assyria) are found, and Mizraim, which is the ancient name of Egypt. Still earlier, in the description of Eden, we read of Ethiopia and Assyria. (Gen. ii. 13, 14) Babylon is also named in the Revelation (xviii) , and Egypt too. (xi. 8) The occurrence of the names in chapters which are not literal history but Divine allegory, suggests that wherever in the Bible they are used, they stand, as they evidently do here, for elements of human character. (AC i 18, 1185; AR 503; AE 654; LJ 54) What element of character is represented by Babylon? We may form an idea from the glimpse of Babylon given by the prophet Daniel. King Nebuchadnezzar "walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spake and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?" (Dan. iv. 29, 30) And later, king Darius issued a decree that whosoever should ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of the king, he should be cast into the den of lions. (Dan. vi. 7) These passages show supreme and haughty self-love, a desire to rule over others, body and soul. Chapter v., describing Belshazzar's feast, adds to this the abuse of sacred things to minister to selfish gratification. In a "proverb against the king of Babylon," it is written: "Thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. . . . I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High." (Isa, xiv. 13, 14) All these things prepare us to find Babylon used in the Word as a type of supreme self-love, and the desire to rule over others especially by means of the holy things of the church. (AC 1326; LJ 54; AE 1029; AR 717)

We read in Genesis: "And they said one to another, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name." And the city was called Babel. (Gen. xi. 4,9) In these words we are told of the beginning of self-love with its ambition to be great in earth and heaven. And it was self-love which made men's interests clash and their views conflict, which is meant by the confusion of tongues. (AC 1307, 1326; AR 717)

Babylon was the enemy which carried Judah captive, as Assyria had taken Israel. (2 Kings xxv. 1-7) Do we see the meaning of this fact when we know that Israel represents the spiritual intelligence and Judah the celestial affection of the heavenly life? (Chapter xxxix) Just as the perverted reason is the enemy of intelligence, so is self-love with its desires for rule and indulgence the enemy which, if it can, overpowers the heavenly affections. (AE 811, 1029) Think of this spiritual bondage in a state of life far away from that which the Lord would have us enjoy, when you read the sad Psalm of the exiles: "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept when we remembered Zion." (Ps. cxxxvii.; AE 518, 411; AC 3024)

Finally, turn to the Revelation and read of the overthrow of Babylon. "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen." (Rev. xviii) Babylon here is the same self-love and passion for dominion, especially that love grown strong in the Roman Catholic Church. Its power has been overthrown in the spiritual world, and it will never again have the same power in the church nor in men's hearts. (LJ 53-64; AR 753-802; AE 1090-1194)


rcoun1tries It shall now be said what is signified by "Egypt" in the Word. "Egypt" signifies the natural man in conjunction with the spiritual, and thus the affection of truth and thence science and intelligence; but, in the opposite sense, it signifies the natural man separated from the spiritual, and then the pride of one's own intelligence, and thence insanity in spiritual things. "Egypt" signifies the natural man in conjunction with the spiritual, and then the affection of truth, and thence science and intelligence, in the following passages:

In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt swear to Jehovah of Hosts. In that day shall there be an altar to Jehovah in the midst of the land of Egypt; then shall Jehovah be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know Jehovah in that day (Isa. 19:18-21).

In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt into Assyria, that Assyria may come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians may serve with Assyria. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land; whom Jehovah of Hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance (Isa. 19:23-25).

Egypt there is the natural, Assyria is the rational, and Israel is the spiritual; these three make the man of the church. Hence the king of Egypt was called "the son of the wise," "the son of the kings of antiquity"; and Egypt was called "the cornerstone of the tribes" (Isaiah 19:11, 13); and it is said of Solomon that:

His wisdom excelled the wisdom of the Egyptians (1 Kings 4:30). And that he took pharaoh's daughter to wife, and brought her into the city of David (1 Kings 3:1).
And that he built Pharaoh's daughter a house near the porch (1 Kings 7:8).

[2] For the same reason also:

Joseph was carried into Egypt, and was there made the ruler over all the land (Gen. 41:37-57).

Since "Egypt" signified the natural man as to the affection of truth and thence science and intelligence, therefore:

Joseph, the husband of Mary, being warned of an angel, departed into Egypt with the infant Lord (Matt. 2:14, 15).

