AC GENESIS Chapter 3
CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE ENTRANCE INTO ETERNAL LIFE OF THOSE WHO ARE RAISED FROM THE DEAD
AC 182. When the celestial angels are with a resuscitated person, they do not leave him, for they love every one; but when the soul is of such a character that he can no longer be in the company of the celestial angels, he is eager to depart from them; and when this takes place the spiritual angels arrive, and give him the use of light, for previously he had seen nothing, but had only thought.
AC 183. I was shown how these angels work. They seemed to as it were roll off the coat of the left eye toward the septum of the nose, in order that the eye might be opened and the use of light be granted. To the man it appears as if this were really done, but it is only an appearance.
AC 184. After this little membrane has been thus in appearance rolled off, some light is visible, but dim, such as a man sees through his eyelids when he first awakes out of sleep; and he who is being resuscitated is in a tranquil state, being still guarded by the celestial angels. There then appears a kind of shadow of an azure color, with a little star, but I perceived that this takes place with variety.
AC 185. Afterwards there seems to be something gently unrolled from the face, and perception is communicated to him, the angels being especially cautious to prevent any idea coming from him but such as is of a soft and tender nature, as of love; and it is now given him to know that he is a spirit.
AC 186. He then commences his life. This at first is happy and glad, for he seems to himself to have come into eternal life, which is represented by a bright white light that becomes of a beautiful golden tinge, by which is signified his first life, to wit, that it is celestial as well as spiritual.
AC 187. His being next taken into the society of good spirits is represented by a young man sitting on a horse and directing it toward hell, but the horse cannot move a step. He is represented as a youth because when he first enters upon eternal life he is among angels, and therefore appears to himself to be in the flower of youth.
AC 188. His subsequent life is represented by his dismounting from the horse and walking on foot, because he cannot make the horse move from the place; and it is insinuated to him that he must be instructed in the knowledges of what is true and good.
AC 189. Afterwards pathways were seen sloping gently upward, which signify that by the knowledges of what is true and good, and by self-acknowledgment, he should be led by degrees toward heaven; for no one can be conducted thither without such self-acknowledgment, and the knowledges of what is true and good. A continuation of this subject may be seen at the end of this chapter.
1. And the serpent was more subtle than any wild animal of the field which Jehovah God had made; and he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2. And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the tree of the garden;
3. But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.
5. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.
6. And the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to give intelligence, and she took of the fruit thereof and did eat, and she gave also to her man (vir) with her, and he did eat.
7. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves girdles.
8. And they heard the voice of Jehovah God going to itself in the garden in the air of the day; and the man and his wife hid themselves from the face of Jehovah God in the midst of the tree of the garden.
9. And Jehovah God cried unto the man (homo), and said unto him, Where art thou?
10. And he said, I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11. And He said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
12. And the man (homo) said, The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
13. And Jehovah God said unto the woman, Why hast thou done this? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
AC 190. The third state of the Most Ancient Church is treated of, which so desired its Own as to love it.
AC 191. Because from the love of self, that is, their own love, they began to believe nothing that they did not apprehend by the senses, the sensuous part is represented by the "serpent;" the love of self, or their own love, by the "woman;" and the rational by the "man."
AC 192. Hence the "serpent," or sensuous part, persuaded the woman to inquire into matters pertaining to faith in the Lord in order to see whether they are really so, which is signified by "eating of the tree of knowledge;" and that the rational of man consented, is signified by "the man that he did eat" (verses 1-6).
AC 193. But they perceived that they were in evil; from which remnant of perception, signified by their "eyes being opened," and by their "hearing the voice of Jehovah" (verses 7, 8), and from the fig-leaves of which they made themselves girdles (verse 7), and from their shame or hiding in the midst of the tree of the garden (verses 8, 9), as well as from their acknowledgment and confession (verses 10-13), it is evident that natural goodness still remained in them.
THE INTERNAL SENSE
AC 194. Verse 1. And the serpent was more subtle than any wild animal of the field which Jehovah God had made; and he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? By the "serpent" is here meant the sensuous part of man in which he trusts; by the "wild animal of the field," here, as before, every affection of the external man; by the "woman," man‘s Own; by the serpent’s saying, "Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree?" that they began to doubt. The subject here treated of is the third posterity of the Most Ancient Church, which began not to believe in things revealed unless they saw and felt that they were so. Their first state, that it was one of doubt, is described in this and in the next following verse.
AC 195. The most ancient people did not compare all things in man to beasts and birds, but so denominated them; and this their customary manner of speaking remained even in the Ancient Church after the flood, and was preserved among the prophets. The sensuous things in man they called "serpents," because as serpents live close to the earth, so sensuous things are those next the body. Hence also reasonings concerning the mysteries of faith, founded on the evidence of the senses, were called by them the "poison of a serpent," and the reasoners themselves "serpents;" and because such persons reason much from sensuous, that is, from visible things (such as are things terrestrial, corporeal, mundane, and natural), it is said that "the serpent was more subtle than any wild animal of the field."
 And so in David, speaking of those who seduce man by reasonings:--
They sharpen their tongue like a serpent; the poison of the asp is under their lips (Ps. 140:3).
They go astray from the womb, speaking a lie. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent, like the deaf poisonous asp that stoppeth her ear, that she may not hear the voice of the mutterers, of a wise one that charmeth charms (sociantis sodalitia ) (Ps. 58:3-6).
Reasonings that are of such a character that the men will not even hear what a wise one says, or the voice of the wise, are here called the "poison of a serpent." Hence it became a proverb among the ancients, that "The serpent stoppeth the ear." In Amos:--
As if a man came into a house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of Jehovah be darkness and not light? even thick darkness, and no brightness in it? (Amos 5:19, 20).
The "hand on the wall" means self-derived power, and trust in sensuous things, whence comes the blindness which is here described.
 In Jeremiah:--
The voice of Egypt shall go like a serpent, for they shall go in strength, and shall come to her with axes as hewers of wood. They shall cut down her forest, saith Jehovah, because it will not be searched, for they are multiplied more than the locust, and are innumerable. The daughter of Egypt is put to shame, she shall be delivered into the hand of the people of the north (Jeremiah 46:22-24).
"Egypt" denotes reasoning about Divine things from sensuous things and memory-knowledges (scientifica). Such reasonings are called the "voice of a serpent;" and the blindness thereby occasioned, the "people of the north." In Job:--
He shall suck the poison of asps; the viper‘s tongue shall slay him. He shall not see the brooks, the flowing rivers of honey and butter (Job 20:16, 17).
"Rivers of honey and butter" are things spiritual and celestial, which cannot be seen by mere reasoners; reasonings are called the "poison of the asp" and the "viper’s tongue." See more respecting the serpent below, at (verses 14 and 15).
AC 196. In ancient times those were called "serpents" who had more confidence in sensuous things than in revealed ones. But it is still worse at the present day, for now there are persons who not only disbelieve everything they cannot see and feel, but who also confirm themselves in such incredulity by knowledges (scientifica) unknown to the ancients, and thus occasion in themselves a far greater degree of blindness. In order that it may be known how those blind themselves, so as afterwards to see and hear nothing, who form their conclusions concerning heavenly matters from the things of sense, of memory-knowledge, and of philosophy, and who are not only "deaf serpents," but also the "flying serpents" frequently spoken of in the Word, which are much more pernicious, we will take as an example what they believe about the spirit.
 The sensuous man, or he who only believes on the evidence of his senses, denies the existence of the spirit because he cannot see it, saying, "It is nothing because I do not feel it: that which I see and touch I know exists." The man of memory-knowledge (scientificus), or he who forms his conclusions from memory-knowledges (scientiae), says, What is the spirit, except perhaps vapor or heat, or some other entity of his science, that presently vanishes into thin air? have not the animals also a body, senses, and something analogous to reason? and yet it is asserted that these will die, while the "spirit of man" will live. Thus they deny the existence of the spirit.
 Philosophers also, who would be more acute than the rest of mankind, speak of the spirit in terms which they themselves do not understand, for they dispute about them, contending that not a single expression is applicable to the spirit which derives anything from what is material, organic, or extended; thus they so abstract it from their ideas that it vanishes from them, and becomes nothing. The more sane however assert that the spirit is thought; but in their reasonings about thought, in consequence of separating from it all substantiality, they at last conclude that it must vanish away when the body expires. Thus all who reason from the things of sense, of memory-knowledge, and of philosophy, deny the existence of the spirit, and therefore believe nothing of what is said about the spirit and spiritual things. Not so the simple in heart: if these are questioned about the existence of spirit, they say they know it exists, because the Lord has said that they will live after death; thus instead of extinguishing their rational, they vivify it by the Word of the Lord.
AC 197. Among the most ancient people, who were celestial men, by the "serpent" was signified circumspection, and also the sensuous part through which they exercised circumspection so as to be secure from injury. This signification of a "serpent" is evident from the Lord‘s words to His disciples:--
Behold, I send you forth as sheep into the midst of wolves; be ye therefore prudent as serpents, and simple as doves (Matt. 10:16).
