Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 4449

Previous Number Next Number Next Translation See Latin 

4449. 'His soul longs for your daughter; give her, I beg you, to him for a wife' means a longing to be joined to this new Church which in outward appearance was similar to the Ancient Church. This is clear from the meaning of 'the soul's longing' as a longing; from the representation of Dinah, to whom 'daughter' refers here, as the affection for truth, and therefore as the Church, for a Church is a Church by virtue of its affection for truth - such a Church being meant here by a new Church; and from the meaning of 'giving her for a wife' as a joining together, dealt with in 4434.

[2] As regards that new Church which was established among the descendants of Jacob being in outward appearance similar to the Ancient Church, it should be realized that the statutes, judgements, and laws which were prescribed through Moses for the Israelite and Jewish nation were no different from the statutes, judgements, and laws which existed in the Ancient Church, such as those concerning betrothals and marriages, concerning slaves, concerning the living creatures which were suitable for food and those which were not suitable, concerning cleansings, festivals, tabernacles, the perpetual fire, and many other things; also concerning altars, burnt offerings, sacrifices, libations, that had been received in the second Ancient Church which began with Eber. The fact that all of these were known before they were prescribed for that nation is quite evident from the historical descriptions of the Word.

[3] Take merely altars, burnt offerings, and sacrifices. Of Balaam it is recorded that he ordered them to build seven altars and to offer on them burnt offerings and sacrifices of young buss and rams, Num 23:1, 2, 14, 15, 29. Besides this, it is said of the nations in many places, that their altars were to be destroyed; and of the prophets of Baal whom Elijah slew, that they offered sacrifices. These facts make it clear that sacrifices which were prescribed for the descendants of Jacob were not new; nor were the rest of the statutes, judgements, and laws. But because these things became idolatrous among the nations - in particular through their use of those things to worship some profane god, which resulted in them turning representatives of Divine things to what is of hell, in addition to the many: practices which they added to these - those same things were reinstated so that the representative worship of the Ancient Church might be restored. From this it becomes clear that this new Church which was established among Jacob's descendants was in outward appearance similar to the Ancient Church.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

© 2000-2001 The Academy of the New Church