According to the prediction:

When Israel was a boy then I loved him, and called My son out of Egypt (Hos. 11:1).
Thou hast caused a vine to come out of Egypt, Thou hast planted it, and didst cause it to take deep root (Ps. 80:8, 9).

For man is born natural, becomes rational, and afterwards spiritual, thus the vine out of Egypt is planted and takes root. For the sake of this representation also:

Abraham journeyed into Egypt (Gen. 12:10, and following verses).
And Jacob was commanded to go with his sons into Egypt, and also abode there (Gen. 46 and following chapters).
Thence, also, the land of Canaan, by which the church is signified, is described as to its extent:
As far as the river of Egypt (Gen. 15:18; 1 Kings 4:21; Micah 7:12).

And Egypt is compared:

To the garden of Eden, the garden of God (Ezek. 31:2, 8; Gen. 13:10).
And the sciences of the natural man are called:
The desirable things of Egypt (Dan. 11:43).
And fine linen in needlework from Egypt (Ezek. 27:7; besides other passages, where Egypt is favorably spoken of; as in Isa. 27:12-13; Ezek. 29:13-16; 31:1-18; Hos. 11:11; Zech. 10:10-11; 14:16-18; Ps. 68:31-32; Isa. 19:23-24).

[3] But "Egypt" in the opposite sense signifies the natural man separated from the spiritual, and then the pride of his own intelligence, and thence insanity in spiritual things, in these passages:

Because the heart of Pharaoh is lifted up in his height, and he hath put his top among the thick boughs, strangers shall cut him off, and cast him down. In the day that thou shalt go down into hell, I will cover the deep over him, and thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised (Ezek. 31:10, 18).
The foundations of Egypt shall be overturned; the pride of his strength shall come down; and his cities shall be devastated in the midst of the desolate cities. I will give fire in Egypt, and I will disperse Egypt among the nations, and scatter them in the lands (Ezek. 30:1 to the end).

Woe to them that go down into Egypt for help, and look not to the Holy One of Israel; for Egypt is man, and not God; and its horses are flesh and not spirit (Isa. 31:1, 3).

Egypt ascendeth as a river; it saith, I will ascend, I will cover the earth, and I will destroy: come up, ye horses; rage, ye chariots; the sword shall devour you, and shall be made drunk with blood; there is no healing to thee (Jer. 46:2, 8-11).

How say ye to Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, and the son of the kings of antiquity? where now are thy wise men? let them know: the princes of Zoan have become foolish; they have seduced Egypt, the cornerstone of the tribes; there shall be no work for Egypt, that it may make the head and the tail (Isa. 19:1-17).

Prophesy against Egypt: O great whale, that liest in the midst of thy rivers; because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it myself; therefore I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will make the fish of thy rivers to stick to thy scales, and I will leave thee in the wilderness: and therefore shall the land of Egypt become a desert and a waste (Ezek. 29:1-12). Besides other places, as Isa. 30:2, 7; Jer. 2:17, 28, 36; 42:13-18; Ezek. 16:26, 28-29; 23:2-33; Hos. 7:11, 13, 16; 9:1, 3, 6; 11:5; 12:1; Joel 3:19; Lam. 5:2, 4, 6, 8; Deut. 17:16; 1 Kings 14:25, 26; 2 Kings 18:21.

[4] Because the Egyptians had become such, therefore they were devastated as to all the goods and truths of the church. Their devastations are described by the miracles performed there, which were plagues, and signified so many lusts of the natural man separated from the spiritual, which acts solely from one's own intelligence and the pride thereof. The plagues significative of his lusts were that:

The waters in the river were turned into blood, insomuch that the fish died, and the river stank (Exod. 7:17-18).
That from the rivers and pools frogs were produced over the land of Egypt; that the dust of the earth was turned into lice; that swarms of noxious flies were sent (Exod. 8:3-4, 17-18).
That boils breaking forth with pustules were brought upon man and beast; that it rained hail mingled with fire (Exod. 9:8-10).
That locusts were sent; that there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt (Exod. 10:4-6, 13-15).
That all the first-born in the land of Egypt died (Rev. 11:4-6).
And, finally, that the Egyptians were drowned in the Red Sea (Exod. 14:28).