And also from the "brazen serpent" that was set up in the wilderness, by which was signified the sensuous part in the Lord, who alone is the celestial man, and alone takes care of and provides for all; wherefore all who looked upon it were preserved
AC 198. Verses 2, 3. And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the tree of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. The "fruit of the tree of the garden," is the good and truth revealed to them from the Most Ancient Church; the "fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, of which they were not to eat," is the good and truth of faith, which they were not to learn from themselves; "not to touch it," is a prohibition against thinking of the good and truth of faith from themselves, or from what is of sense and memory-knowledge (sensuali et scientifico) "lest ye die," is because thus faith, or all wisdom and intelligence, would perish.
AC 199. That the "fruit of the tree of which they might eat," signifies the good and truth of faith revealed to them from the Most Ancient Church, or the knowledges (cognitiones) of faith, is evident from the fact that it is said to be the "fruit of the tree of the garden of which they might eat," and not the "tree of the garden," as before when treating of the celestial man, or the Most Ancient Church (Gen. 2:16). The "tree of the garden," as it is there called, is the perception of what is good and true; which good and truth, because they are from that source, are here called "fruit," and are also frequently signified by "fruit" in the Word.
AC 200. The reason why the "tree of knowledge" is here spoken of as being "in the midst of the garden," although previously (Gen. 2:9), the tree of lives was said to be in the midst of the garden, and not the tree of knowledge, is that the "midst" of the garden signifies the inmost; and the inmost of the celestial man, or of the Most Ancient Church, was the "tree of lives," which is love and the faith thence derived; whereas with this man, who may be called a celestial spiritual man, or with this posterity, faith was the "midst" of the garden, or the inmost. It is impossible more fully to describe the quality of the men who lived in that most ancient time, because at the present day it is utterly unknown, their genius being altogether different from what is ever found with any one now. For the purpose however of conveying some idea of their genius, it may be mentioned that from good they knew truth, or from love they knew what is of faith. But when that generation expired, another succeeded of a totally different genius, for instead of discerning the true from the good, or what is of faith from love, they acquired the knowledge of what is good by means of truth, or what is of love from the knowledges of faith, and with very many among them there was scarcely anything but knowledge (quod scirent). Such was the change made after the flood to prevent the destruction of the world.
AC 201. Seeing therefore that such a genius as that of the most ancient people anterior to the flood is not found and does not exist at the present day, it is no easy matter to explain intelligibly what the words of this passage in their genuine sense imply. They are however perfectly understood in heaven, for the angels and angelic spirits who are called celestial are of the same genius as the most ancient people who were regenerate before the flood; while the angels and angelic spirits who are termed spiritual are of a similar genius to the regenerate after the flood, although in both cases with indefinite variety.
AC 202. The Most Ancient Church, which was a celestial man, was of such a character as not only to abstain from "eating of the tree of knowledge," that is, from learning what belongs to faith from sensuous things and memory-knowledges (scientifica), but was not even allowed to touch that tree, that is, to think of anything that is a matter of faith from sensuous things and memory-knowledges, lest they should sink down from celestial life into spiritual life, and so on downward. Such also is the life of the celestial angels, the more interiorly celestial of whom do not even suffer faith to be named, nor anything whatever that partakes of what is spiritual; and if it is spoken of by others, instead of faith they have a perception of love, with a difference known only to themselves; thus whatever is of faith they derive from love and charity. Still less can they endure listening to any reasoning about faith, and least of all to anything of memory-knowledge (scientificum) respecting it; for, through love, they have a perception from the Lord of what is good and true; and from this perception they know instantly whether a thing is so, or is not so. Therefore when anything is said about faith, they answer simply that it is so, or that it is not so, because they perceive it from the Lord. This is what is signified by the Lord’s words in Matthew:--
Let your communication be Yea, yea; Nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil (Matthew 5:37).
This then is what was meant by their not being allowed to touch the fruit of the tree of knowledge; for if they touched it, they would be in evil, that is, they would in consequence "die." Nevertheless the celestial angels converse together on various subjects like the other angels, but in a celestial language, which is formed and derived from love, and is more ineffable than that of the spiritual angels.
AC 203. The spiritual angels, however, converse about faith, and even confirm the things of faith by those of the intellect, of the reason, and of the memory (per intellectualia, rationalia, et scientifica), but they never form their conclusions concerning matters of faith on such grounds: those who do this are in evil. They are also endowed by the Lord with a perception of all the truths of faith, although not with such a perception as is that of the celestial angels. The perception of the spiritual angels is a kind of conscience which is vivified of the Lord and which indeed appears like celestial perception, yet is not so, but is only spiritual perception.
AC 204. Verses 4, 5. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil. Their "eyes being opened by eating of the fruit of the tree," signifies that if they were to examine the things of faith from what is of sense and knowledge (ex sensuali et scientifico), that is, from themselves, they would plainly see those things as if erroneous. And that they would be "as God, knowing good and evil," denotes that if they did so from themselves, they would be as God, and could guide themselves.
AC 205. Every verse contains a particular state, or change of state, in the church: the preceding verses, that although thus inclined they nevertheless perceived it to be unlawful; these verses, an incipient doubt whether it might not be lawful for them, since they would thus see whether the things they had heard from their forefathers were true, and so their eyes would be opened. At length, in consequence of the ascendancy of self-love, they began to think that they could lead themselves, and thus be like the Lord; for such is the nature of the love of self that it is unwilling to submit to the Lord‘s leading, and prefers to be self-guided, and being self-guided to consult the things of sense and of memory-knowledge as to what is to be believed.
AC 206. Who have a stronger belief that their eyes are open, and that as God they know what is good and evil, than those who love themselves, and at the same time excel in worldly learning? And yet who are more blind? Only question them, and it will be seen that they do not even know, much less believe in, the existence of spirit; with the nature of spiritual and celestial life they are utterly unacquainted; they do not acknowledge an eternal life; for they believe themselves to be like the brutes which perish; neither do they acknowledge the Lord, but worship only themselves and nature. Those among them who wish to be guarded in their expressions, say that a certain Supreme Existence (Ens) of the nature of which they are ignorant, rules all things. These are the principles in which they confirm themselves in many ways by things of sense and of memory-knowledge, and if they dared, they would do the same before all the universe. Although such persons desire to be regarded as gods, or as the wisest of men, if they were asked whether they know what it is not to have anything of their own, they would answer that it is to have no existence, and that if they were deprived of everything that is their own, they would be nothing. If they are asked what it is to live from the Lord, they think it a phantasy. If asked whether they know what conscience is, they would say it is a mere creature of the imagination, which may be of service in keeping the vulgar under restraint. If asked whether they know what perception is, they would merely laugh at it and call it enthusiastic rubbish. Such is their wisdom, such "open eyes" have they, and such "gods" are they. Principles like these, which they think clearer than the day, they make their starting-point, and so continue on, and in this way reason about the mysteries of faith; and what can be the result but an abyss of darkness? These above all others are the "serpents" who seduce the world. But this posterity of the Most Ancient Church was not as yet of such a character. That which became such is treated of from (verse 14-19) of this chapter.
AC 207. Verse 6. And the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to give intelligence, and she took of the fruit thereof and did eat, and she gave also to her husband (vir) with her, and he did eat. "Good for food," signifies cupidity; " pleasant to the eyes," phantasy; and" desirable to give intelligence," pleasure: these are of the Own, or "woman:" by the "husband eating," is signified the consent of the rational (n. 265).
AC 208. This was the fourth posterity of the Most Ancient Church, who suffered themselves to be seduced by self-love (amore proprio) and were unwilling to believe what was revealed, unless they saw it confirmed by the things of sense and of memory-knowledge.
AC 209. The expressions here employed, as that "the tree was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and desirable for giving intelligence," are such as were adapted to the genius of those who lived in that most ancient time, having especial reference to the will, because their evils streamed out from the will. Where the Word treats of the people who lived after the flood, such expressions are used as relate not so much to the will as to the understanding; for the most ancient people had truth from good, but those who lived after the flood had good from truth.
AC 210. What man’s Own is may be stated in this way. Man‘s Own is all the evil and falsity that springs from the love of self and of the world, and from not believing in the Lord or the Word but in self, and from supposing that what cannot be apprehended sensuously and by means of memory-knowledge (sensualiter et scientifice) is nothing. In this way men become mere evil and falsity, and therefore regard all things pervertedly; things that are evil they see as good, and things that are good as evil; things that are false they see as true, and things that are true as false; things that really exist they suppose to be nothing, and things that are nothing they suppose to be everything. They call hatred love, darkness light, death life, and the converse. In the Word, such men are called the "lame" and the "blind." Such then is the Own of man, which in itself is infernal and accursed.
AC 211. Verse 7. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. Their "eyes being opened," signifies their knowing and acknowledging, from an interior dictate, that they were "naked," that is, no longer in innocence, as before, but in evil.
