Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 4289

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4289. 'Let me go, for the dawn is coming up' means that the genuine representative role would depart from the descendants of Jacob before they entered into the representatives connected with the land of Canaan. This becomes clear from the train of thought in the internal historical sense in which the descendants of Jacob are the subject. Their state in regard to things of the Church is also described in the Word as evening, night, and morning or dawn - dawn being used to describe the time when they entered the land of Canaan and as a consequence into that which was a representative of the Church in that land. The implications of this are as follows: A representative of the Church could not be established among them until they had been completely vastated, that is, until no knowledge of internal things existed with them. For if knowledge of internal things had existed with them it would have been possible for them to have an affection for them, in which case they would have profaned them For the ability to profane holy things, that is, internal truths and goods, exists with those who know and acknowledge them, more so with those who have an affection for them, but not with those who do not acknowledge them. But see what has been stated and shown already about profanation:

People who know and acknowledge holy things are able to profane them, but not those who do not know and acknowledge them, 593, 1008, 1010, 1059, 3398, 3898.

People inside the Church are capable of profaning holy things, but not those outside, 2051.

Therefore all who are unable to remain steadfast in goodness and truth are kept as far as possible from an acknowledgement of and faith in them, 3398, 3402; and they are kept in ignorance to prevent their profanation of them, 301-303.

What danger comes from profaning holy things, 571, 582.

Worship becomes external to prevent what is internal being profaned, 1327, 1328. Therefore internal truths were not disclosed to the Jews, 3398.

[2] The Lord therefore made provision so that anything genuinely representative of the Church, that is, any internal representation of it, would have departed from the descendants of Jacob before they entered into the representatives connected with the land of Canaan. It so departed that they did not know anything at all about the Lord. They knew, it is true, that the Messiah was to come into the world, but they supposed that the reason for His coming would be to promote them to glory and pre-eminence over all nations in the whole world, but not that He would save their souls for ever. Neither indeed did they know anything whatever about the heavenly kingdom, nor anything about the life after death, nor even anything about charity and faith. To reduce them to such ignorance they were kept for several centuries in Egypt, and when summoned from there did not even know the actual name Jehovah, Exod 3:12-14. What is more, they had lost all the worship of the representative Church, so much so that a month after the Ten Commandments had been publicly declared in their presence from mount Sinai they reverted to Egyptian worship, which was that of the golden calf, Exod. 32.

[3] And this being the nature of the nation which had been brought out of Egypt they all died in the wilderness. For nothing more was required of them than to keep ordinances and commands in the outward form these took, because to keep these in their outward form was to play the part of a representative of the Church. Those who had grown up in Egypt however could not be fitted for that part, but their children could, though with difficulty, at first by means of miracles and after that by terrors and captivities, as is evident from the Books of Joshua and Judges. From this it becomes clear that the entire genuine or internal representative of the Church had departed from them before they entered the land of Canaan where the full form of an external representative of the Church was begun among them; for the land of Canaan was the actual land where the representatives of the Church could be introduced. For all the places and all the boundaries had, since ancient times, been representative in that land, see 3686.

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