By these hell is signified. What these things specifically signify, may be seen in The Arcana Coelestia, where they are explained. Hence it is evident, what is meant by "the plagues and diseases of Egypt" (Deut. 7:15; 28:60); what by "being drowned by the river of Egypt" (Amos 8:8; 9:5); and whence it is that Egypt is called "the land of bondage" (Micah 6:4); "the land of Ham" (Ps. 106:22); also "the iron furnace" (Deut. 4:20; 1 Kings 8:51).

[5] The reason why "Egypt" signifies not only intelligence but also insanity in spiritual things, is because the Ancient Church, which extended through many kingdoms of Asia, was also in Egypt, at which time the Egyptians excelled all others in cultivating the science of correspondences between spiritual things and natural, as appears from their hieroglyphics. But when that science was turned by them into magic, and became idolatrous, then their intelligence in things spiritual became insanity; for which reason, "Egypt," in the opposite sense, signifies such insanity. From what has been said, it may now be seen, what is meant by "the great city which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt." [AC503]

And he said, Thy name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel. That this signifies the Divine celestial spiritual now, and that "Israel" is the celestial spiritual man which is in the natural, and thus is natural; and that the celestial spiritual man itself, which is rational is "Joseph," is evident from what follows concerning Jacob and concerning Israel, and also concerning Joseph; for it must first be told what is here meant by the celestial spiritual. It is indeed known in the church at the present day that there is a spiritual man and a natural man, or an internal man and an external man; but what the spiritual or internal man is, is not yet so well known; and still less what the celestial man is, and that it is distinct from the spiritual; and as this is not known, it cannot be known what the celestial spiritual man is, which here is "Israel," and therefore this must be briefly told.

[2] That there are three heavens, is known, namely, an inmost heaven, a middle, and an ultimate; or what is the same, a third, a second, and a first. The inmost or third heaven is celestial; for the angels there are called celestial because they are in love to the Lord, and are therefore most fully conjoined with the Lord, and are consequently in wisdom above all the rest, are innocent, and hence are called innocences and wisdoms. These angels are distinguished into the internal and the external, the internal being more celestial than the external. The middle or second heaven is spiritual; for the angels there are called spiritual because they are in charity toward the neighbor, that is, in mutual love, which is such that the one loves the other more than himself; and because they are such they are in intelligence, and are hence called intelligences. These angels are also distinguished into the internal and the external, the internal being more spiritual than the external. The ultimate or first heaven is likewise celestial and spiritual, but not in the same degree as the prior ones; for what is natural adheres to these angels, and they are therefore called the celestial natural and the spiritual natural. These also are in mutual love, yet do not love others more than themselves, but as themselves. They are in the affection of good and knowledge of truth, and are likewise distinguished into the internal and the external.

[3] But what the celestial spiritual is, shall also be briefly told. Those are called the celestial spiritual who were said just above to be the spiritual, and they are in the middle or second heaven; they are termed "celestial" from mutual love, and "spiritual" from the derivative intelligence. The internal angels there are those who are represented by Joseph, and are also called "Joseph" in the Word; but the external there are those who are represented by Israel, and are also called "Israel" in the Word. The former (that is, the internal angels who are called "Joseph") partake of the rational; but the external who are called "Israel," partake of the natural, for these are midway between the rational and the natural. This is the reason why it is said that Israel is the celestial spiritual man which is in the natural, and thus is natural; and that Joseph is the celestial spiritual man itself, which is rational. For in the universal sense all the good which is of love and charity is called celestial, and all the derivative truth of faith and intelligence is said to be spiritual.

[4] These things have been stated in order that it may be known what "Israel" denotes. But in the supreme sense "Israel" signifies the Lord as to the Divine celestial spiritual, and in the internal sense signifies the Lord's spiritual kingdom in heaven and on earth. The Lord's spiritual kingdom on earth is the church which is called the Spiritual Church. And because "Israel" denotes the Lord's spiritual kingdom, "Israel" likewise denotes the spiritual man, for in every such man there is the Lord's kingdom; for a man is a heaven, and is also a church, in the least form (n. 4279). As regards Jacob, by him in the supreme sense is represented the Lord as to the natural, both celestial and spiritual; and in the internal sense the Lord's kingdom such as it is in the ultimate or first heaven, and consequently also the same in the church. Good in the natural is what is here called celestial, and truth in the same is what is called spiritual. From these things it is evident what is signified by "Israel" and by "Jacob" in the Word, and also why Jacob was named Israel.