AC 212. That by having the "eyes opened" is signified an interior dictate, is evident from similar expressions in the Word, as from what Balaam says of himself, who in consequence of having visions calls himself the "man whose eyes are opened" (Num. 24:3). And from Jonathan, who when he tasted of the honey-comb and had a dictate from within that it was evil, said that his "eyes saw," that is, were enlightened, so that he saw what he knew not (1 Sam. 14:29). Moreover in the Word, the "eyes" are often used to denote the understanding, and thus an interior dictate therefrom, as in David:--
Lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death (Ps. 13:3),
where "eyes" denote the understanding. So in Ezekiel, speaking of those who are not willing to understand, who "have eyes to see, and see not" (Ezekiel 12:2). In Isaiah:--
Shut their eyes, lest they see with their eyes (Isaiah 6:10),
denotes that they should be made blind, lest they should understand. So Moses said to the people,
Jehovah hath not given you a heart to know, and eyes to see, and ears to hear (Deut. 29:4),
where "heart" denotes the will, and "eyes" denote the understanding. In Isaiah it is said of the Lord, that "He should open the blind eyes" (Isaiah 42:7). And in the same Prophet: "The eyes of the blind shall see out of thick darkness and out of darkness" (Isaiah 29:18).
AC 213. By "knowing that they were naked" is signified their knowing and acknowledging themselves to be no longer in innocence as before, but in evil, as is evident from the last verse of the preceding chapter, where it is said "and they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed," and where it may be seen that "not to be ashamed because they were naked" signifies to be innocent. The contrary is signified by their "being ashamed," as in this verse, where it is said that they "sewed fig-leaves together, and hid themselves;" for where there is no innocence, nakedness is a scandal and disgrace, because it is attended with a consciousness of thinking evil. For this reason "nakedness" is used in the Word as a type of disgrace and evil, and is predicated of a perverted church, as in Ezekiel:--
Thou wast naked and bare, and trampled on in thy blood (Ezekiel 16:22).
They shall leave her naked and bare, and the nakedness shall be uncovered (Ezekiel 23:29).
I counsel thee to buy of Me white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear (Rev. 3:18).
And concerning the last day:--
Blessed is he who watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame (Rev. 16:15).
If a man hath found some nakedness in his wife, let him write her a bill of divorcement (Deuteronomy 24:1).
For the same reason Aaron and his sons were commanded to have linen breeches when they came to the altar, and to minister, to "cover the f
esh of their nakedness, lest they should bear iniquity, and die" (Exod. 28:42, 43).
AC 214. They are called "naked" because left to their Own; for they who are left to their Own, that is, to themselves, have no longer anything of intelligence and wisdom, or of faith, and consequently are "naked" as to truth and good, and are therefore in evil.
AC 215. That man’s Own is nothing but evil and falsity has been made evident to me from the fact that whatever spirits have at any time said from themselves has been so evil and false that whenever it was made known to me that they spoke from themselves I at once knew that it was false, even though while speaking they were themselves so thoroughly persuaded of the truth of what they said as to have no doubt about it. The case is the same with men who speak from themselves. And in the same way, whenever any persons have begun to reason concerning the things of spiritual and celestial life, or those of faith, I could perceive that they doubted, and even denied, for to reason concerning faith is to doubt and deny. And as it is all from self or their Own, they sink into mere falsities, consequently into an abyss of thick darkness, that is, of falsities, and when they are in this abyss the smallest objection prevails over a thousand truths, just as a minute particle of dust in contact with the pupil of the eye shuts out the universe and everything it contains. Of such persons the Lord says in Isaiah:--
Woe unto those who are wise in their own eyes, and intelligent before their own faces (Isaiah 5:21).
Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath turned thee away, and thou hast said in thine heart, I, and none else besides me; and evil shall come upon thee, thou shalt not know from whence it riseth, and mischief shall fall upon thee, which thou shalt not be able to expiate, and vastation shall come upon thee suddenly, of which thou art not aware (Isaiah 47:10, 11).
Every man is made stupid by knowledge (scientia), every founder is confounded by the graven image, for his molten image is falsehood, neither is there breath in them (Jeremiah 51:17).
A "graven image" is the falsity, and a "molten image" the evil, of man‘s Own.
AC 216. And they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves girdles. To "sew leaves together," is to excuse themselves; the "fig-tree" is natural good; and to "make themselves girdles," is to be affected with shame. Thus spake the most ancient people, and thus they described this posterity of the church, signifying that instead of the innocence they had formerly enjoyed, they possessed only natural good, by which their evil was concealed; and being in natural good, they were affected with shame.
AC 217. That the "vine" is used in the Word to signify spiritual good, and the "fig-tree" natural good, is at this day utterly unknown, because the internal sense of the Word has been lost; nevertheless, wherever these expressions occur, they signify or involve this meaning; as also in what the Lord spake in parables concerning a "vineyard" and a "fig-tree;" as in Matthew:--
Jesus seeing a fig-tree in the way, came to it, but found nothing thereon save leaves only, and He said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee hence-forward forever; and presently the fig-tree withered away (Matthew 21:19),
by which is meant, that no good, not even natural good, was to be found upon the earth. Similar is the meaning of the "vine" and "fig-tree" in Jeremiah:--
Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, and they knew not how to blush; therefore I will surely gather them, saith Jehovah; there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig-tree, and the leaf hath fallen (Jeremiah 8:12, 13),
by which is signified that all good, both spiritual and natural, had perished, since they were so depraved as to have lost even the sense of shame, like those at the present day who are in evil, and who, so far from blushing for their wickedness, make it their boast. In Hosea:--
I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first-ripe in the fig-tree in the beginning (Hosea 9:10).
And in Joel:--
Be not afraid, ye beasts of My fields, for the tree shall bear its fruit, the fig-tree and the vine shall yield their strength (Joel 2:22).
The "vine" here denotes spiritual good, and the "fig-tree" natural good.
AC 218. Verse 8. And they heard the voice of Jehovah God going to itself in the garden in the air of the day; and the man and his wife hid themselves from the face of Jehovah God in the midst the tree of the garden. By the "voice of Jehovah God going to itself in the garden," is signified an internal dictate which caused them to feel afraid, this dictate being the residue of the perception which they had possessed; by the "air" or "breath" of the "day," is denoted a period when the church still possessed some residue of perception; to "hide themselves from the face of Jehovah God," is to fear the dictate, as is wont to be the case with those who are conscious of evil; by the "midst of the tree of the garden," in which they hid themselves, is signified natural good; that which is inmost is called the "midst;" the "tree" denotes perception as before; but because there was little perception remaining, the tree is spoken of in the singular number, as if there were only one remaining.
AC 219. That by the "voice of Jehovah God going to itself in the garden," is meant an internal dictate of which they were afraid, is evident from the signification of "voice" in the Word, where the "voice of Jehovah" is used to designate the Word itself, the doctrine of faith, conscience or a taking notice inwardly, and also every reproof thence resulting; whence it is that thunders are called the "voices of Jehovah," as in John:--
The angel cried with a loud voice, as a lion roareth, and when he had cried seven thunders uttered their voices (Rev. 10:3),
denoting that there was then a voice both external and internal. Again:--
In the days of the voice of the seventh angel the mystery of God shall be consummated (Rev. 10:7).
Sing unto God, sing praises unto the Lord, who rideth upon the heavens of heavens which were of old; lo, He shall send out His voice, a voice of strength (Ps. 68:32, 33).
The "heavens of heavens which were of old," denote the wisdom of the Most Ancient Church; "voice," revelation, and also an internal dictate. Again:--
The voice of Jehovah is upon the waters; the voice of Jehovah is in power; the voice of Jehovah is in glory; the voice of Jehovah breaketh the cedars; the voice of Jehovah divideth the flames of fire; the voice of Jehovah maketh the wilderness to shake; the voice of Jehovah maketh the hinds to calve, and uncovereth the forests (Ps. 29:3-5, 7-9).
And in Isaiah:--
Jehovah shall cause the excellency of His voice to be heard, for through the voice of Jehovah shall Asshur be beaten down (Isaiah 30:30, 31).
AC 220. By the "voice going to itself," is meant that there was but little perception remaining, and that alone as it were by itself and unheard, as is manifest also from the following verse where it is said, "Jehovah called to the man." So in Isaiah:--
The voice of one crying in the wilderness; the voice said, Cry (Isaiah 40:3, 6).
The "wilderness" is a church where there is no faith; the "voice of one crying," is the annunciation of the Lord’s advent, and in general every announcement of His coming, as with the regenerate, with whom there is an internal dictate.
AC 221. That by the "air" or "breath" "of the day," is signified a period when the church had still somewhat of perception remaining, is evident from the signification of "day" and of "night." The most ancient people compared the states of the church to the times of the day and of the night, to the times of the day when the church was still in light, wherefore this state is compared to the breath or air "of the day," because there was still some remnant of perception by which they knew that they were fallen. The Lord also calls the state of faith "day," and that of no faith "night;" as in John:--
I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day; the night cometh when no man can work (John 9:4).
The states of the regeneration of man were for the same reason called "days" in chapter 1.
