Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 2928

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2928. 'To the people of the land, to the sons of Heth' means by those who belonged to the [new] spiritual Church. This is clear from the meaning of 'the people' as those who are governed by truths, and so those who are spiritual, dealt with in 1259, 1260; from the meaning of 'the land' as the Church dealt with in 662, 1066, 1068, 1262, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118 (end); and from the meaning of 'the sons of Heth' as those who belonged to the new spiritual Church, dealt with above in 2913. The expression 'the people of the land' is used in various places in the Word when the subject is Israel and Jerusalem, and by those people is meant in the internal sense the spiritual Church or those who belong to the spiritual Church, for Israel and Jerusalem are used to mean that Church. When Judah and Zion are the subject however the expression 'the nation' is used. 'The nation' means the celestial Church, for Judah and Zion are used to mean that Church.

[2] That the expression 'the people of the land' is used when Israel and Jerusalem, and so when the spiritual Church are the subject, is clear from many places in the Word, as in Ezekiel,

Say to the people of the land, Thus says the Lord Jehovih to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to the land of Israel, They will eat their bread in sorrow, and drink their waters in vastation, that her land may be devastated. The inhabited cities will be vastated and the land made desolate. Ezek 12:19, 20.

Here in the internal sense 'Jerusalem' and 'the land of Israel' stand for the spiritual Church, 'bread' and 'waters' for charity and faith, or good and truth. 'The land' stands for the Church itself which as regards good is said to be 'vastated' and as regards truth to be 'made desolate'.

[3] In the same prophet,

The house of Israel will bury Gog and his multitude so that they will cleanse the land in seven months, and all the people of the land will bury them. Ezek 39:11-13.

'Gog' stands for external worship separated from internal, which is idolatrous, 1151. 'The house of Israel' stands for the spiritual Church as regards good, 'the people of the land' as regards truth, 'the land' for the Church itself. The reason 'the land' is the Church is that 'the land of Canaan' represented the Lord's kingdom and so the Church, since the Lord's kingdom on earth is the Church.

[4] In the same prophet,

All the people of the land will givea this thruma (oblation) to the prince of Israel. And the prince will prepare for himself on that day, and for all the people of the land a young bull for a sin offering. The people of the land will bow down at the door of the gate on the sabbaths and at new moons. And the people of the land will enter at the appointed feasts. Ezek 45:16, 22; 46:3, 9.

This refers to the New Jerusalem, that is, to the Lord's spiritual kingdom, whose subjects are here called 'the people of the land'. 'The prince' is Divine truth coming from the Lord. The expression 'the sons of Heth' is used because 'sons' means truths, see 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623.

[5] The reason why truths are attributable to those who are spiritual is that these people are introduced to good by way of truths, that is, to charity by way of faith. And because the good they do is done from an affection for truth - for they do not know otherwise than that it is good because they have been taught that it is - their conscience too is founded on these truths of faith, see 1155, 1577, 2046, 2088, 2184, 2507, 2715, 2716, 2718.


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