[5] But these things which have been said must needs appear obscure, especially for the reason that it is known to few what the spiritual man is, and to scarcely anyone what the celestial man is, consequently that there is any distinction between the spiritual and the celestial man. The reason why this has not been known, is that there is no distinct perception of the good of love and charity, and of the truth which is of faith; and these are not perceived because there is no longer any genuine charity, and where anything is not, there is no perception of it. Another reason is that man is little solicitous about the things that belong to the life after death, thus about the things of heaven, but is very much so about those which belong to the life of the body, and thus about the things that are of the world. If man were solicitous about the things that belong to the life after death, thus about the things of heaven, he would easily apprehend all the things that have been said above; for that which a man loves he easily imbibes and apprehends, but with difficulty what he does not love.

[6] That "Jacob" signifies one thing and "Israel" another, is plainly evident from the Word; for in the historical parts, and also in the prophetical, it is now said "Jacob," and now "Israel," and sometimes both are said in the same verse; from which it is evident that there is an internal sense in the Word, and that without this sense this circumstance cannot possibly be understood. That "Jacob" is now said, and now "Israel," is evident from the following passages:
Jacob dwelt in the land of his father's sojournings. These are the births of Jacob; Joseph was a son of seventeen years, and Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons (Gen. 37:1-3);

where Jacob is first called "Jacob" and presently "Israel;" and he is called Israel when Joseph is treated of. Again:
Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, and Jacob said to his sons. And the sons of Israel came to buy in the midst of those who came (Gen. 42:1, 5).

And afterwards:

They went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father; and when they told him all the words of Joseph, which he spoke unto them, the spirit of Jacob their father revived; and Israel said, It is much, Joseph my son is yet alive (45:25, 27-28).


And Israel journeyed, and all that he had. God said unto Israel in the visions of the night, and He said, Jacob, Jacob, who said, Behold me. And Jacob rose up from Beersheba, and the sons of Israel carried down Jacob their father (Gen. 46:1-2, 5).
And in the same chapter:

These are the names of the sons of Israel that came into Egypt, of Jacob and his sons (Gen. 46:8).
Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh. Pharaoh said unto Jacob, and Jacob said unto Pharaoh (Gen. 47:7-9).

And in the same chapter:

And Israel dwelt in the land of Goshen; and Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; and the days of Israel drew near to die; and he called his son Joseph (Gen. 46:27-29).

Yet again:

And one told Jacob, and said, Behold thy son Joseph cometh unto thee; and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed. And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Shaddai appeared to me in Luz (Gen. 48:2-3).
And he is called Israel in the same chapter (verses 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 20, 21). And lastly:

Jacob called his sons, and said, Assemble yourselves, and hear, ye sons of Jacob, and listen unto Israel your father. And when Jacob had made an end of charging his sons (Gen. 49:1-2, 33)

From these passages it is very evident that Jacob is now called Jacob, and now Israel, and thus that Jacob means one thing, and Israel another; or that one thing is signified when it is said "Jacob," and another when "Israel," and also that this arcanum cannot possibly be understood except from the internal sense.

[7] But what "Jacob" signifies, and what "Israel," has been told above. In general by "Jacob" in the Word is signified what is external of the church, and by "Israel" what is internal; for every church has an external and also an internal, or is internal and also external. And as that which is of the church is signified by "Jacob" and by "Israel," and as everything of the church is from the Lord, hence in the supreme sense both "Jacob" and "Israel" denote the Lord, "Jacob" as to the Divine natural, and "Israel" as to the Divine spiritual. Thus the external which is of the Lord's kingdom and of His church, is "Jacob," and the internal is "Israel"-as is further evident from the following passages, in which each is named in its own sense. In the prophecy of Jacob, then Israel:

By the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel (Gen.49:24).

In Isaiah:

Hear, O Jacob, My servant, and Israel whom I have chosen; I will pour out My spirit upon thy seed, and My blessing upon thy sons; this one shall say to Jehovah, I and this one shall call himself by the name of Jacob, and that one shall write with his hand unto Jehovah, and surname himself by the name of Israel (Isa. 44:1, 3, 5);

where "Jacob" and "Israel" manifestly denote the Lord, and the "seed and sons of Jacob and Israel," those who are in faith in Him. In the prophecy of Balaam in Moses:

Who shall number the dust of Jacob, and the number with the fourth part of Israel? (Num. 23:10).

