MOUNTAINS >> Celestial Love >> Celestial Charity >> Celestial Faith >> Celestial Goods
 /opposite sense >> Vanity >> Self-Glory

mountains3p_500_500 The angels of whom the Lord’s celestial kingdom consists dwell for the most part in elevated places that appear as mountains of soil; the angels of whom the Lord’s spiritual  kingdom consists dwell in less elevated places that appear like hills; while the angels in the lowest parts of heaven dwell in places that appear like ledges of stone. These things spring from correspondence, for interior things correspond to higher things, and exterior things to lower things;{1} and this is why in the Word “mountains” signify celestial love, “hills” spiritual love, and “rocks”faith. {2} [HH188]

All the high mountains that were under the whole heaven were covered. That this signifies that all the goods of charity were extinguished, is evident from the signification of mountains among the most ancient people. With them mountains signified the Lord, for the reason that they held their worship of Him on mountains, because these were the highest places on earth. Hence "mountains" signified celestial things (which also were called the "highest"), consequently love and charity, and thereby the goods of love and charity, which are celestial. And in the opposite sense those also are called "mountains" who are vainglorious; and therefore a "mountain" stands for the very love of self. The Most Ancient Church is also signified in the Word by "mountains" from these being elevated above the earth and nearer as it were to heaven, to the beginnings of things. [AC795]

[2] That "mountains" signify the Lord, and all things celestial from Him, or the goods of love and charity, is evident from the following passages in the Word, from which it is plain what they signify in particular cases, for all things in the Word, both in general and in particular, have a signification according to the subject to which they are applied. In David:

The mountains shall bring peace, and the hills, in righteousness (Ps. 72:3).

"Mountains" denote here love to the Lord; "hills" love toward the neighbor, such as was with the Most Ancient Church, which because of this character is also signified in the Word by "mountains" and "hills." In Ezekiel:

In the mountain of My holiness, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovih, there shall all the house of Israel serve Me, that whole land (Ezek. 20:40).

The "mountain of holiness" here denotes love to the Lord; the "mountain of the height of Israel" charity toward the neighbor. In Isaiah:

It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of Jehovah shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills (Isa. 2:2),

where "mountains" denote the Lord, and thence all that is celestial. Again:

In this mountain shall Jehovah Zebaoth make unto all peoples a feast of fat things, and He will take away in this mountain the face of the covering (Isa. 25:6-7)

"Mountain" here denotes the Lord, and hence all that is celestial. [3] Again:

And there shall be upon every lofty mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers, streams of waters (Isa. 23:25),

where "mountains" denote goods of love; "hills" goods of charity, from which are truths of faith, which are the "rivers and streams of waters." Again:

Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy feast is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of Jehovah, to the rock of Israel (Isa. 30:29).

The "mountain of Jehovah" here denotes the Lord with reference to the goods of love; the "Rock of Israel" the Lord with reference to the goods of charity.


Jehovah Zebaoth shall come down to fight upon Mount Zion and upon the hill thereof (Isa. 31:4).

"Mount Zion" here and elsewhere in many places, denotes the Lord, and hence all that is celestial and which is love; and "hills" denote what is celestial of lower degree, which is charity.

[4] Again:

O Zion that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength (Isa. 40:9).

To "go up into the high mountain and bring good tidings" is to worship the Lord from love and charity, which are inmost, and are therefore also called "highest" because what is inmost is called highest. Again:

Let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains (Isa. 42:11).

The "inhabitants of the rock" denote those who are in charity; to "shout from the top of the mountains" is to worship the Lord from love. Again:

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation (Isa. 52:7).

To "bring good tidings upon the mountains" is likewise to preach the Lord from the doctrine of love and charity, and from these to worship Him. Again:

The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands (Isa. 55:12);

denoting worship of the Lord from love and charity, which are "the mountains and the hills;" and from the faith thence derived, which are the "trees of the field."

[5] Again:

I will make all My mountains a way, and My highways shall be exalted (Isa. 49:11);

where "mountains" denote love and charity; and "way" and "highways" the truths of faith thence derived, which are said to be "exalted" when they are from love and charity as their inmost. Again:

He that putteth his trust in Me shall possess the land as a heritage, and shall inherit the mountain of My holiness (Isa. 57:13);

denoting the Lord's kingdom, wherein is nothing but love and charity. Again:

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

"Mountains" here denote the Lord's kingdom and celestial goods; "Judah" the celestial church. And again:

Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy, I dwell in the high and holy place (Isa. 57:15).

