Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/266

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

held from the thought and intention of using sorceries by the fear of death: "Unless the ass had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee" (Numb. xxii. 33). It sounded in the ears of Balaam as if the ass spoke to him; and yet she did not speak, but the speech was heard as if proceeding from her. That this is so has often been shown me by living experience. It has been given me to hear horses as it were speaking; and yet the speech was not from them, but as if from them. This was actually the case with Balaam; to the intent that that history might be described in the Word, for the sake of the internal sense which every single expression of it contains. In that sense it is described how the Lord defends those who are in truths and goods, lest they should be injured by those who speak as if from enlightenment, and yet have the disposition and intention to lead astray. (A. E. n. 140.)

The Sun and Moon standing still at the command op Joshua.

It is written in Joshua: "Then spake Joshua to Jehovah in the day when Jehovah delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation was avenged upon its enemies. Is not this written in the took of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day" (x. 12, 13). The saying that the sun stood still upon Gibeon and the moon in the valley of Ajalon, signified that the church was entirely vastated as to all good and truth. For a battle was then fought against the king of Jerusalem and the kings of the Amorites; and by the king of Jerusalem the truth of the church entirely vastated by falsities is signified, and by the kings of the Amorites is signified the good of the church vastated by evils. Therefore those kings were smitten with hailstones, by which were signified the horrible falsities of evil. It is said that the sun stood still and the moon stayed, that is in the sight of the children of Israel, that they might see their enemies; but this was prophetical, although historically related; as may appear from the circumstance that it is said, "Is not this written in the book of Jasher?" which was a prophetical book, out of which these words were taken. From this same book therefore it is said too, "until the nation was avenged upon its enemies" and not "until the children of Israel were avenged upon their enemies;" for the word "nation" is said prophetically. The same is evident moreover from the consideration that this miracle, if it had been just so accomplished, would have inverted the whole order of nature; which the other miracles in the Word would not have