And again:

There is no divination against Jacob, nor sorceries against Israel; at this time it shall be said to Jacob and to Israel, What hath God wrought! (Num. 23:23).


How good are thy tabernacles O Jacob, thy dwelling places, O Israel (Num. 24:4-5).

And again:

There shall arise a star out of Jacob, and a scepter out of Israel (Num. 24:17).

In Isaiah:

My glory will I not give to another. Attend to me, O Jacob, and Israel My called. I am the same; I am the first, I also am the last (Isa. 48:11-12).

In the same:

Jacob shall enroot those who come; and Israel shall blossom and flower; and the faces of the world shall be filled with produce (Isa. 27:6).

In Jeremiah:

Fear not thou, O Jacob My servant, and be not terrified, O Israel; for lo I have saved thee from afar (Jer. 30:9-10).

In Micah:

In gathering I will gather Jacob, all of thee; in assembling I will assemble the remains of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah (Micah 2:12).

[8] For what reason Jacob was named Israel is evident from the very words when this name was given him: "Thy name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel; for as a prince hast thou contended with God and with men, and hast prevailed." For in the original language "Israel" means "one that contends with God as a prince," by which is signified in the internal sense that He overcame in the combats of temptations; for temptations and combats in temptations were the means by which the Lord made His Human Divine (n. 1737, 1813, and elsewhere); and temptations and victories in temptations are what make man spiritual; for which reason Jacob was for the first time named Israel after he wrestled. (That "wrestling" denotes being tempted may be seen above, n. 4274.) It is known that the Church, or the man of the Christian Church, calls himself Israel; and yet no one in the Church is Israel but he who has become a spiritual man by means of temptations. The name itself also involves the same. That it was afterwards confirmed that Jacob should be called Israel, is evident from what follows in another chapter, where are these words:

God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him; and God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob; thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name; and He called his name Israel (Gen. 35:9-10).

The reason of this confirmation will be told hereafter. [AC4286]

 It is because of its Spiritual Sense that the Word is Divinely inspired, and holy in every word. In the church it is said that the Word is holy for the reason that Jehovah the Lord spoke it; but inasmuch as its holiness is not apparent in the mere sense of the letter, whoever is once led on that account to doubt its holiness confirms his doubts when he subsequently reads the Word by many things therein; for he says to himself, Can this be holy? Can this be Divine? Lest, therefore, such thoughts should enter the minds of many, and afterwards grow stronger, and in consequence the Word should be rejected as a worthless writing, and by this means the conjunction of the Lord with man be destroyed, it has pleased the Lord to reveal now its spiritual sense, that it may be known where in the Word the Divine holiness lies concealed. But let examples illustrate. The Word treats sometimes of Egypt, sometimes of Assyria, and again of Edom, of Moab, of the sons of Ammon, of the Philistines, of Tyre and Sidon, and of Gog. He who does not know that these names signify things pertaining to heaven and the church may be led into the error that the Word has much to say about peoples and nations and but little about heaven and the church, thus much about worldly things and but little about heavenly things. But when he knows what those nations and their names signify he may be led back from error to the truth.

[2] Likewise when he sees that gardens, groves, forests, and their trees, as the olive, the vine, the cedar, the poplar, the oak, are so frequently mentioned in the Word, also the lamb, the sheep, the goat, the calf, the ox; also mountains, hills, and valleys, and their fountains, rivers, and waters, and many other such things, one who knows nothing about the spiritual sense of the Word cannot but believe that these objects alone are meant; for he does not know that "a garden," "a grove," and "a forest," mean wisdom, intelligence and knowledge; that "the olive," "the vine," "the cedar," "the poplar," and "the oak," mean the good and truth of the church, celestial, spiritual, rational, natural, and sensual; that "a lamb," "a sheep," "a goat," "a calf," and "an ox," mean innocence, charity, and natural affection; and that "mountains," "hills," and "valleys," mean the higher, the lower, and the lowest things of the church. [3] Also be does not know that "Egypt" signifies the scientific, "Assyria" the rational, "Edom" the natural, "Moab" the adulteration of good, "the sons of Ammon" the adulteration of truth, "the Philistines" faith separate from charity, "Tyre and Sidon" knowledges of good and truth, and "Gog" external worship apart from internal. In general "Jacob" means in the Word the natural church, "Israel" the spiritual church, and "Judah" the celestial church. When man knows all this he is able to see that the Word treats of nothing but heavenly things, and that these worldly things are merely the subjects which contain the heavenly. Let this be illustrated by an example from the Word. [4] We read in Isaiah:

In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, that Assyria may come into Egypt and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians may serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be a third to Egypt and to Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land; whom Jehovah of Hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be My people Egypt, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance (19:23-25).

