Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 2015

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2015. That 'kings will come out of you' means that all truth comes from Him is clear from the meaning of 'a king' as truth in both the historical and the prophetical sections of the Word, as stated in 1672 but not yet shown to be so. From the meaning of 'nations' as goods, and from the meaning of 'kings' as truths, the nature of the internal sense of the Word becomes clear, and also how remote it is from the sense of the letter. No one reading the Word, especially the historical section, believes anything other than that 'nations' referred to there means nations, or that 'kings' there means kings, and therefore that the nations mentioned there, or the kings, are the real subject of the very Word itself. But when the idea of nations and also of kings reaches angels it perishes altogether, and good and truth take their place instead. This is bound to seem strange and indeed a paradox, but it is nevertheless the truth. The matter may also become clear to anyone from the fact that if nations were meant in the Word by 'nations' and kings by 'kings', the Word of the Lord would hardly embody anything more than some historical or other piece of writing and so would be something of a worldly nature, when in fact everything in the Word is Divine and so is celestial and spiritual.

[2] Take merely the statement in the present verse about Abraham's being made fruitful, nations being made of him, and kings coming out of him. What else is this but something purely worldly and nothing at all heavenly? Indeed these assertions entail no more than the glory of this world, a glory which is absolutely nothing in heaven. But if this is the Word of the Lord then its glory must be that of heaven, not that of the world. This also is why the sense of the letter is completely erased and disappears when it passes into heaven, and is purified in such a way that nothing worldly at all is intermingled. For 'Abraham' is not used to mean Abraham but the Lord; nor is 'being fruitful' used to mean his descendants who would increase more and more but the endless growth of good belonging to the Lord's Human Essence. 'Nations' do not mean nations but goods, and 'kings' do not mean kings but truths. Nevertheless the narrative in the sense of the letter remains historically true, for Abraham was indeed spoken to in this way; and he was indeed made fruitful in this way, with nations as well as kings descending from him.

[3] That 'kings' means truths becomes clear from the following places: In Isaiah,

The sons of the foreigner will build up your walls, and their kings will minister to you. You will suck the milk of nations, and the breast of kings will you suck. Isa 60:10, 16.

What 'sucking the milk of nations and the breast of kings' means is not at all evident from the letter but from the internal sense, in which being endowed with goods and instructed in truths is meant. In Jeremiah,

There will enter through the gates of this city kings and princes seated on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses. Jer 17:25; 22:4.

'Riding in chariots and on horses' is a prophecy meaning the abundance of things of the understanding, as becomes clear from very many places in the Prophets. Thus the prophecy that 'kings will enter through the gates of the city' means in the internal sense that they were to be endowed with truths of faith. This sense of the Word is the heavenly sense into which the worldly sense of the letter passes.

[4] In the same prophet,

Jehovah has spurned in His fierce indignation king and priest. The gates of Zion have sunk into the ground, He has destroyed and broken in pieces her bars. King and princes are among the nations; the law is no more. Lam 2:6, 9.

Here 'king' stands for the truth of faith, 'priest' for the good of charity, 'Zion' for the Church, which is destroyed and its bars broken in pieces. Consequently 'king and princes among the nations', that is, truth and what belongs to truth, will be so completely banished that 'the law is no more', that is, nothing of the doctrine of faith will exist any more. In Isaiah,

Before the boy knows to refuse evil and to choose good, the ground will be abandoned which you loathe in the presence of its two kings. Isa 7:16.

This refers to the Lord's Coming. 'The land that will be abandoned' stands for faith which at that time would not exist. 'The kings' are the truths of faith which would be loathed.

[5] In the same prophet,

I will lift up My hand to the nations and raise My ensign to the peoples; and they will bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters will be carried on their shoulder. Kings will be your foster fathers and their queens your wet-nurses. Isa 49:22, 23.

'Nations' and 'daughters' stand for goods, 'peoples' and 'sons' for truths, as shown in Volume One. That 'nations' stands for goods, 1259, 1260, 1416, 1849, as does 'daughters', 489-491, while 'peoples' stands for truths, 1259, 1260, as does 'sons', 489, 491, 533, 1147. 'Kings' therefore stands for truths, in general by which they will be nourished, and 'queens' for goods by which they will be suckled. Whether you speak of goods and truths or of those who are governed by goods and truths it amounts to the same.

[6] In the same prophet,

He will spatter many nations, kings will shut their mouths because of him,a for that which has [not] been told them they have seen, and that which they have not heard they have understood. Isa 52:15.

