Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 1343

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1343. That 'Eber' was a nation, the Hebrew nation, which took its name from 'Eber' as its forefather, and which means the worship in general of the second Ancient Church, is clear from the references to him in the historical sections of the Word. Because a new form of worship began with that nation, all those were called Hebrews whose worship was similar to it. Their worship was like that re-established at a later time among the descendants of Jacob, its chief features being that they called their God Jehovah and held sacrifices. The Most Ancient Church was of one mind in acknowledging the Lord and calling Him Jehovah, as is clear also from the early chapters of Genesis and elsewhere in the Word. The Ancient Church, that is, the Church after the Flood also acknowledged the Lord and called Him Jehovah, especially those who possessed internal worship and were called 'the sons of Shem'. The remainder whose worship was external also acknowledged Jehovah and worshipped Him. But when internal worship became external, and still more when it became idolatrous, and when each nation started to have its own god to worship, the Hebrew nation retained the name of Jehovah and called their own God Jehovah. In this they were different from all other nations

[2] Along with external worship, Jacob's descendants in Egypt, including Moses himself, lost knowledge even of this fact, that their God was called Jehovah Consequently they had first of all to be taught that Jehovah was the God of the Hebrews, and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as becomes clear from the following in Moses,

Jehovah said to Moses, You and the elders of Israel shall go in to the king of Egypt, and you shall say to him, Jehovah the God of the Hebrews has met with us; and now let us go, pray, a three days' journey into the wilderness, and let us sacrifice to Jehovah our God. Exod 3:18.

In the same author,

Pharaoh said, Who is Jehovah that I should hearken to His voice to send Israel away? I do not know Jehovah, and moreover I will not send Israel away And they said, The God of the Hebrews has met with us; let us go, pray, a three days' journey into the wilderness, and let us sacrifice to Jehovah our God. Exod 5:2, 3.

[3] The fact that Jacob's descendants lost in Egypt, along with the worship, even the name of Jehovah becomes clear from the following in Moses,

Moses said to God, Behold, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they say to me, What is His name? What shall I tell them? And God said to Moses, I Am Who I Am. And He said, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I Am has sent me to you. And God said moreover to Moses, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, Jehovah the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you; this is My name for ever. Exod 3:13-15.

[4] From this it is evident that even Moses did not know it and that they were distinguished from everyone else by the name of Jehovah, the God of the Hebrews. Hence also Jehovah is elsewhere called the God of the Hebrews,

You shall say to Pharaoh, Jehovah the God of the Hebrews has sent me to you. Exod 7:16.
Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, Thus said Jehovah the God of the Hebrews. Exod 9:1, 13.
Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and said to him, Thus said Jehovah the God of the Hebrews Exod 10:3.

In Jonah,

I am a Hebrew, and I fear Jehovah, the God of heaven. Jonah 1:9.

And also in Samuel,

The Philistines heard the noise of the shouting and said, What does the noise of this great shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean? And they learned that the Ark of Jehovah had come to the camp. The Philistines said, Woe to us! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods who smote the Egyptians with every sort of plague in the wilderness. Acquit yourselves like men, O Philistines, lest you be slaves to the Hebrews. 1 Sam 4:6, 8, 9.

Here also it is evident that nations were distinguished from one another by the gods whose names they called on, and that the Hebrew nation was distinguished by that of Jehovah.

[5] The fact that sacrifices were the second essential feature of the worship of the Hebrew nation is also evident from the words from Exod 3:18; 5:2, 3, quoted above, as well as from the fact that the Egyptians abhorred the Hebrew nation on account of this form of worship, as is clear from the following in Moses,

Moses said, It is not right to do so, for we would be sacrificing to Jehovah our God what is abhorrent to the Egyptians; behold, we would be sacrificing what is abhorrent to the Egyptians in their eyes; will they not stone us? Exod 8:26.

Consequently the Egyptians also abhorred the Hebrew nation so much that they refused even 'to eat breed' with them, Gen 43:32. From this it is also evident that not merely the descendants of Jacob constituted the Hebrew nation but everybody who possessed that kind of worship. This also was why in Joseph's day the land of Canaan was called the land of the Hebrews,

Joseph said. By theft I have been taken away out of the land of the Hebrews. Gen 40:15.

[6] The fact that sacrifices took place among the idolaters in the land of Canaan becomes clear from many references, for they used to sacrifice to their gods - to the baals and to others What is more, Balaam, who came from Syria where Eber had lived, that is, where the Hebrew nation had originated, before Jacob's descendants entered the land of Canaan, not only offered sacrifices but also called his God Jehovah. As to the fact that Balaam came from Syria where the Hebrew nation had originated, see Num 23:7; that he offered sacrifices, Num 22:39, 40; 23:1-3, 14, 29; that he called his God Jehovah, Num 22:18, and elsewhere in those chapters. And Gen 8:20 speaks of Noah offering burnt offerings to Jehovah - though this is not true history but made-up history - for 'burnt offerings' means the holiness of worship, as may be seen in that story. These considerations now show what 'Eber' or 'the Hebrew nation' means.

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