In the spiritual sense this means that at the time of the Lord's coming the scientific, the rational and the spiritual will make one, and that the scientific will then serve the rational, and both the spiritual; for, as said before, "Egypt" signifies the scientific, "Assyria" the rational, and "Israel" the spiritual. "That day" twice mentioned, means the first and the second coming of the Lord. [TCR200]

That by "Ur of the Chaldees" is signified external worship in which there are falsities, is evident from the signification in the Word of "the Chaldeans." It has been shown above, at verse 9, that by "Babel" is signified worship in which interiorly there are evils; but by "Chaldea" is signified worship in which interiorly there are falsities. Consequently by "Babel" is signified worship in which there is inwardly nothing of good; and by "Chaldea," worship in which there is inwardly nothing of truth. Worship in which there is inwardly nothing good and nothing true, is a worship wherein there is interiorly what is profane and idolatrous. That such worship is signified in the Word by "Chaldea," may be seen from the following passages. In Isaiah:

Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people is no more; Asshur founded it in Ziim; they shall set up the watchtowers thereof, they shall raise up her palaces; he shall make it a ruin (Isa. 23:13).

"The land of the Chaldeans which is not a people," denotes falsities; "Asshur founded it," denotes reasonings; "the watchtowers," phantasies. Again:
Thus hath said Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have thrown down the bars, all of them, and the Chaldeans in whose ships is a cry (Isa. 43:14).

"Babylon" denotes worship in which inwardly there is evil; "the Chaldeans," worship in which inwardly there is falsity; the "ships" are knowledges of truth which are corrupted.

[2] Again:

Sit thou silent and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for they shall no more call thee the lady of kingdoms. I was wroth with My people, I profaned My inheritance, and gave them into thy hand; these two things shall come to thee suddenly in one day, the loss of children and widowhood together; to the full shall they come upon thee, because of the multitude of thy sorceries, and because of the greatness of thine enchantments (Isa. 47:5-6, 9).

Here it is evident that "Chaldea" is the profanation of truth, and is called "sorceries" and "enchantments." Again:

Go ye forth out of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans (Isa. 48:20);

that is, from the profanation of good and of truth in worship. In Ezekiel:

Cause Jerusalem to know her abominations; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother a Hittite; thou hast committed whoredom with the sons of Egypt; thou hast committed whoredom with the sons of Asshur; hence thou hast multiplied thy whoredom even into the land of Chaldea (Ezek. 16:2-3, 26, 28-29).
This is said specifically of the Jewish Church; "the Sons of Egypt" denote memory-knowledges; "the sons of Assyria," reasonings; "the land of Chaldea into which she multiplied her whoredom," the profanation of truth. That countries are not meant by Egypt, Assyria, and Chaldea, and that no other whoredom is spoken of, may be seen by anyone.

[3] Again:

Oholah hath committed whoredom, and hath doted on her lovers the Assyrians, her neighbors; and she hath not forsaken her whoredoms from Egypt; she hath added to her whoredoms; and she saw men, it was portrayed upon the wall, images of the Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion, girded with girdles upon their loins, dyed turbans hanging down on their heads, all of them leaders to look upon, the likeness of the sons of Babylon, of the Chaldeans, the land of their nativity. As soon as she saw them she loved them lewdly, and sent messengers unto them into Chaldea; the sons of Babylon polluted her by their whoredoms (Ezek. 23:5, 8, 14-17).

Here the Chaldeans are called "sons of Babylon," and denote truths profaned in worship. "Oholah" denotes the spiritual church, which is called Samaria.