AC 222. That to "hide themselves from the face of Jehovah, means to be afraid of the dictate, as is wont to be the case with those who are conscious of evil, is evident from the reply (verse 10): "I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked." The "face of Jehovah," or of the Lord, is mercy, peace, and every good, as is clearly evident from the benediction:--
Jehovah make His faces to shine upon thee, and be merciful unto thee; Jehovah lift up His faces upon thee, and give thee peace (Num. 6:25, 26).
And in David:--
God be merciful unto us, and bless us, and cause His faces to shine upon us (Ps. 67:1).
And in another place:--
There be many that say, Who will show us any good? Jehovah, lift Thou up the light of Thy faces upon us (Ps. 4:6).
The mercy of the Lord is therefore called the "angel of faces," in Isaiah:--
I will make mention of the mercies of Jehovah; He hath requited them according to His mercies, and according to the multitude of His mercies; and He became their Saviour. In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His faces saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them (Isaiah 63:7-9).
AC 223. As the "face of the Lord" is mercy, peace, and every good, it is evident that He regards all from mercy, and never averts His countenance from any; but that it is man, when in evil, who turns away his face, as is said by the Lord in Isaiah:--
Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you (Isaiah 59:2);
and here, "they hid themselves from the face of Jehovah, because they were naked."
AC 224. Mercy, peace, and every good, or the "faces of Jehovah," are the cause of the dictate with those who have perception, and also, although in a different manner, with those who have conscience, and they always operate mercifully, but are received according to the state in which the man is. The state of this man, that is, of this posterity of the Most Ancient Church, was one of natural good; and they who are in natural good are of such a character that they hide themselves through fear and shame because they are naked: while such as are destitute of natural good do not hide themselves, because they are insusceptible of shame; concerning whom, in (Jeremiah 8:12, 13). (n. 217).
AC 225. That the "midst of the tree of the garden," signifies natural good, in which there is some perception which is called a "tree," is also evident from the "garden" in which the celestial man dwelt; for everything good and true is called a "garden," with a difference according to the man who cultivates it. Good is not good unless its inmost is celestial, from which, or through which, from the Lord, comes perception. This inmost is here called the "midst," as also elsewhere in the Word.
AC 226. Verses 9, 10. And Jehovah God cried unto the man, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. The meaning of "crying," of the "voice in the garden," of their "being afraid because they were naked," and of "hiding themselves," has been previously explained. It is common in the Word for man to be first asked where he is and what he is doing, although the Lord previously knew all things; but the reason for asking is that man may acknowledge and confess.
AC 227. As it is desirable that the origin of perception, internal dictate, and conscience, should be known, and as at the present day it is altogether unknown, I may relate something on the subject. It is a great truth that man is governed by the Lord by means of spirits and angels. When evil spirits begin to rule, the angels labor to avert evils and falsities, and hence arises a combat. It is this combat of which the man is rendered sensible by perception, dictate, and conscience. By these, and also by temptations, a man might clearly see that spirits and angels are with him, were he not so deeply immersed in corporeal things as to believe nothing that is said about spirits and angels. Such persons, even if they were to feel these combats hundreds of times, would still say that they are imaginary, and the effect of a disordered mind. I have been permitted to feel such combats, and to have a vivid sense of them, thousands and thousands of times, and this almost constantly for several years, as well as to know who, what, and where they were that caused them, when they came, and when they departed; and I have conversed with them.
AC 228. It is impossible to describe the exquisite perception whereby the angels discover whether anything gains admission that is contrary to the truth of faith and the good of love. They perceive the quality of what enters, and when it enters, a thousand times more perfectly than the man himself, who scarcely knows anything about it. The least of thought in a man is more fully perceived by the angels than the greatest is by himself. This is indeed incredible, yet is most true.
AC 229. Verses 11-13. And He said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And Jehovah God said unto the woman, Why hast thou done this? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. The signification of these words is evident from what has been explained before, namely, that the rational of man suffered itself to be deceived by its Own, because this was dear to him (that is, by the love of self), so that he believed nothing but what he could see and feel. Every one can see that Jehovah God did not speak to a serpent, and indeed that there was no serpent, neither did He address the sensuous part that is signified by the "serpent;" but that these words involve a different meaning, namely, that they perceived themselves to be deluded by the senses, and yet, in consequence of self-love, were desirous of ascertaining the truth of what they had heard concerning the Lord, and concerning faith in Him, before they believed it.
AC 230. The ruling evil of this posterity was the love of self, without their having at the same time so much of the love of the world as exists at the present day; for they dwelt within their own households and families, and had no desire to accumulate wealth.
AC 231. The evil of the Most Ancient Church which existed before the flood, as well as that of the Ancient Church after the flood, and also that of the Jewish Church, and subsequently the evil of the new church, or church of the Gentiles, after the coming of the Lord, and also that of the church of the present day, was and is that they do not believe the Lord or the Word, but themselves and their own senses. Hence there is no faith, and where there is no faith there is no love of the neighbor, consequently all is false and evil.
AC 232. At this day however it is much worse than in former times, because men can now confirm the incredulity of the senses by memory-knowledges (scientifica) unknown to the ancients, and this has given birth to an indescribable degree of darkness. If men knew how great is the darkness from this cause they would be astounded.
AC 233. To explore the mysteries of faith by means of memory-knowledges (scientifica) is as impossible as it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, or for a rib to govern the finest fibrils of the chest and of the heart. So gross, yea, much more so, is that which pertains to our senses and memory-knowledge (sensuale et scientificum) relatively to what is spiritual and celestial. He who would investigate the hidden things of nature, which are innumerable, discovers scarcely one, and while investigating them falls into errors, as is well known. How much more likely is this to be the case while investigating the hidden truths of spiritual and celestial life, where myriads of mysteries exist for one that is invisible in nature!
 As an illustration take this single example: Of himself man cannot but do what is evil, and turn away from the Lord. Yet man does not do these things, but the evil spirits who are with him. Nor do these evil spirits do them, but the evil itself which they have made their own. Nevertheless man does evil and turns himself away from the Lord, and is in fault; and yet he lives only from the Lord. So on the other hand, of himself man cannot possibly do what is good, and turn to the Lord, but this is done by the angels. Nor can the angels do it, but the Lord alone. And yet man is able as of himself to do what is good, and to turn himself to the Lord. These facts can never be apprehended by our senses, memory-knowledge, and philosophy, but if these are consulted will be denied in spite of their truth. And it is the same all through.
 From what has been said it is evident that those who consult sensuous things and memory-knowledges (sensualia et scientifica) in matters of belief, plunge themselves not only into doubt, but also into denial, that is, into thick darkness, and consequently into all cupidities. For as they believe what is false, they also do what is false. And as they believe that what is spiritual and celestial has no existence, so they believe that there is nothing else but what is of the body and the world. And so they love all that belongs to self and the world, and in this way do cupidities and evils spring from what is false.
14. And Jehovah God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above every beast, and above every wild animal of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.
15. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; He shall trample upon thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.
16. And unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth sons, and thine obedience shall be to thy man (vir), and he shall rule over thee.
17. And unto the man He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in great sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.
18. And the thorn and the thistle shall it bring forth unto thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field.
19. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
AC 234. The subsequent state of the church down to the flood is here described; and as at that time the church utterly destroyed itself, it is foretold that the Lord would come into the world and save the human race.
AC 235. Being unwilling to believe anything that could not be apprehended by the senses, the sensuous part which is the "serpent," cursed itself, and became infernal (verse 14).
AC 236. Therefore to prevent all mankind from rushing into hell, the Lord promised that He would come into the world (verse 15).
AC 237. The church is further described by the "woman," which so loved self or the Own as to be no longer capable of apprehending truth, although a rational was given them that should "rule" (verse 16).
AC 238. The quality of the rational is then described, in that it consented, and thus cursed itself, and became infernal, so that reason no longer remained, but ratiocination (verse 17).
AC 239. The curse and vastation are described, and also their ferine nature (verse 18).
AC 240. Next, their aversion to everything of faith and love; and that thus from being man they became not men (verse 19).
THE INTERNAL SENSE
AC 241. The most ancient people, being celestial men, were so constituted that every object they beheld in the world or upon the face of the earth, they indeed saw, but they thought about the heavenly and Divine things the objects signified or represented. Their sight was merely an instrumental agency, and so consequently was their speech. Any one may know this was from his own experience, for if he attends closely to the meaning of a speaker‘s words, he does indeed hear the words, but is as if he did not hear them, taking in only the sense; and one who thinks more deeply does not attend even to the sense of the words, but to a more universal sense. But the posterities that are here treated of were not like their fathers, for when they beheld the objects in the world and on the face of the earth, as they loved them, their minds cleaved to them, and they thought about them, and from them about things heavenly and Divine. Thus with them what is sensuous began to be the principal, and not as with their fathers the instrumental. And when that which is of the world and of the earth becomes the principal, then men reason from this about the things of heaven, and so blind themselves. How this is may also be known by any one from his own experience; for he who attends to the words of a speaker, and not to the sense of the words, takes in but little of the sense, and still less of the universal import of the sense, and sometimes judges of all that a man says from a single word, or even from a grammatical peculiarity.
