Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 2383

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2383. That 'they struck with blindness' means that they were filled with falsities is clear from the meaning of 'blindness'. In the Word blindness is used in reference to people who are immersed in falsity, and also to people who have no knowledge of the truth. Both kinds of people are called blind, though who are meant in any one place becomes clear from the train of thought, especially that in the internal sense. That those immersed in falsity are called 'blind' is clear from the following places: In Isaiah,

His watchmen are blind, they are all without knowledge; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark. Isa 56: 10.

'Blind watchmen' stands for those who, because of reasoning, are immersed in falsity. In the same prophet,

We look for light, and, behold, darkness; for brightness, but we walk in thick darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind. Isa 59: 9, 10,

In Jeremiah,

They went astray blind in the streets; they defiled themselves with blood. Things which have no power they touch with their garments. Lam 4: 14.

This stands for the fact that all truths have been defiled, 'streets' standing for truths in which they have gone astray, 2336.

[2] In Zechariah,

On that day I will strike every horse with panic, and its rider with madness. Every horse of the peoples I will strike with blindness. Zech 12: 4.

Here and elsewhere in the Word 'a horse' stands for what has to do with the understanding. This is why it is said that the horse would be struck with panic, and [every] horse of the peoples with blindness, that is, it would be filled with falsities.

[3] In John,

For judgement I came into the world, that those who do not see may see, but that those who see may become blind. Some of the Pharisees heard these words and said, Are we also blind? Jesus said to them, If you were blind you would have no sin; but now you say, 'We see', therefore your sin remains. John 9:-39-41.

Here the blind in both senses are referred to, that is to say, those who are immersed in falsity and those who have no knowledge of truth. With those inside the Church who know what the truth is, 'blindness' is falsity; but with those who do not know what the truth is, as with those outside the Church, 'blindness' is having no knowledge of the truth. The latter are blameless.

[4] In the same gospel,

He has blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes and understand with their heart and I heal them. John 12: 40; Isa 6: 9-11.

The meaning here is that it would be better for falsities to exist with them than truths, for they lead a life of evil and if they received instruction in truths they would not only continue to falsify them but would also pollute them with evils. They would do so for the same reason that the men of Sodom were struck with blindness, that is, matters of doctrine were filled with falsities. Why this is done has been shown in 301-303, 593, 1008, 1010, 1059, 1327, 1328, 2426.

[5] Because 'blind' meant that which was false, therefore people were not allowed in the Jewish representative Church to sacrifice anything blind, Lev 22: 22; Deut 15: 21; Mal 1: 8. Also any priest who was blind was forbidden to approach and offer on the altar, Lev 21: 18, 21.

[6] That 'blindness' is used in reference to those, like gentiles, who have no knowledge of the truth, is clear in Isaiah,

On that day the deaf will hear the words of the Book, and out of thick darkness and out of darkness the eyes of the blind will see. Isa 29: 18.

'The blind' stands for people who have no knowledge of the truth, chiefly those who are outside the Church. In the same prophet,

Bring forth the blind people and they will have eyes; and the deaf, and they will have ears. Isa 43: 8.

This refers to the Church of the gentiles. In the same prophet,

I will lead the blind in a way they do not know; I will turn the darkness before them into light. Isa 42: 16.

[7] In the same prophet,

I will give You to be a light of the people, to open the blind eyes, to bring the bound out of the dungeon, from the prison-house those who sit in darkness. Isa 42: 6, 7.

This refers to the Lord's Coming and the fact that at that time people who had no knowledge of truth were to receive instruction. For those immersed in falsity do not allow themselves to receive such instruction, for they know the truth but have set themselves against it and have turned the light of truth into darkness which is not dispelled. In Luke,

The householder said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor, and the maimed, and the lame, and the blind. Luke 14:-21.

This refers to the Lord's kingdom. Not those who are literally poor, maimed, lame, and blind are meant but those who are so in the spiritual sense.

[8] In the same gospel,

Jesus said that they were to report to John: The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them. Luke 7:-22.

According to the sense of the letter nobody else is meant by the blind, the lame, lepers, the deaf, the dead, and the poor than those who were so physically, for such cures did take place, that is to say, the blind received sight, the deaf hearing, lepers were restored to health, and the dead to life.

[9] But in the internal sense the same people are meant as are referred to in


Then will be opened the eyes of the blind, and the ears of the deaf will be opened; then will the lame man leap like a hart, and the dumb man sing with his tongue. Isa 35: 5, 6.

This refers to the Lord's Coming and a new Church at that time called the Church of the gentiles who are described as being blind, deaf, lame, and dumb; they were so called as regards their doctrine and life. For it should be recognized that all the miracles which the Lord performed always embodied such matters and therefore meant the things which the blind, the lame, lepers, the deaf, the dead, and the poor are used to mean in the internal sense. Consequently the Lord's miracles were Divine, as also those performed in Egypt, in the wilderness, and all the rest described in the Word, had been. This is an arcanum.

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