Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 414

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414. 'Dwelling in a tent' means the holiness of love. This is clear from the meaning of 'tents' in the Word, as in David,

O Jehovah, who will sojourn in Your tent? Who will dwell on Your holy mountain! He who walks blameless and performs righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart. Ps 15:1, 2.

Here the holy things of love, which are 'walking blameless and performing righteousness' are described by 'dwelling in a tent' or 'on the holy mountain'. In the same author,

Their line has gone out into all the earth, and their speech to the end of the world. In them He has set a tent for the sun. Ps 19:4.

Here 'sun' stands for love. In the same author,

I will dwell in Your tent for ever, I will put my trust in the shelter of Your wings. Ps 61:4

Here 'tent' stands for what is celestial, and 'shelter of Your wings' for what is spiritual deriving from it. In Isaiah,

In compassion a throne was established, and on it there sat in truthfulness in the tent of David, one who judges and who seeks judgement, and hastens in righteousness. Isa 16:5

Here again 'tent' stands for the holiness of love, which the phrases judging judgement' and 'hastening in righteousness' are used to describe. In the same prophet,

Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feast. May your eyes see Jerusalem, a quiet habitation, a tent which is not moved. Isa 33:10.

This refers to the heavenly Jerusalem.

[2] In Jeremiah,

Thus said Jehovah, Behold, I will bring back the captivity of the tents of Jacob and have compassion on his dwellings. And the city will be built upon its mound. Jer 30:18.

'The captivity of the tents' stands for the vastation of celestial things, that is, of holy things of love. In Amos,

On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen down, and I will close up their breaches, and I will raise up its ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old. Amos 9:11.
Here similarly 'a tabernacle' stands for celestial things and the holy things that go with them. In Jeremiah,

The whole land has been laid waste. Swiftly My tents have been laid waste, suddenly My curtains. Jer 4:20.

And elsewhere in Jeremiah,

My tent has been laid waste, and all My cords torn away. My sons have gone away from Me, and they are not. There is no one stretching out My tent any more, and setting up My curtains. Jer 10:20.

Here 'tent' stands for celestial things, 'curtains' and 'cords' for spiritual things deriving from them. In the same prophet,

They will seize their tents and flocks, their curtains and all their vessels, and take away the camels for themselves. Jer 49:29

This refers to Arabia and the sons of the east, who represent people who are in possession of celestial things, that is, things that are holy. In the same prophet,

The Lord has poured out His fierce anger like fire on the tent of the daughter of Zion. Lam 2:4.

This stands for the vastation of the celestial or holy things of faith.

[3] The reason 'a tent' stands in the Word for the celestial or holy things of love is that in ancient times people carried out holy worship, each within his own tent. When however they started to render their tents unholy by profane acts of worship the Tabernacle was built, and later on the Temple. Consequently that which 'the Tabernacle' meant, and later on 'the Temple', was also what 'tents' meant. And someone who was holy was therefore called a tent, also a tabernacle, and the Lord's temple as well. That 'tent', 'tabernacle', and 'temple' all have the same meaning is clear in David,

One thing have I sought from Jehovah, that will I ask for, that I may remain in the house of Jehovah all the days of my life, to behold Jehovah in His beauty, and visit Him every morning in His temple. For He will shelter me in His tabernacle on the day of evil. He will hide me in the hiding-place of His tent, He will lift me up upon a rock and now my head will be lifted up against my enemies round about me, and I will sacrifice in His tent the sacrifices of shouts of joy. Ps 27:4-6.

[4] In the highest sense it is the Lord as regards His Human Essence who is the Tent, the Tabernacle, and the Temple. And every one who is celestial is consequently referred to in the same way, as well as every thing which is celestial and holy. Now because the Most Ancient Church was the Lord's beloved more than the Churches that followed, and because in those times people used to live independently, that is, each within his own family, celebrating holy worship each in his own tent, tents were consequently considered to be more holy than the temple which had been profaned. To remind people of this point the Feast of Tabernacles was therefore instituted when they had to gather in the produce of the earth. During this feast they were required to live in tabernacles as the most ancient people had done, Lev 23:39-44; Deut 16:13; Hosea 12:9.

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