Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/258

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SIGNIFICATION OF VARIOUS TERMS

and stand upon the mountain before Jehovah. Behold Jehovah passed by; so that a great and strong wind rent asunder the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before Jehovah: Jehovah was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake; yet Jehovah was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake a fire; Jehovah was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice" (xix. 11, 12). (A. C. n. 8823.)

 

Boring the Ear with an Awl.

"Then his master shall bring him to God, and shall bring him to a door or to a post, and his master shall bore his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever" (Exod. xxi. 6). Who cannot see that this ritual concerning men-servants who were to remain contains within it a mystery? and indeed a Divine mystery, for it was dictated and commanded by Jehovah from Mount Sinai They who do not believe that there is anything more holy or Divine in the Word than what appears in the letter, must wonder that these and many other things contained in this and the following chapters were dictated viva voce by Jehovah; for they appear in the letter to be just such things as are contained in the laws of nations. Thus this law concerning men-servants, that such of them as were not willing to go forth from service should be brought to a door or to a post, and should have an ear bored through with an awl by their master; in the sense of the letter this does not savour of the Divine, and yet it is most Divine. But this does not appear except by the internal sense. The internal sense is, that they who are in truths alone and not in corresponding good, but yet are in the delight of the remembrance of spiritual goods, have some communication and conjunction with spiritual good. This was represented by the ear of the man-servant being bored through at a door or a post by his master; for a door is communication; a post is conjunction; the ear is obedience; and to bore it through with an awl is representative of the state in which he was to remain. Thus the angels who are with man while he reads this Word perceive these things. For the angels do not think of a door, or of a post, or of an ear and of its being bored, or even of a man-servant; but instead of these they think of the aforesaid communication and conjunction. For the angels are intelligent in such things, because they are in the light; and they only occur to their minds as spiritual and celestial, and not as natural and worldly, which the things in the literal sense of the Word are. For the literal sense of the Word is natural and worldly, and its internal sense is spiritual and celestial. That is for men; this