[4] In Habakkuk:

I stir up the Chaldeans, a bitter and hasty nation, that march through the breadths of the earth, to possess dwelling places that are not theirs, a horrible and a terrible one, and from itself doth its judgment and its exaltation go forth; whose horses are swifter than leopards, and keener* than the evening wolves; and the horsemen thereof spread themselves, yea, the horsemen thereof come from afar; they fly as an eagle that hasteth to devour; wholly doth it come for violence; the panting desire of its faces is toward the east (Hab. 1:6-9).

The Chaldean nation is here described by many representatives that are significant of the profanations of truth in worship.

[5] Moreover, Babylon and Chaldea are described in two entire chapters in Jeremiah (chapters 50 and 51), where what is signified by each is plainly evident, namely, by Babylon the profanation of celestial things, and by Chaldea the profanation of spiritual things, in worship. From all this therefore it is evident what is signified by "Ur of the Chaldees," namely, external worship in which there is inwardly profane idolatry. Moreover it has been permitted that I should be instructed by themselves that such was the character of their worship. [AC1368]

That in the internal sense of the Word "Judea" does not signify Judea; nor in like manner "Jerusalem," Jerusalem, may be seen from many passages in the Word. "Judea" is not so frequently mentioned in the Word as is the "land of Judah," and by the "land of Judah," as well as by the "land of Canaan," is signified the Lord's kingdom (consequently also the church, for the church is the Lord's kingdom on earth), and this for the reason that the Lord's celestial kingdom was represented by Judah, or by the Jewish nation, and His spiritual kingdom by Israel, or the Israelitish people; and inasmuch as it was so represented, therefore also when mention is made in the Word of that nation and people, in the internal sense there is nothing else signified thereby.

[2] That this is the case will appear from what of the Lord's Divine mercy will be said hereafter concerning Judah and the land of Judah; and in the meantime from the following few passages in the Prophets. In Isaiah:

My beloved had a vineyard in the horn of a son of oil; and he made a hedge about it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with a noble vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also hewed out a winepress therein; and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now O inhabitant of Jerusalem, and man of Judah, judge I pray you between Me and My vineyard. I will make it a desolation. For the vineyard of Jehovah Zebaoth is the house of Israel, and the man of Judah is the plant of His delights; and He looked for judgment, but behold a festering; for righteousness, but behold a cry (Isa. 5:1-3, 6-7).

In this passage, in the sense of the letter, the perverted state of the Israelites and Jews is treated of, but in the internal sense the perverted state of the church as represented by Israel and Judah. The "inhabitant of Jerusalem" is the good of the church (that "inhabitant" signifies good, or what is the same, those who are in good, may be seen above, n. 2268, 2451, 2712, 3613; and that "Jerusalem" signifies the church, see n. 402, 2117). The signification of the "house of Israel" is similar (that "house" signifies good may be seen above, n. 710, 1708, 2233, 2234, 3142, 3538; and that "Israel" signifies the church, n. 3305); in like manner the "man of Judah," for by "man" is signified truth (n. 265, 749, 1007, 3134, 3310, 3459), and by "Judah" good, but with the difference that the "man of Judah" signifies truth from the good of love to the Lord (which is called celestial truth), that is, those who are in such truth.

[3] In the same:

And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four wings of the earth. The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the enemies of Judah shall be cut off. Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not straiten Ephraim. Jehovah shall accurse the tongue of the Egyptian sea, and with the vehemence of His breath shall shake His hand over the river. And there shall be a highway for the remains of His people, which shall be left from Asshur (Isa. 11:12-13, 15-16).

The subject here treated of in the sense of the letter is the bringing back of the Israelites and Jews from captivity, but in the internal sense it is concerning a new church in general and with every individual in particular who is being regenerated or is becoming a church. The "outcasts of Israel" denote the truths of such persons; the "dispersed of Judah," their goods; "Ephraim," their intellectual part in that it will no longer be resistant; "Egypt," memory-knowledges; and "Asshur," the derivative reasoning, which they have perverted; the "outcasts," the "dispersed," the "remains," and "those who are left," denote the truths and goods which survive. (That "Ephraim" denotes the intellectual part, will be made manifest elsewhere; and that "Egypt" is memory-knowledge, n. 1164-1165, 1186, 1462, 2588, 3325; that "Asshur" is reasoning, n. 119, 1186; and that "remains" are goods and truths from the Lord stored up in the interior man, n. 468, 530, 560, 561, 660, 661, 798, 1050, 1738, 1906, 2284.)

