Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 7097

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7097. 'I do not know Jehovah' means that they have no interest in the Lord. This is clear from the meaning of 'not knowing' as having no interest in, for a person who has no interest in something says that he knows nothing about it; and 'Jehovah' is used to mean the Lord, see above in 7091. The implications of this, of Pharaoh's saying that he does not know Jehovah, are as follows: The Egyptians had known Jehovah since ancient times, the reason being that the Ancient Church had existed in Egypt also, as may be plainly recognized from the fact that they were in possession of the representatives and meaningful signs of that Church. Egyptian hieroglyphics are nothing else, for these served to denote spiritual realities; and people knew that they did in actual fact correspond to those realities. But because they began to use such representatives and signs in their sacred worship, to treat them as objects of worship and also at length to turn them into magic, and in so doing to become linked to the devil's crew in hell, they completely destroyed the Ancient Church among themselves. This is why in the Word 'the Egyptians' means facts known to the Church that have been perverted, and also falsities that are opposed to the truths of the Church.

[2] Once the worship of God had become perverted in this way in Egypt, then they were no longer allowed to worship Jehovah either, or at length even to know that Jehovah had been the God of the Ancient Church; and the reason why this happened was to prevent them from profaning the name of Jehovah. The fact that the name of Jehovah was also known at that time, before it was revealed once again to Abraham's descendants through Moses on Mount Horeb, is plainly evident from Balaam, who was from Syria. He not only knew Jehovah but also worshipped Him and offered sacrifice to Him, Numbers 22-24. From all this one may now see why Pharaoh said, 'Who is Jehovah whose voice I am to hear, [telling me] to send the people away? I do not know Jehovah.'

[3] But since 'Pharaoh' represents those in hell who are steeped in falsities and molest those belonging to the spiritual Church, what is involved in all this needs to be stated. Those in hell who molest members of the spiritual Church consist for the most part of the kind of people who have said that faith alone saves and yet have led a life contrary to faith. And since the life they have led, thus the evil which they have contemplated, planned, and carried out, remains after death of the body, therefore to defend the evils assimilated into their life they either employ the things which they have said were matters of faith or else reject them altogether. But to prevent them from misusing the truths of faith, these are taken away from them. And when those truths have been taken they seize on falsities, which are completely contrary to the truths of faith, and then use the falsities to molest those guided by truths. Doing this is then for them the delight of life. Quite a number of them, to acquire power, also learn magic. This is done by those who used various tricks which they devised in the world to deceive their neighbour, and being successful then attributed everything to their own prudence.

[4] Those who have become like this acknowledge the Father as the Creator of all things, but they do not acknowledge the Lord. Regarding the Lord they use similar words to Pharaoh's here regarding Jehovah, 'Who is Jehovah? I do not know Jehovah'. Indeed just as the whole sphere pervading heaven is full of an acknowledgement of and love for the Lord, so the whole sphere pervading the hells is full of a denial of the Lord and of hatred towards Him. Nor can they bear to hear His name mentioned. Those in hell are by nature such that admonitions and threats do not make them leave off, so great is the delight of their life to molest the upright and draw them away from their acknowledgement of the Lord and faith in Him. That delight is intensified by the admonitions they receive to leave off, for they lead them to imagine that those whom they molest will shortly be done for. These are the ones whom 'Pharaoh' and 'the Egyptians' are used to mean specifically.

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