Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 2712

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2712. 'He dwelt in the wilderness of Paran' means the life of the spiritual man as regards good. This is clear from the meaning of 'dwelling' as being used in reference to good residing in truth, which is spiritual good, that is, good present with the spiritual man. The essential nature of that good is described by his dwelling in the wilderness of Paran, dealt with immediately below. That 'dwelling' is used in reference to good residing in truth, or to the affection for truth, is clear from many places in the Word where it is said of cities, which mean truths, that they will be without any inhabitant, by whom good is meant, 2268, 2449, 2451; for truths are inhabited by good, and truths devoid of good are like a city that has no one dwelling in it, as in Zephaniah,

I have laid their streets waste, so that none passes through; their cities are desolate, so that there is no one dwelling in them. Zeph 3: 6.

[2] In Jeremiah,

Jehovah was leading us through the wilderness. No man passed through in that [land], and no one dwelt there. They have turned his land into a solitary place, his cities have been burned, so that none is dwelling there. Jer 2: 6, 15.

In the same prophet,

Every city has been forsaken, with no one dwelling in them. Jer 4: 29.

In the same prophet,

In the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate there is no human being, no inhabitant, no beast. Jer 33: 10.

'Streets' stands for truths, 2336, 'no human being' for no celestial good, 'no inhabitant' for no spiritual good, 'no beast' for no natural good. In the same prophet,

The cities of Moab will become a desolation, with no one dwelling in them. Jer 48: 9.

[3] With each particular expression in the Prophets there exists the marriage of truth and good. Consequently when 'a city' is said to be desolate, the phrase 'no one dwelling in it' is also added, the reason being that 'a city' means truths and 'one dwelling in it' good. Otherwise it would be superfluous to say 'no one dwelling in it' when it has been stated that the city is desolate. In a similar way certain terms occur consistently to mean things that belong to celestial good, others that belong to spiritual good, and others also that belong to truths, as in Isaiah,

Your seed will possess the nations, and they will dwell in the desolate cities. Isa 54: 3

Here 'possessing' has reference to celestial good, 'dwelling in' to spiritual good. In the same prophet,

My chosen ones will possess it, and My servants will dwell there. Isa 65: 9.

Here the meaning is similar.

[4] In David,

God will save Zion and will build the cities of Judah; and they will dwell there and possess it, and the seed of His servants will inherit it, and those loving His name will dwell in it. Ps 69: 35, 36.

'Dwelling there' and at the same time 'possessing' has reference to celestial good, 'dwelling in' to spiritual good. In Isaiah,

He who says to Jerusalem, You will be dwelt in; and to the cities of Judah, You will be built. Isa 44: 26.

Here 'dwelling in' has reference to the good of the spiritual Church, which is Jerusalem. To such an extent do the terms used in the Word have reference to their own goods and their own truths that simply from a knowledge of that usage of terms one may recognize what the subject is in general that is being dealt with.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

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