[4] In the same:

Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, called by the name of Israel, and they have come forth out of the waters of Judah. For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel (Isa. 48:1-2);

where the "waters of Judah" denote the truths which are from the good of love to the Lord; the truths thence derived are the very goods of charity, which are called spiritual goods, and constitute the spiritual church, the internal of which is "Israel," and the external the "house of Jacob;" hence it is manifest what is signified by the "house of Jacob called by the name of Israel," and by their "coming forth out of the waters of Judah." [5] In the same:

I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of My mountains; and Mine elect shall possess it, and My servants shall dwell there (Isa. 65:9);

"out of Judah an inheritor of mountains" in the supreme sense denotes the Lord, and in the representative sense those who are in love to Him, thus in the good of love to the Lord and of love to the neighbor. (That "mountains" signify these goods was shown above, n. 3652.)

[6] So in Moses:

Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey my son thou art gone up; he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? (Gen. 49:9);

where it is clearly manifest that in the supreme sense by "Judah" is meant the Lord, and in the representative sense those who are in the good of love to Him. So in David:

When Israel went forth out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a barbarous people, Judah became His sanctuary, Israel His dominion (Ps. 114:1-2);
in this passage also "Judah" denotes celestial good, which is the good of love to the Lord; and "Israel," celestial truth, or spiritual good.

[7] So in Jeremiah:

Behold the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will raise unto David a righteous offshoot, and He shall reign as king, and prosper, and shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell securely; and this is His name whereby He shall be called: JEHOVAH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jer. 23:5, 6; 33:15, 16);

where the Lord's advent is treated of, "Judah" denoting those who are in the good of love to the Lord; "Israel," those who are in the truth of this good. That by "Judah" is not meant Judah, nor by "Israel" Israel, is evident from the fact that neither Judah nor Israel was saved. In like manner in the same:
I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them as at the first (Jer. 33:7).

In the same:

In those days, and in that time, saith Jehovah, the sons of Israel shall come, they and the sons of Judah together; going and weeping shall they go, and shall seek Jehovah their God; and they shall seek Zion in the way with their faces thitherward (Jer. 50:4-5).


At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, for the name of Jehovah, to Jerusalem; neither shall they walk any more after the stubbornness of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall walk to the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north upon the land (Jer. 3:17-18).

[8] Again:

Behold the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast. And I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days; I will put My law in the midst of them, and will write it on their heart (Jer. 31:27, 31, 33).

That Israel or the house of Israel is not here meant, is very evident, because they were dispersed among the Gentiles, and were never brought back out of captivity; consequently neither was Judah nor the house of Judah meant, but thereby were signified, in the internal sense, those who are of the Lord's spiritual and celestial kingdom. With these is made a new covenant, and on their heart is the law written; a "new covenant" denoting conjunction with the Lord by means of good (see n. 665, 666, 1023, 1038, 1864, 1996, 2003, 2021, 2037); the "law written on their heart," denoting the consequent perception of good and of truth, and also conscience.

[9] So in Joel:

And it shall come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drop new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the streams of Judah shall flow with waters; and a fountain shall go forth out of the house of Jehovah, and shall water the stream of Shittim. Egypt shall be a waste, and Edom shall be for a wilderness of a waste for the violence done to the sons of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall abide forever, and Jerusalem to generation and generation (Joel 3:18, 20);

from all the particulars in this passage also it is manifest that by "Judah" is not meant Judah, nor by "Jerusalem," Jerusalem, but those who are in the holy of love and of charity; for these "shall abide forever, and to generation and generation."

[10] So in Malachi:

Behold I send Mine angel who shall prepare the way before Me; and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple, even the angel of the covenant whom ye desire. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto Jehovah, as in the days of eternity, and as in former years (Mal. 3:1, 4);

where the Lord's advent is treated of. That at that time the offering of Judah and Jerusalem was not pleasant unto Jehovah, is evident; and from this it is manifest that by "Judah and Jerusalem" are signified such things as are of the Lord's church. The case is the same everywhere in the Word where mention is made of "Judah," of "Israel," and of "Jerusalem." From all this then it is evident what is signified by "Judah" in Matthew, namely, the Lord's church, in the present case vastated. [AC3654]

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG  (1688-1772)

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