This refers to the Lord's Coming. 'Nations' stands for those who are stirred by an affection for goods, 'kings' those who are stirred by an affection for truths. In David,

Now, O kings, be intelligent; be instructed, O judges of the earth. Serve Jehovah with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son lest He perhaps be angry and you perish in the way. Ps 2:10-12.

'Kings' stands for people who are governed by truths, and who by virtue of truths are also in many places called 'king's sons'. 'The Son' here stands for the Lord, and he is called the Son here because he is Truth itself, and the source of all truth.

[7] In John,

They will sing a new song, You are worthy to take the Book and to open its seals. You have made us kings and priests to our God so that we shall reign on the earth. Rev 5:9, 10.

Here people who are governed by truths are called 'kings'. The Lord also calls them 'the sons of the kingdom' in Matthew,

He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the seed are the sons of the kingdom, and the tares are the sons of the evil one. Matt 13:37, 38.

In John,

The sixth angel poured out his bowl over the great river Euphrates and its water was dried up to prepare the way of the kings who were from the east. Rev 16:12.

'Euphrates' clearly does not mean the Euphrates, nor does 'kings from the east' mean kings from that quarter. What 'Euphrates' does mean may be seen in 120,1585, 1866, from which it is evident that 'the way of the kings who were from the cast' means truths of faith that derive from goods of love.

[8] In the same book,

The nations that are saved will walk in its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory and honour into it. Rev 21:24.

Here 'nations' stands for people who are governed by goods, 'kings of the earth' for those who are governed by truths, which is also evident from the fact that the details here are prophetical, not historical. In the same book,

With the great harlot seated on many waters the kings of the earth have committed whoredom and have become drunk with the wine of her whoredom. Rev 17:2.

And elsewhere in the same book,

Babylon has given all nations drink from the wine of the fury of her whoredom; and the kings of the earth have committed whoredom with her. Rev 18:1, 3, 9.

Here similarly it is clear that 'the kings of the earth' does not mean kings, for the subject is the falsification and adulteration of the doctrine of faith, that is, of truth, which are 'whoredom'. 'Kings of the earth' stands for truths that have been falsified and adulterated.

[9] In the same book,

The ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom but are receiving authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. These will be of one mind, and they will hand over power and authority to the beast. Rev 17:12, 13.

That 'kings' here does not mean kings may also be evident to anyone. If kings were meant, then 'ten kings receiving authority as kings for one hour' would be quite unintelligible, as similarly with the following words in the same book,

I saw the beast and the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered to make war with Him who was sitting on the horse, and with His army. Rev 19:19

In verse 13 of the same chapter it is stated explicitly that the One who was sitting on the horse was The Word of God, against which the kings of the earth are said to have been gathered. 'The beast' stands for goods of love that have been profaned, 'kings' for truths of faith that have been adulterated; these are called 'kings of the earth' because they exist within the Church - 'earth' meaning the Church, see 662, 1066, 1067, 1262. 'The white horse' stands for the understanding of truth, 'He who was sitting on the horse' for the Word. This matter is plainer still in Daniel 11, describing the war between the king of the south and the king of the north, by which is meant the conflict of truths with falsities. Here such conflicts are described as a war that took place in history.

[10] Since 'a king' means truth, what is meant in the internal sense when the Lord is called King, and also a Priest, is made clear; and what essential quality of the Lord was represented by kings, and what by priests, is also made clear. 'Kings' represented His Divine Truth, and 'priests' His Divine Good. All the laws of order by which the Lord governs the universe as King are truths, while all the laws by which He governs the universe as Priest and by which He rules even over truths themselves are goods. For government from truths alone condemns everyone to hell, but government from goods lifts them out of that place and raises them up into heaven; see 1728. Because, in the Lord's case, these two - truths and goods - are joined together, they were also represented in ancient times by kingship and priesthood combined, as with Melchizedek who was at one and the same time king of Salem and priest to God Most High, Gen 14:18. And at a later time among the Jews where the representative Church was established in a form of its own He was represented by judges and priests, and after that by kings.

[11] But because 'kings' represented truths which ought not to be paramount for the reason, already stated, that they condemn, the very idea was so objectionable that the Jews were reproached for it. The nature of truth regarded in itself has been described in 1 Sam 8:11-18, as the rights of a king; and previous to that, in Moses, in Deut 17:14-18, they had been commanded through Moses to choose genuine truth deriving from good, not spurious truth, and not to pollute it with reasonings and factual knowledge. These are the considerations which the directive concerning a king given in the place in Moses referred to above embodies within itself. No one can possibly see this from the sense of the letter, but it is nevertheless evident from the details within the internal sense. This shows why 'a king' and 'kingship' represented and meant nothing other than truth.


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