AC 242. Verse 14. And Jehovah God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above every beast, and above every wild animal of the field; upon thy belly shall thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. By "Jehovah God said unto the serpent," is signified that they perceived their sensuous part to be the cause (of their fall). "The serpent cursed above every beast and above every wild animal of the field," signifies that their sensuous part averted itself from that which is heavenly, and turned itself to that which is of the body, and thus cursed itself; the "beast," and the "wild animal of the field," here signify affections, as before. The "serpent going upon its belly," signifies that their sensuous part could no longer look upward to the things of heaven, but only downward, to those of the body and the earth. Its "eating dust all the days of its life," signifies that their sensuous part became such that it could not live from anything but that which is of the body and the earth, that is to say, it became infernal.
AC 243. In the most ancient celestial men the sensuous things of the body were of such a character as to be compliant and subservient to their internal man, and beyond this they did not care for them. But after they had begun to love themselves, they set the things of sense before the internal man, and therefore those things were separated, became corporeal, and so were condemned.
AC 244. Having before shown that by "Jehovah God speaking to the serpent" is signified their perceiving the sensuous part to be the cause of their fall, no more need be said in regard to these words.
AC 245. That "He said to the serpent, Thou art cursed above every beast, and above every wild animal of the field," signifies that the sensuous part averted itself from that which is heavenly, turned itself to that which is of the body, and thus cursed itself, may be clearly shown from the internal sense of the Word. Jehovah God or the Lord never curses any one. He is never angry with any one, never leads any one into temptation, never punishes any one, and still less does He curse any one. All this is done by the infernal crew, for such things can never proceed from the Fountain of mercy, peace, and goodness. The reason of its being said, both here and in other parts of the Word, that Jehovah God not only turns away His face, is angry, punishes, and tempts, but also kills and even curses, is that men may believe that the Lord governs and disposes all and everything in the universe, even evil itself, punishments, and temptations; and when they have received this most general idea, may afterwards learn how He governs and disposes all things by turning the evil of punishment and of temptation into good. In teaching and learning the Word, the most general truths must come first; and therefore the literal sense is full of such things.
AC 246. That the "beast and the wild animal of the field" signify affections, is evident from what was previously said concerning them (n. 45, 46), to which it is permitted to add the following passage from David:--
Thou, O God, dost send the rain of Thy kindnesses; Thou confirmest Thy laboring inheritance; Thy wild animal shall dwell therein (Ps. 68:9, 10),
where also "wild animal" denotes the affection of good, because it is said that it shall "dwell in the inheritance of God." The reason why here, and also in (Genesis 2:19, 20), the "beast and the wild animal of the field" are mentioned, while in (Genesis 1:24, 25), the "beast and the wild animal of the earth" are named, is that the present passage treats of the church or regenerated man, whereas the first chapter related to what was as yet not a church, or to man about to become regenerate; for the word "field" is applied to the church, or to the regenerate.
AC 247. That the "serpent going on his belly" denotes that their sensuous part could no longer look upward to the things of heaven, but only downward to those of the body and the earth, is evident from the fact that in ancient times by the "belly" such things are signified as are nearest to the earth; by the "chest" such as are above the earth; and by the "head," what is highest. It is here said that the sensuous part which in itself is the lowest part of man’s nature, "went upon its belly," because it turned to what is earthly. The depression of the belly even to the earth, and the sprinkling of dust on the head, had a similar signification in the Jewish Church. Thus we read in David:--
Wherefore hidest Thou Thy faces, and forgettest our misery and our oppression? For our soul is bowed down to the dust, and our belly cleaveth to the earth. Arise, a help for us, and redeem us for Thy mercy‘s sake (Ps. 44:24-26),
where also it is evident that when man averts himself from the face of Jehovah, he "cleaves by his belly to the dust and to the earth." In Jonah likewise, by the "belly"’ of the great fish, into which he was cast, are signified the lower parts of the earth, as is evident from his prophecy:--
Out of the belly of hell cried I, and Thou heardest my voice (Jonah 2:2),
where "hell" denotes the lower earth.
AC 248. And therefore when man had regard to heavenly things, he was said to "walk erect," and to "look upward," or "forward," which means the same; but when he had regard to corporeal and earthly things, he was said to be "bowed to the earth," and to "look downward" or "backward." As in Leviticus:--
I am Jehovah your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bonds of your yoke, and made you to go erect (Leviticus 26:13).
Ye shall not thence remove your necks, neither shall ye go erect (Micah 2:3).
Jerusalem hath sinned a sin, therefore they despise her, because they have seen her nakedness; yea, she groaned and hath turned backward. From on high hath He sent fire into my bones, and hath made me to return backward; He hath made me desolate (Lam. 1:8, 13).
And in Isaiah:--
Jehovah thy Redeemer, that turneth wise men backward, and maketh foolish their knowledge (Isaiah 44:24, 25).
AC 249. That to "eat dust all the days of its life" signifies that their sensuous part became such that it could not live from anything except that which is of the body and the earth, that is to say, that it became infernal, is evident also from the signification of "dust" in the Word; as in Micah:--
Feed thy people as in the days of eternity. The nations shall see and shall blush at all their might; they shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall be shaken out of their holds like creeping things (serpentes) of the earth (Micah 7:14, 16, 17).
The "days of eternity," mean the Most Ancient Church; the "nations," those who trust in their Own, of whom it is predicated that "they shall lick the dust like a serpent." In David:--
Barbarians shall bow themselves before God, and His enemies shall lick the dust (Ps. 72:9).
"Barbarians" and "enemies" are those who regard only earthly and worldly things. In Isaiah:--
Dust shall be the serpent‘s bread (Isaiah 65:25).
As "dust" signifies those who do not regard spiritual and celestial things, but only what is corporeal and earthly, therefore the Lord enjoined His disciples that if the city or house into which they entered was not worthy, they should "shake off the dust of their feet" (Matt. 10:14). That "dust" signifies what is condemned and infernal, will be further shown at (verse 19).
AC 250. Verse 15. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; He shall trample upon thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel. Every one is aware that this is the first prophecy of the Lord’s advent into the world; it appears indeed clearly from the words themselves, and therefore from them and from the prophets even the Jews knew that a Messiah was to come. Hitherto however no one has understood what is specifically meant by the "serpent," the "woman," the "serpent‘s seed," the " woman’s seed," the "head of the serpent which was to be trodden upon," and the "heel which the serpent should bruise." They must therefore be explained. By the "serpent" is here meant all evil in general, and specifically the love of self; by the "woman" is meant the church; by the "seed of the serpent," all infidelity; by the "seed of the woman," faith in the Lord; by "He," the Lord Himself; by the "head of the serpent," the dominion of evil in general, and specifically that of the love of self; by to "trample upon," depression, so that it should "go upon the belly and eat dust;" and by the "heel," the lowest natural (as the corporeal), which the serpent should "bruise."
AC 251. The reason why the "serpent" means all evil in general, and specifically the love of self, is that all evil has had its rise from that sensuous part of the mind, and also from that memory-knowledge (scientifico), which at first were signified by the "serpent;" and therefore it here denotes evil of every kind, and specifically the love of self, or hatred against the neighbor and the Lord, which is the same thing. As this evil or hatred was various, consisting of numerous genera and still more numerous species, it is described in the Word by various kinds of serpents, as "snakes," " cockatrices," "asps," "adders," "fiery serpents," "serpents that fly"‘ and "that creep," and "vipers," according to the differences of the poison, which is hatred. Thus we read in Isaiah:--
Rejoice not thou, whole Philistia, because the rod which smiteth thee is broken, for out of the serpent’s root shall go forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a flying fire-serpent (Isaiah 14:29).
The "serpent‘s root" denotes that part of the mind, or that principle, which is connected with the senses and with memory-knowledge (est sensuale et scientificum); the "cockatrice" denotes evil originating in the falsity thence derived; and the "flying fire-serpent," the cupidity that comes from the love of self. By the same Prophet also similar things are elsewhere thus described:--
They hatch cockatrice’s eggs, and weave the spider‘s web; he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and when it is crushed there cometh out a viper (Isaiah 59:5).
The serpent described here in Genesis is called in the Revelation the "great and red dragon," and the "old serpent," and also the "devil and satan," that "deceives the whole world" (Revelation 12:3, 9; 20:2), where, and also in other places, by the "devil" is not meant any particular devil who is prince over the others, but the whole crew of evil spirits, and evil itself.
AC 252. That by the "woman" is meant the church, is evident from what was said above (n. 155) concerning the heavenly marriage. Such is the nature of the heavenly marriage, that heaven, and consequently the church, is united to the Lord by its Own, insomuch that these are in their Own, for without their Own there can be no union. When the Lord in mercy insinuates innocence, peace, and good into this Own, it still retains its identity, but becomes heavenly and most happy (n. 164). The quality of a heavenly and angelic Own from the Lord, and the quality of an Own, which, because from self, is infernal and diabolical, cannot be told. The difference is like that between heaven and hell.
