Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 1416

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1416. That 'I will make you into a great nation' means a kingdom in heaven and on earth becomes clear from the meaning of 'nation' in the internal sense as the celestial entity of love and the good which flows from this, thus all throughout the world in whom the celestial element of love and charity is present. Since the subject here in the internal sense is the Lord, everything of the celestial and of the good deriving from it, thus His kingdom, is meant - which exists with those in whom love and charity are present. In the highest sense the Lord Himself is 'the great nation' since He is the Celestial itself and Good itself. For all good that flows from love and charity originates in Him alone, which also explains why the Lord comprises His own kingdom, that is, He is the All in all of His kingdom, as also all angels in heaven acknowledge. From this it is now clear that 'l will make you into a great nation' means the Lord's kingdom in heaven and on earth.

[2] That 'nation' in the internal sense, where the Lord and celestial things of love are the subject, means Him and all celestial things may become clear also from what has been introduced in 1258, 1259, regarding the meaning of a nation and nations. This matter may be confirmed further still from the following places: In reference to Abraham further on,

No longer will your name be called Abram, but your name will be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. Gen 17:5.

The soft 'h' sound in Abraham was taken from Jehovah's name because he represented Jehovah, that is, the Lord. Similarly in reference to Sarai,

You will not call her name Sarai, but Sarah will be her name, and I will bless her, and I will also give you a son by her; thus will I bless her, and she will become nations; kings of peoples will be from her. Gen 17:15, 16.

'Nations' here stands for the celestial things of love, and 'kings of peoples' for the spiritual things of faith deriving from that love, which are the Lord's alone.

[3] In reference to Jacob likewise,

Your name will no longer be called Jacob, but Israel will be your name. And He called his name Israel, and God said, I am God Almighty,a increase and multiply; a nation and an assembly of nations will come into being from you, and kings will go out from your loins. Gen 35:10, 11.

Here 'Israel' stands for the Lord, who Himself, as is well known to some, is in the highest sense Israel. And when He is meant by 'Israel' it is evident that 'a nation and an assembly of nations' and 'kings from his loins' mean the celestial and spiritual things of love, and therefore all in whom the celestial and spiritual things of love are present. In reference to Ishmael, Abram's son by Hagar, it is said,

The son of the servant-girl I will make into a nation, because he is your seed. Gen 21:13, 18.

What Ishmael represents will be seen in that place. 'The seed of Abram' means love itself, and because of this the word nation is used for those begotten from Ishmael.

[4] That 'nation' means the celestial things of love is clear in Moses,

If you will surely hearken to My voice, and keep My covenant and be a peculiar treasure to Me from among all peoples, you will be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Exod 19:5, 6.

Here 'a kingdom of priests', a phrase used to describe the Lord's kingdom in heaven and on earth, springing from the celestial things of love, is openly called 'a holy nation'. But the Lord's kingdom springing from His Royalty is described as such by virtue of the spiritual things of love and is called 'a holy people'. 'Kings from the loins' therefore, as above,b is spiritual things. In Jeremiah,

If these ordinances depart from before Me, said Jehovah, the seed of Israel also will cease from being a nation before Me for ever.c Jer 31:36.

'Seed of Israel' stands for the celestial entity of charity, and when this ceases to exist there is no longer a nation before the Lord.

[5] In Isaiah,

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. You have multiplied the nation. Isa 9:2, 3.

Specifically this refers to the Church of the nations,d, but in general to all who are without knowledge but lead charitable lives. These are 'the nation' because they are members of the Lord's kingdom. In David,

O that I may see the good of Your chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the joy of Your nation, that I may glory in Your heritage. Ps 106:5.

Here 'nation' plainly stands for the Lord's kingdom. It was from an ability to perceive that 'a nation' meant the celestial entity of love and the good which flows from this that members of the Most Ancient Church came to be distinguished into separate houses, families, and nations. By this distinguishing they gained a perception of the Lord's kingdom; and because they had a perception of the Lord's kingdom they had a perception of the celestial itself. From that ability to perceive there arose that which held a spiritual meaning, and from this that which was representative.


a lit. the Lightning-Hurler or the Thunderbolt-Hurler. Generally Sw. retains the Hebrew Shaddai, usually translated the Almighty, regarding which see 1992 below; but here Sw. employs the Latin word fulminator.
b i.e.. in Gen 35:10, 11
c lit. all the days
d i.e. the Church established among gentiles

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