Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 471

Previous Number Next Number Next Translation See Latin 

471. The reason why they dwelt in this manner - that is to say, quite separately and divided solely into houses, families, and nations - was so that the Church might in this way be preserved intact, and so that every house and family might be dependent on their parent, and that love and true worship might consequently continue among them. And over and above this each house had distinctive traits that made it different from any other. For it is well known that children, and even later descendants, derive from their parents particular traits and such known characteristics as can be detected in the face and in many other ways. Therefore to guard against any intermingling of innate dispositions, and to preserve their precise differences, it pleased the Lord that they dwell in this manner. In this way the Church was a living representative of the Lord's kingdom, for the Lord's kingdom includes countless communities, with each one differing from every other according to differences of love and faith. This, as stated already, is 'living alone' and, as also stated, 'living in tents'. For the same reason it pleased the Lord to have the Jewish Church to do the same, that is, to be divided into houses, families, and nations, with each individual contracting a marriage inside his own family. These matters will in the Lord's Divine mercy be dealt with later on.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

© 2000-2001 The Academy of the New Church