Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 7051

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7051. People who know nothing at all about the internal sense of the Word cannot help thinking that the Israelite and Jewish nation was chosen in preference to every other nation and was therefore of superior quality to all the rest, as those who belonged to that nation also thought. And what is so astonishing, this is not only what that nation itself thinks but also what Christians think, no matter how well they know that this nation is eaten up by filthy kinds of love, by foul avarice, hatred, and pride, and in addition to this belittles and also loathes things of an internal nature that belong to charity and faith and are the Lord's. The reason why Christians also think that this nation was chosen in preference to others is that they think a person is chosen and saved as a result of mercy, irrespective of the life he leads, so that those who are criminal can be received into heaven just as well as the godly and upright. They give no consideration to the idea that choice or election is all-embracing, that is to say, that it includes all who lead a good life. Nor do they consider that the Lord's mercy is shown to every person who refrains from evil and wishes to lead a good life, and so who allows himself to be led by the Lord and to be regenerated, a process which is being effected throughout the course of his life.

[2] This goes to explain too why the majority of people in the Christian world also believe that that nation will again be chosen, and that when this happens they will be led back into the land of Canaan. And this belief is also in keeping with the sense of the letter, for example in the following places: Isaiah 10:20-23; 11;11, 12; 29:14-end; 43:5, 6; 49:6-26; 56:8, 60:4; 61:3-10; 62: Jeremiah 3:14-19; 15:4, 14: 16:13, 15; 23:7, 8; 24:9, 10; 31:31, 33; 25:29; 29:14, 18; 30:3, 8-11; 31:8-10, 17; 33:16, 20, 26; Ezekiel 5:10, 12, 15; 16:60; 20:41; 22;15, 16; 34:12, 13; 37:21, 22; 38:12; 39:23, 27, 28; Daniel 7:27; 12:7; Hosea 3:4, 5; Joel 2:32; 3; Amos 9:8, 9 and following verses; Micah 5:7, 8. It is on the basis of these as well as other places that even Christians think that nation will again be chosen and led into the land of Canaan. They think this even though they know that nation is waiting for the Messiah who will then lead the nation in, and are at the same time aware that its waiting for Him is in vain, and that the Messiah's or Christ's kingdom is not of this world, which means that the land of Canaan into which the Messiah will lead them is heaven.

[3] Such people give no thought to the idea that the Word has a spiritual sense within it and that in that sense Israel is not meant by Israel, Jacob by Jacob, or Judah by Judah, but that the things which they represent are meant by them. Nor do they give any thought to what the historical sections record regarding that nation - what it was like in the wilderness and what it was like after that in the land of Canaan, namely that it was at heart idolatrous - or to what the Prophets say about it and about its spiritual whoredom and its abominations. What that nation is like is described in the following words contained in the Song in Moses,

I will conceal My face from them; I will see what their future will be, for they are a perverse generation, sons in whom there is no faithfulness. I would have said, I will expel them to the remotest corners, I will make the memory of them cease from mankind, except that enemies might say, Our hand is high, and not Jehovah has done all this. For they are a nation from whom counsel has perished, nor is there intelligence in them. From the vine of Sodom comes their vine, and from the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of poison, they have clusters of bitterness. The poison of snakes (draco) is their wine, and the cruel poison of asps. Is this not hidden away with Me, sealed up in My treasuries? Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; in time their foot will slip, for near is the day of their destruction, and the things to come upon them hasten on. Deut 31:20, 26-28, 32-35.
Jehovah gave Moses the words of this song, see Deut 31:19, 21.
The Lord too spoke about what that nation was like, in John,

You are from your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has not stood in the truth. John 8:44.

And many other places besides these show what that nation was like.

[4] The reason why, although they know these things, Christians believe that that nation will at length be converted to the Lord and at that time led into the land where they lived before is, as has been stated, that they have no knowledge of the internal sense of the Word. Another reason is their supposition that it makes no difference what kind of life a person leads, and that even evil which has become deeply rooted through repeated actions in no way prevents a person - through faith, even if it has existed for only one part of an hour - from being made spiritual, being regenerated, and so being accepted by the Lord. They also suppose that admission into heaven is solely a matter of mercy, and that this is shown towards one particular nation, thus not towards all in the whole world who receive the Lord's mercy. Those who think in that way do not know that it is altogether contrary to the Divine that some should be chosen and born to salvation and heaven, and others should not be chosen but born to damnation and hell. To think about the Divine in that kind of way would be shocking, for making such choices would show a complete lack of mercy, when in fact the Divine is Mercy itself. From all this it may now be recognized that the Israelite and Jewish nation was not and never will be the chosen nation; also that not a trace of the Church existed or could exist with that nation, only a representative of the Church; and that it was preserved right up to the present day because of the Old Testament Word, regarding which see 3479.

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