Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 8301

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8301. 'Who is like You among the gods, O Jehovah' means that every truth of good emanates from the Lord's Divine Human. This is clear from the meaning of 'gods' as truths, dealt with in 4402, 7268, 7873, at this point truths springing from good since comparison with Jehovah is made when it says, Who is like You among the gods, O Jehovah? 'Jehovah' in the Word means the Lord, see 1343, 1736, 2921, 3023, 3035, 5041, 5663, 6280, 6281, 6303, 6905, 6945, 6956; but at this point Jehovah' is used to mean the Divine Human because the theme of the song is the salvation of those belonging to the spiritual Church, accomplished through the Lord's Coming into the world, and by means of His Divine Human while He was in it, see 2661, 2716, 2833, 2834, 6372, 6854, 6914, 7035, 7091(end), 7828, 7932, 8018, 8054. The reason why the words used mean that every truth of good emanates from the Lord's Divine Human is that truths can emanate from anyone at all, but the truths of good can do so only from the Lord, consequently from those who are governed by good received from the Lord. Truths divorced from good are also contemplated and declared by those who possess faith that is mere persuasion and still lead a life of evil, as well as by many others within the Church. But those truths are not the truths of good, and so they do not emanate from the Lord but from such people themselves.

[2] The fact that truths springing from good emanate from the Lord may be recognized from the consideration that the Lord is Good itself because He is Love itself. Truth emanates from that Love just as light does from the flames of the sun. This truth is also like the light in springtime and summer, which holds warmth within itself and causes all things on the planet to come alive so to speak. But truth that does not flow from good is like the light in wintertime when all things on the planet die off. The reason why 'gods' are the truths of good is that 'gods' is used in the good sense to mean angels, who are called 'gods' because they are substances or forms receiving truth that has good from the Lord within it.

[3] Angels, and therefore the truths of good which emanate from the Lord, are also meant by 'gods' in the following places: In David,

God places himself in the assembly of God in the midst of the gods will He judge. I said, You are gods and sons of the Most High, all of you. Ps 82:1, 6.

Truths emanating from the Lord are what 'gods' is used to mean here. This is clear from the fact that the singular, 'in the assembly of God', is used first, and 'in the midst of the gods' afterwards. For 'God' is used in the Word where truth is referred to, see 2769, 2807, 2822, 3921, 4287, 4402, 7010; and in the highest sense 'God' is the Divine Truth emanating from the Lord, 7268. In the same author,

I will confess You with my whole heart; before the gods I will make melody to You. Ps 138:1.

In the same author,

There is none like You among the gods O Lord. Ps 86:8.

In the same author,

A great God is Jehovah, and a great King above all gods. Ps 95:3.

In the same author,

You, O Jehovah, are [high] above all the earth; You are exceedingly exalted above all gods. Ps. 97:9.

In the same author,

I know that Jehovah is great, and our Lord is above all gods. Ps 135:5.
So it is too that Jehovah is called Lord of lords and God of gods in Deut 10:17; Josh 22:22; Ps 136:2.

[4] The reason why it is said so many times that Jehovah is above all gods and is God of gods is that at that time a large number of gods were worshipped. Nations were distinguished from one another according to the gods they worshipped, each nation believing that its god was the highest of all. As a result of this the idea of a large number of gods was rooted in everyone's mind, though there was disagreement over which one of them was the greatest, as becomes quite clear from many places in the historical narratives of the Word. That idea was rooted in the minds of the Jews more than others, and this explains why it says so many times in the Word that Jehovah was greater than all gods and that He was King and God of gods. The fact that this idea of a large number of gods was rooted in the minds of the Jews more than other nations becomes quite clear from their frequent apostasy, when they turned to the worship of other gods, many instances of which are recorded in the historical books of the Word, such as Judg 2:10, 13, 17, 19; 3:5-7; 8:27, 33; 10:6, 10, 13; 18:14, 17, 18, 20, 24, 31; I Sam 7:3, 4; 8:8; I Kings 14:23, 24; 16:31-33; 18:20ff; 21:26; 22:53; 2 Kings 16:1, 10ff; 17:7, 15-17; 21:3-7, 21; 23:4, 5, 7, 8, 10-13; and elsewhere.

[5] The mind of that nation was so unsound that with their lips they declared belief in Jehovah alone, yet in their heart acknowledged other gods. This becomes perfectly clear from the consideration that they saw so many miracles in Egypt, and in addition so many after that - the division of the sea before them and the drowning of Pharaoh's army, the pillar of cloud and fire constantly appearing, the manna raining down from heaven every day, and the actual presence of Jehovah with such great majesty and awe on Mount Sinai. And having seen such miracles they declared openly that Jehovah alone was God. Yet only weeks later, merely because Moses delayed [coming down from the mountain], they asked for molded gods which they could adore. And also after Aaron had made them those people attended them with divine worship through a feast, burnt offerings and sacrifices, and dancing. From this it becomes clear that the worship of many gods remained fixed in their hearts. The fact that this nation was like this, more than any other nation on the entire earth, is also clear in Jeremiah,

Has a nation changed its gods, and My people changed their glory for what does not profit? Be astonished, O heavens, over this, and shudder, be in great trepidation. According to the number of your cities have your gods been, O Judah. Jer. 2:11, 12, 28.

[6] The character of that nation is also such that they adore external things, and so idols, more than all other nations do; they have no desire whatever to know about internal things. For they are the most avaricious of all nations; and avarice, which with them is such that gold or silver is loved for its own sake and not for the sake of any useful purpose, is an extremely earthly desire. It drags the mind down completely to a physical level and submerges it in it; and it closes interior levels to such an extent that no faith or love whatever from heaven can enter them. This shows how greatly mistaken those people are who believe that that nation will be chosen again, or that the Lord's Church will pass to them again after all others have been cast aside, when in fact you will convert stones to faith in the Lord before you convert them. This belief that the Church will pass to them is again due to many places in the prophetical parts of the Word which speak of their future return. But such people do not know that in those places Judah, Jacob, or Israel is not used to mean that nation, but those among whom the Church resides.

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