Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/263

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AND SUBJECTS IN THE WORD.

that on this account that city was esteemed holy, and was also called holy, both in the historical and prophetical Word. The reason was because that nation was in heart idolatrous; and therefore unless they had all met together at that city on each festival, every one in his own place would have worshipped some god of the Gentiles, or some graven and molten thing. For the sake of that nation too it was forbidden to celebrate holy worship on mountains and in groves, as the ancients had done. This was done lest they should place idols there, and should worship the very trees. For the sake of that nation also it was permitted to marry several wives; which was a thing entirely unknown in ancient times; and likewise to put away their wives for various causes. Hence laws were enacted concerning such marriages and divorces which otherwise would not have entered the external of the Word. This external is therefore called by the Lord that of Moses, and is said to have been "suffered for the hardness of their heart" (Matt. xix. 8). It was for the sake of that nation that Jacob, and also the twelve sons of Israel, were so often mentioned as the only elect and heirs; as in the Apocalypse, vii. 4-8, and elsewhere,—although their character was such as is described in the song of Moses (Deut. xxxii. 15-43), and in the prophets also throughout, and by the Lord Himself. Besides other things of which the external of the Word was composed for the sake of that nation. It is this external which is signified by the two tables hewed out by Moses. That within this external there is yet the Divine internal, unchanged, is signified by Jehovah writing on these tables the same words which were on the former tables, (ib. n. 10,603.)

 

Signification op the Jewish Sacrifices.

The animals which were offered up in the sacrifices and burnt-offerings were oxen, bullocks, he-goats, rams, she-goats, he-kids; and he-lambs, ewe-lambs, and kids of the she-goats. He who does not know what these animals signify cannot know at all what is signified in particular by the sacrifices and burnt-offerings of them. It should be known that all the animals on earth signify such things as pertain to man; which in general refer to the affections which are of his will, and to the thoughts which are of his understanding, and therefore to goods and truths; for goods are of the will, and truths are of the understanding. And as they refer to goods and truths, they also refer to love and faith; for all things that pertain to love are called goods, and all things that pertain to faith are called truths. The fact that animals of different kinds have such a signification has its cause