Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 1241

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1241. As regards Eber's being the first founder of the second Ancient Church and meaning that Church, the situation is this: Spread far and wide, as has been stated, especially throughout the Asiatic world, the first Ancient Church degenerated in course of time - as all Churches do everywhere- and was adulterated by innovators as regards external worship as well as internal. And this happened in various places. It degenerated primarily through the conversion into idolatry, and among some nations into magic, of all the meaningful signs and the representatives which the Ancient Church received orally from the Most Ancient Church, all of which signs and representatives had reference to the Lord and His kingdom. To prevent the whole Church from going to ruin the Lord permitted worship made up of meaningful signs and of representatives to be re-introduced in some place, which was done by Eber. It was a worship that consisted chiefly in things that are external. The external features of worship, in addition to priests and the things requiring priests, were high places, groves, pillars, anointings, and many other things that were called statutes. The internal features of worship were matters of doctrine that had come down from the time before the Flood, chiefly from those people called 'Enoch' who gathered together perceptions the Most Ancient Church had possessed and made these into matters of doctrine. These matters of doctrine constituted their Word; and from these internal things and the previously mentioned external things came the worship of this Church, a form of worship established by Eber, but added to and also altered. Above all they began to make sacrifices more important than any other ritual forms. Sacrifices had been unknown in the true Ancient Church, and had existed solely among some of Ham's and Canaan's descendants who were idolaters, where those sacrifices had been permitted to prevent them from sacrificing their own sons and daughters. From these considerations it is clear what this second Ancient Church was like which was established by Eber and perpetuated among his descendants called the Hebrew nation.

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