AC 253. It is by virtue of a heavenly and angelic Own that the church is called a "woman," and also a "wife," a "bride," a "virgin," and a "daughter." She is called a "woman" in the Revelation:--
A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. And the dragon persecuted the woman who brought forth the man child (Revelation 12:1, 4-13).
In this passage by a "woman" is meant the church by the "sun," love; by the "moon," faith; by "stars," as before, the truths of faith, all of which evil spirits hate, and persecute to the utmost. The church is called a "woman," and also a "wife," in Isaiah:--
Thy Maker is thy Husband, Jehovah of Armies is His name, and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth is He called; for as a woman forsaken and afflicted in spirit hath Jehovah called thee, and as a wife of youth (adolescentiarum) (Isaiah 54:5, 6),
where the "Maker" is called also the "husband," because united to the Own; and a "woman afflicted," and a "wife of youth," signify specifically the Ancient and Most Ancient Churches. Likewise in Malachi:--
Jehovah hath borne witness between thee and the wife of thy youth (adolescentiarum) (Malachi 2:14).
She is called a "wife" and a "bride" in the Revelation:--
I saw the holy city New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband: come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife (Revelation 21:2, 9).
The church is called a "virgin" and a "daughter" throughout the Prophets.
AC 254. That by the "seed of the serpent" is meant all infidelity, is evident from the signification of a "serpent," as being all evil; "seed" is that which produces and is produced, or that which begets and is begotten; and as the church is here spoken of, this is infidelity. In Isaiah, in reference to the Jewish Church in its perverted state, it is called a "seed of evil doers," a "seed of adultery," a "seed of falsehood":--
Woe to the sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil doers, sons that are destroyers; they have forsaken Jehovah, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel, they have estranged themselves backward (Isaiah 1:4).
Draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer. Are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood? (Isaiah 57:3, 4).
And again, speaking of the "serpent" or "dragon," who is there called Lucifer:--
Thou art cast out of thy sepulchre like an abominable shoot, because thou hast corrupted thy land, thou hast slain thy people; the seed of evil doers shall not be called to eternity (Isaiah 14:19, 20).
AC 255. That the "seed of the "woman" signifies f
aith in the Lord, is evident from the signification of "woman" as being the church, whose "seed" is nothing but faith, for it is from faith in the Lord that the church is called the church. In Malachi, faith is called the "seed of God":--
Jehovah hath witnessed between thee and the wife of thy youth (adolescentiarum); and not one hath done so who had a residue of the spirit; and wherefore one, seeking the seed of God? but observe ye in your spirit, lest he deal treacherously against the wife of thy youth (Malachi 2:14, 15).
In this passage the "wife of youth" is the Ancient and Most Ancient Churches, of whose "seed" (or faith) the prophet speaks. In Isaiah also, in reference to the church:--
I will pour waters upon the thirsty, and floods upon the dry; I will pour My spirit upon thy seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring (Isaiah 44:3).
In the Revelation:--
The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, who were keeping the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:17).
And in David:--
I have made a covenant with Mine elect, I have sworn unto David My servant, even to eternity will I establish thy seed, and his seed will I make to endure forever, and his throne as the days of the heavens; his seed shall endure to eternity, and his throne as the sun before me (Ps. 89:3, 4, 29, 36),
where by "David" is meant the Lord; by "throne," His kingdom; by the "sun," love; and by "seed," faith.
AC 256. Not only is faith, but also the Lord Himself is called the "seed of the woman," both because He alone gives faith, and thus is faith, and because He was pleased to be born, and that into such a church as had altogether fallen into an infernal and diabolical Own through the love of self and of the world, in order that by His Divine power He might unite the Divine celestial Own with the human Own in His human essence, so that in Him they might be a one; and unless this union had been effected, the whole world must have utterly perished. Because the Lord is thus the seed of the woman, it is not said "it," but "He."
AC 257. That by the "head of the serpent" is meant the dominion of evil in general, and specifically of the love of self, is evident from its nature, which is so direful as not only to seek dominion, but even dominion over all things upon earth; nor does it rest satisfied with this, but aspires even to rule over everything in heaven, and then, not content with this, over the Lord himself, and even then it is not satisfied. This is latent in every spark of the love of self. If it were indulged, and freed from restraint, we should perceive that it would at once burst forth and would grow even to that aspiring height. Hence it is evident how the "serpent," or the evil of the love of self, desires to exercise dominion, and how much it hates all those who refuse its sway. This is that "head of the serpent" which exalts itself, and which the Lord "tramples down," even to the earth, that it may "go upon its belly, and eat dust," as stated in the verse immediately preceding. Thus also is described the "serpent" or "dragon" called "Lucifer" in Isaiah:--
O Lucifer, thou hast said in thy heart, I will ascend the heavens, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north, I will ascend above the heights of the cloud, I will be made equal to the Most High; yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit (Isaiah 14:12-15).
The "serpent" or "dragon" is also described in the Revelation in regard to the way in which he exalts his head:--
A great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns, and many diadems upon his heads; but he was cast into the earth (Revelation 12:3, 9).
The saying of Jehovah to my Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool: Jehovah shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion, He shall judge the nations, He hath filled with dead bodies, He hath bruised the head over much land; He shall drink of the brook in the way, therefore shall He lift up the head (Ps. 110:1, 2, 6, 7).
AC 258. That by "trampling on" or "bruising," is meant depression, so as to compel it to "go on the belly and eat the dust," is now evident from this and the preceding verses. So likewise in Isaiah:--
Jehovah hath cast down them that dwell on high; the exalted city He will humble it; He will humble it even to the earth; He will prostrate it even to the dust; the foot shall tread it down (Isaiah 26:4-6).
He shall cast down to the earth with the hand; they shall be trampled on by feet--a crown of pride (Isaiah 28:2, 3).
AC 259. That by the "heel" is meant the lowest natural or corporeal cannot be known unless the way in which the most ancient people considered the various things in man is known. They referred his celestial and spiritual things to the head and face; what comes forth from these (as charity and mercy), to the chest; natural things, to the feet; lower natural things, to the soles of the feet; and the lowest natural and corporeal things, to the heel; nor did they merely refer them, but also so called them. The lowest things of reason, that is, memory-knowledges (scientifica), were also meant by what Jacob prophesied concerning Dan:--
Dan shall be a serpent upon the way, an adder upon the path, biting the horses heels, and his rider falls backward (Gen. 49:17).
Also in David:--
The iniquity of my heels hath compassed me about (Ps. 49:5).
In like manner by what is related of Jacob, when he came forth from the womb, That his hand laid hold of Esau‘s heel, whence he was called Jacob (Gen. 25:26), for the name "Jacob" comes from the "heel," because the Jewish Church, signified by "Jacob," injured the heel. A serpent can injure only the lowest natural things, but unless it is a species of viper, not the interior natural things in man, still less his spiritual things, and least of all his celestial things, which the Lord preserves and stores up in man without his knowledge. What are thus stored up by the Lord are called in the Word "remains." The mode in which the serpent destroyed those lowest natural things in the people before the flood, by the sensuous principle and the love of self; and among the Jews, by sensuous things, traditions, trifles, and by the love of self and of the world; and how at this day he has destroyed and continues to destroy them by the things of sense, of memory-knowledge, and of philosophy, and at the same time by the same loves, shall of the Lord’s Divine mercy be told hereafter.
AC 260. From what has been said it is evident that it was revealed to the church of that time that the Lord would come into the world to save them.
AC 261. Verse 16. And unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth sons, and thine obedience shall be to thy man (vir), and he shall rule over thee. By the "woman" is now signified the church as to proprium, which it loved; by "greatly multiplying her sorrow," is signified combat, and the anxiety it occasions; by "conception," every thought; by the "sons whom she would bring forth in sorrow," the truths which she would thus produce; by "man," here as before, the rational which it will obey, and which will rule.
AC 262. That the church is signified by the "woman," has been previously shown, but here the church perverted by the Own which was itself formerly signified by the "woman," because the posterity of the Most Ancient Church, which had become perverted, is now treated of.
AC 263. When therefore the sensuous part averts itself or curses itself, the consequence is that evil spirits begin to fight powerfully, and the attendant angels to labor, and therefore this combat is described by the words, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow, in relation to the conception and birth of sons," that is, as to the thoughts and productions of truth.
AC 264. That the "conception and birth of sons," in the Word, are taken in a spiritual sense--"conception" for the thought and device of the heart, and "sons" for truths, is evident from Hosea:--
As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb: and from the conception; though they shall have brought up their sons, yet will I bereave them, that they be not man; yea, woe also to them when I depart from them (Hosea 9:11, 12),
where "Ephraim" signifies the intelligent, or the understanding of truth; and "sons," truths themselves. It is likewise said elsewhere concerning Ephraim, or one who is intelligent, who has become foolish:--
The sorrows of one in travail have come upon him, he is an unwise son, for at the time he will not stand in the breach of the womb of sons (Hosea 13:13).