"High" here denotes what is holy; and hence it is that on account of their height above the earth, mountains signify the Lord and His holy celestial things. And it was for this reason that the Lord promulgated the Law from Mount Sinai. Love and charity are also meant by the Lord, by "mountains" where, speaking of the consummation of the age, He says:

Then let them that are in Judea flee into the mountains (Matt. 24:16; Luke 21:21; Mark 13:14),

where "Judea" denotes the vastated church.  [AC8797]

0244 And moreover no man shall be seen in all the mountain. That this signifies that they have been quite removed from it, thus outside of it, is evident from the signification of "the mountain," here Mount Horeb, as being heaven in the whole complex, thus also Divine truth; for whether you say heaven, or Divine truth, it is the same, because the angels, of whom heaven consists, are receptions of Divine truth. The whole extension of that mountain was called "Horeb," and the more elevated mountain in the midst of it was called "Mount Sinai." Consequently by "Horeb" is signified heaven, or what is the same, Divine truth, in the whole complex; its internal by "Mount Sinai," and its external by the mountainous part round about. Hence it is that by "Horeb," when the surrounding mountainous part also is meant, is signified what is external (see n. 10543). As the Israelitish nation was in an external that did not receive the internal, thus was in an external separate from the internal, or what is the same, was outside of that in which is the internal, it was therefore commanded that no man should be seen in the whole mountain. The like is signified by that nation standing at the door of the tent in which Moses was, and bowing themselves unto it, in the preceding chapter (Exod. 33:8-10, see n. 10543-10555).

[2] It shall here be briefly told whence it is that "Mount Horeb" and "Sinai" signify heaven and Divine truth. It is believed in the world that the angels are in a region above that of the atmosphere, and that they subsist there as aerial beings, and that they have no plane to stand upon. The reason why there is such an opinion in the minds of many men, is that they do not apprehend that angels and spirits are in a like form to that of men on earth, thus that they have faces, that they have arms and hands, that they have feet, in a word, that they have a body, and still less that they have dwellings or abodes; when yet angels and spirits dwell among themselves upon land, just as do men on the earth; the celestial angels upon mountains, and the spiritual angels upon rocks, and those who have not yet become angels, in the plains between the mountains, and between the rocks; while infernal spirits dwell beneath the mountains and the rocks.

[3] These things have been said in order that it may be known whence it is that "mountains" in the Word signify heaven, and specifically "Horeb," and "Mount Sinai." Moreover, the interior angels dwell higher upon the mountains; and the higher they dwell, the more interior and perfect they are. From this it is evident why Jehovah descended upon the top of Mount Sinai when the law was being promulgated, and why Moses was ordered to stand with Him on the head of the mountain. The mountains on earth are not heaven, but represent the mountains upon which are the angels in heaven. [AC10608]

Everyone that toucheth the mountain, dying he shall die. That this signifies that whosoever of the spiritual church inserts himself as far as the celestial societies will perish, is evident from the signification of "the mountain," as being the good of love (see just above, n. 8795), here the Divine good of the Divine love in the inmost heaven, because the people that is beneath represents the spiritual kingdom of the Lord, which is the middle heaven; from the signification of "touching," as being to penetrate thereto, in this case to insert themselves (of which presently); and from the signification of "dying he shall die," as being to perish.

[2] The case herein is this. They who are of the spiritual kingdom of the Lord cannot flow into the celestial kingdom, because this latter is higher or more interior, and the former is lower or more exterior; for what is exterior or lower cannot flow into what is higher or interior (n. 5259, 5779). Yet it sometimes happens that they who are in a lower heaven seek to ascend into a higher heaven, and this from a vicious desire originating in pride, in the love of dominion, or in envy. They who make the attempt from such a desire are thereupon let in; but they then suffer hard things, are seized with anxiety and finally with pain, and also with blindness, so that they lose both their intelligence and their happiness. Wherefore they cast themselves down therefrom as if about to die, nor do they recover animation until they have been cast down from heaven.

[3] Such is the lot of those who from the cupidity of pride, of dominion, or of envy, insert themselves into a higher heaven. The reason is that relatively to them, the good of love in the higher heaven is like a consuming fire, and the truth of faith there is like a fiery light blinding the sight of those who rise up. These are the things meant in the internal sense by the command that the Israelitish people should not touch Mount Sinai, where Jehovah was. The case would be similar with those who are in the celestial kingdom, if perchance they should attempt to ascend on high to the Divine; in like manner with those who are beneath heaven, if they desire to ascend into heaven. (That these latter suffer hard things, see n. 4225, 4226, 4299, 5057, 5058.) [AC 8797] 


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