And in Isaiah:--
Blush, O Zidon, for the sea hath spoken, the fortress of the sea, saying, I have not travailed, nor brought forth, nor have I brought up young men, nor caused girls to grow up; as at the report concerning Egypt, they shall bring forth according to the report of Tyre (Isaiah 23:4, 5),
where "Zidon" means those who have been in the knowledges of faith, but have destroyed them by memory-knowledges (scientifica), and so have become barren.
 Again in the same prophet, treating of regeneration, and where likewise the truths of faith are signified by "sons:"—
Before she travailed she bringeth forth; and before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child; who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? shall the earth bring forth in one day? and shall I not cause to bring forth? saith Jehovah; shall I cause to bring forth, and close up? saith thy God (Isaiah 66:7-9).
Goods and truths, being conceived and born of the heavenly marriage, are therefore called "sons" by the Lord in Matthew:--
He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; and the seed are the sons of the kingdom (Matthew 13:37, 38).
And the goods and truths of a saving faith He calls "sons of Abraham" (John 8:39); for "seed" (n. 255) denotes faith, wherefore "sons," which are of the "seed," are the goods and truths of faith. Hence also the Lord, as being Himself the seed," called Himself the "Son of man," that is, the faith of the church.
AC 265. That by "man (vir)" is signified the rational, appears from (verse 6) of this chapter, in that the woman gave to her man with her, and he did eat, by which is meant his consent; and the same is also evident from what was said of the man in (n. 158), where by him is meant one who is wise and intelligent. Here however "man" denotes the rational, because in consequence of the destruction of wisdom and intelligence by eating of the tree of knowledge, nothing else was left, for the rational is imitative of intelligence, being as it were its semblance.
AC 266. As every law and precept comes forth from what is celestial and spiritual, as from its true beginning, it follows that this law of marriage does so, which requires that the wife, who acts from desire, which is of what is her own, rather than from reason, like the man, should be subject to his prudence.
AC 267. Verse 17. And unto the man He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake, in great sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. By the "man hearkening to the voice of his wife," is signified the consent of the man (vir), or rational, by which it also averted or cursed itself, and consequently the whole external man, denoted by "cursed is the ground for thy sake." To "eat thereof in sorrow," means that the future state of his life would be miserable, and this even to the end of that church, or "all the days of his life."
AC 268. That the "ground" signifies the external man, is evident from what was previously stated concerning "earth," "ground," and "field." When man is regenerate, he is no longer called "earth," but "ground," because celestial seed has been implanted in him; he is also compared to "ground" and is called "ground" in various parts of the Word. The seeds of good and truth are implanted in the external man, that is, in his affection and memory, and not in the internal man, because there is nothing of one‘s Own in the internal man, but only in the external. In the internal man are goods and truths, and when these no longer appear to be present, the man is external or corporeal; they are however stored up in the internal man by the Lord, without the man’s knowledge, as they do not come forth except when the external man as it were dies, as is usually the case during temptations, misfortunes, sicknesses, and at the hour of death. The rational belongs also to the external man (n. 118), and is in itself a kind of medium between the internal man and the external; for the internal man, through the rational, operates on the corporeal external. But when the rational consents, it separates the external man from the internal, so that the existence of the internal man is no longer known, nor consequently the intelligence and wisdom which are of the internal.
AC 269. That Jehovah God (that is, the Lord) did not "curse the ground," or the external man, but that the external man averted or separated itself from the internal, and thus cursed itself, is evident from what was previously shown (n. 245).
AC 270. That to "eat of the ground in great sorrow" signifies a miserable state of life, is evident from what precedes and follows, not to mention that to "eat," in the internal sense, is to live. The same is evident also from the fact that such a state of life ensues when evil spirits begin to fight, and the attendant angels to labor. This state of life becomes more miserable when evil spirits begin to obtain the dominion; for they then govern the external man, and the angels only the internal man, of which so little remains that they can scarcely take anything thence with which to defend the man; hence arise misery and anxiety. Dead men are seldom sensible of such misery and anxiety, because they are no longer men, although they think themselves more truly so than others; for they know no more than the brutes of what is spiritual and celestial, and what is eternal life, and like them they look downward to earthly things, or outward to worldly ones; they favor only their Own, and indulge their inclinations and senses with the entire concurrence of the rational. Being dead, they sustain no spiritual combat or temptation, and were they exposed to it their life would sink under its weight, and they could thereby curse themselves still more, and precipitate themselves still more deeply into infernal damnation: hence they are spared this until their entrance into the other life, where, being no longer in danger of dying in consequence of any temptation or misery, they endure most grievous sufferings, which likewise are here signified by the ground being cursed, and eating of it in great sorrow.
AC 271. That "all the days of thy life" signifies the end of the days of the church, is evident from the fact that the subject here treated of is not an individual man, but the church and its state. The end of the days of that church was the time of the flood.
AC 272. Verse 18. And the thorn and the thistle shall it bring forth unto thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. By the "thorn and the thistle," are meant curse and vastation; and by "thou shalt eat the herb of the field," is signified that he should live as a wild animal. Man lives like a wild animal when his internal man is so separated from his external as to operate upon it only in a most general manner, for man is man from what he receives through his internal man from the Lord, and is a wild animal from what he derives from the external man, which, separated from the internal, is in itself no other than a wild animal, having a similar nature, desires, appetites, phantasies, and sensations, and also similar organic forms. That nevertheless he is able to reason, and, as it seems to himself, acutely, he has from the spiritual substance by which he receives the influx of life from the Lord, which is however perverted in such a man, and becomes the life of evil, which is death. Hence he is called a dead man.
AC 273. That the "thorn and the thistle" signify curse and vastation, is evident from harvest and fruit-tree denoting the opposites, which are blessings and multiplications. That the "thorn," the "thistle," the "brier," the "bramble," and the "nettle," have such a signification, is evident from the Word, as in Hosea:--
Lo, they are gone away because of the vastation; Egypt shall gather them; Memphis shall bury them; their desirable things of silver, the nettle shall inherit them; the bramble shall be in their tents (Hosea 9:6).
Here "Egypt" and "Memphis" denote such as seek to understand Divine things from themselves and their own memory-knowledges. In the same Prophet:--
The lofty places of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed; the thorn and the thistle shall come up upon their altars (Hosea 10:8),
where the "lofty places of Aven," signify the love of self; and the "thorn and thistle on the altars," profanation. In Isaiah:--
Mourning upon the paps for the fields of desire, for the fruitful vine; upon the ground of My people shall come up the briery thorn (Isaiah 32:12, 13).
And in Ezekiel:--
There shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor a painful thorn from all that are round about them (Ezekiel 28:24).
AC 274. That to "eat the herb of the field" (that is, wild food) denotes to live like a wild animal, is evident from what is said of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel:--
They shall drive thee from man, and thy dwelling shall be with the beast of the field; they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee (Daniel 4:25).
And in Isaiah:--
Hast thou not heard how I have done it long ago, and from the days of old have I formed it; now have I brought it to pass, and it shall be to lay waste bulwarks, fenced cities, in heaps; and their inhabitants, short of hand, were dismayed and put to shame; they were made the grass of the field, and the green (olus) of the herb, the grass of the house-tops, and a field parched before (coram) the standing corn (Isaiah 37:26, 27).
Here it is explained what is signified by the "grass of the field," the "green of the herb," the "grass on the house-tops," and a "field parched;" for the subject here treated of is the time before the flood, which is meant by "long ago," and the "days of old."
AC 275. Verse 19. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. By "eating bread in the sweat of the face," is signified to be averse to what is celestial; to "return to the ground from whence he was taken," is to relapse into the external man, such as he was before regeneration; and "dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return," signifies that he is condemned and infernal.
AC 276. That to "eat bread in the sweat of the face" signifies to be averse to what is celestial, is evident from the signification of "bread." By "bread" is meant everything spiritual and celestial, which is the food of the angels, on the deprivation of which they would cease to live as certainly as men deprived of bread or food. That which is celestial and spiritual in heaven also corresponds to bread on earth, by which moreover they are represented, as is shown by many passages in the Word. That the Lord is "bread," because from Him proceeds whatever is celestial and spiritual, He Himself teaches in John:--
This is the bread that cometh down from heaven; he that eateth of this bread shall live to eternity (John 6:58).
Wherefore also bread and wine are the symbols employed in the Holy Supper. This celestial is also represented by the manna. That what is celestial and spiritual constitutes the food of angels, is manifest from the Lord‘s words:--
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4),
that is, from the life of the Lord, from which comes everything celestial and spiritual.
 The last posterity of the Most Ancient Church, which existed immediately before the flood, and is here treated of, had become so thoroughly lost and immersed in sensuous and bodily things, that they were no longer willing to hear what was the truth of faith, what the Lord was, or that He would come and save them; and when such subjects were mentioned they turned away. This aversion is described by "eating bread in the sweat of the face." So also the Jews, in consequence of their being of such a character that they did not acknowledge the existence of heavenly things, and desired only a worldly Messiah, could not help feeling an aversion for the manna, because it was a representation of the Lord, calling it "vile bread," on which account fiery serpents were sent among them (Num. 21:5, 6). Moreover the heavenly things imparted to them in states of adversity and misery, when they were in tears, were called by them the "bread of adversity," the "bread of misery," and the "bread of tears." In the passage before us, that which was received with aversion is called the "bread of the sweat of the face."
AC 277. This is the internal sense. He who keeps close to the letter, understands no other than that man must procure bread for himself out of the ground by labor, or by the sweat of his face. "Man" however does not here mean any one man, but the Most Ancient Church; nor does "ground" mean ground, nor "bread" bread, nor "garden" garden, but celestial and spiritual things, as has been sufficiently shown.
AC 278. That by "returning to the ground whence he was taken" is signified that the church would return to the external man such as it was before regeneration, is evident from the fact that "ground" signifies the external man, as previously stated. And that "dust" signifies what is condemned and infernal, is also evident from what was said of the serpent, which in consequence of being cursed is said to "eat dust." In addition to what was there shown as to the signification of "dust," we may add the following passages from David:--
All those who go down to the dust shall bow before Jehovah, and those whose soul He hath not made alive (Ps. 22:29).
And in another place:--
Thou hidest Thy faces, they are troubled; Thou takest away their breath, they expire, and return to their dust (Ps. 104:29),
which means that when men turn away from the face of the Lord, they expire or die, and thus "return to the dust," that is, are condemned and become infernal.
AC 279. All these verses then, taken in a series, involve that the sensuous part averted itself from the celestial (verse 14); that the Lord would come into the world for the purpose of reuniting them (verse 15); that combat arose in consequence of the external man averting itself (verse 16); whence resulted misery (verse 17); condemnation (verse 18); and at length hell (verse 19). These things followed in succession in that church, from the fourth posterity down to the flood.
20. And the man (homo) called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
21. And Jehovah God made for the man and for his wife coats of skin, and clothed them.
22. And Jehovah God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, knowing good and evil; and now lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of lives, and eat, and live to eternity,
23. Therefore Jehovah God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.
24. And He cast out the man; and He made to dwell from the east toward the garden of Eden cherubim, and the flame of a sword turning itself, to keep the way of the tree of lives.
AC 280. The Most Ancient Church, and those who fell away, are here summarily treated of; thus also its posterity down to the flood, when it expired.
AC 281. Of the Most Ancient Church which was celestial, and from the life of faith in the Lord, called "Eve," and the "mother of all living" (verse 20).
AC 282. Of its first posterity, in which there was celestial spiritual good; and of its second and third, in which there was natural good, signified by the "coat of skin which Jehovah God made for the man and his wife" (verse 21).
AC 283. Of the fourth posterity, in which natural good began to be dissipated, and which, had they been created anew or instructed in the celestial things of faith, would have perished, which is meant by, "Lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of lives, and eat, and live to eternity" (verse 22).
AC 284. Of the fifth posterity, which was deprived of all good and truth, and was reduced to the state in which they had been previous to regeneration, which is meant by his being "sent forth out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken" (verse 23).
AC 285. Of the sixth and seventh posterities, in that they were deprived of all memory-knowledge (scientia) of what is good and true, and were left to their own filthy loves and persuasions; this being provided lest they should profane the holy things of faith,-which is signified by his being "driven out, and cherubim being made to dwell at the garden, with the flame of a sword, to keep the way of the tree of lives" (verse 24).
THE INTERNAL SENSE
AC 286. This and the preceding chapters, down to the verses now under consideration, treat of the most ancient people and of their regeneration first, of those who lived like wild animals, but at length became spiritual men; then of those who became celestial men, and constituted the Most Ancient Church; afterwards of those who fell away, and their descendants, in regular order through the first, second, and third posterities and their successors, down to the flood. In the verses following, which conclude the chapter, we have a recapitulation of what occurred from the period when the man of the Most Ancient Church was formed, until the flood; thus it is a conclusion to all that goes before.
AC 287. Verse 20. And the man called his wife‘s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. By the "man (homo)" is here meant the man of the Most Ancient Church, or the celestial man, and by the "wife" and the "mother of all living" is meant the church. She is called "mother," as being the first church; and "living," in consequence of possessing faith in the Lord, who is life itself.
AC 288. That by "man" is meant the man of the Most Ancient Church, or the celestial man, was previously shown; and at the same time it was also shown that the Lord alone is Man, and that from Him every celestial man is man, because in His likeness. Hence every member of the church, without exception or distinction, was called a "man," and at length this name was applied to any one who in body appeared as a man, to distinguish him from beasts.
AC 289. It has also been shown above that by "wife" is meant the church, and in the universal sense the kingdom of the Lord in the heavens and on earth; and from this it follows that the same is meant by "mother." In the Word the church is very frequently called "mother," as in Isaiah:--
Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement? (Isaiah 50:1).
Your mother is greatly ashamed: she that bare you was suffused with shame (Jeremiah 50:12).
Thou art thy mother‘s daughter that loathed her man and her sons; your mother was a Hittite, and your father an Amorite (Ezekiel 16:45),
where "man (vir)" denotes the Lord and all that is celestial; "sons," the truths of faith; a "Hittite," what is false: and an "Amorite," what is evil. In the same:--
Thy mother is like a vine in thy likeness, planted near the waters; she was fruitful and full of leaves because of many waters (Ezekiel 19:10).
Here "mother" denotes the Ancient Church. The term "mother" is more especially applicable to the Most Ancient Church, because it was the first church, and the only one that was celestial, and therefore beloved by the Lord more than any other.
AC 290. That she was called the "mother of all living" in consequence of possessing faith in the Lord, who is Life itself, is also evident from what has been already shown. There cannot be more than one Life, from which is the life of all, and there can be no life, which is life, except through faith in the Lord, who is the Life; nor can there be faith in which is life, except from Him, consequently unless He is in it. On this account, in the Word, the Lord alone is called "Living," and is named the "Living Jehovah" (Jer. 5:2; 12:16; 16:14, 15; 23:7; Ezek. 5:11); "He that liveth to eternity" (Dan. 4:34;Rev. 4:10; 5:14; 10:6); the "Fountain of Life" (Ps. 36:9); the "Fountain of living waters" (Jer. 17:13). Heaven (which lives by or from Him) is called the "Land of the living" (Isa. 38:11; 53:8; Ezek. 26:20; 32:23-27, 32; Ps. 27:13; 52:5; 142:5). And those are called "Living," who are in faith in the Lord; as in David:--
Who putteth our soul among the living (Ps. 66:9).
And those who possess faith are said to be "in the Book of lives" (Ps. 69:28), and "in the book of life" (Rev. 13:8; 17:8; 20:15). Wherefore also those who receive faith in Him are said to be "made alive" (Hos. 6:2; Ps. 85:6). On the other hand it follows that those who are not in faith are called "dead;" as in Isaiah:--
The dead shall not live; the Rephaim shall not rise again, because Thou hast visited and destroyed them (Isaiah 26:14),
meaning those who are puffed up with the love of self; to "rise again" signifies to enter into life. They are also said to be "pierced" (Ezek. 32:23-26, 28-31). They are also called "dead" by the Lord (Matt. 4:16; John 5:25; 8:21, 24, 51, 52) Hell also is called "death" (Isa. 25:8; 28:15).
AC 291. In this verse is described the first time, when the church was in the flower of her youth, representing the heavenly marriage, on which account she is described by a marriage, and is called " Eve," from a word meaning "life."
AC 292. Verse 21. And Jehovah God made for the man (homo) and for his wife coats of skin, and clothed them. These words signify that the Lord instructed them in spiritual and natural good; His instructing them is expressed by "making" and "clothing," and spiritual and natural good, by the "coat of skin."
AC 293. It could never appear from the letter that these things are signified; and yet there is evidently here enfolded some deeper meaning, for every one must be aware that Jehovah God did not make a coat of skin for them.
AC 294. Neither would it be evident to any one that a "coat of skin" signifies spiritual and natural good, except by a revelation of the internal sense, and a subsequent comparison of passages in the Word where similar expressions occur. The general term "skin" is here used, but that of a kid, sheep, or ram, is understood, which animals in the Word signify affections of good, charity, and that which is of charity, as was likewise signified by the sheep used in the sacrifices. Those are called "sheep" who are endowed with the good of charity, that is, with spiritual and natural good, and hence the Lord is called the "Shepherd of the sheep," and those who are endowed with charity are called His "sheep," as everybody knows.
AC 295. The reason why they are said to be "clothed with a coat of skin," is that the most ancient people were said to be "naked," on account of their innocence; but when they lost their innocence they became conscious that they were in evil, which also is called "nakedness." That all things might appear to cohere historically (in accordance with the way of speaking of the most ancient people), they are here said to be "clothed lest they should be naked," or in evil. Their being in spiritual and natural good is evident from what was remarked above concerning them, from (verse 1-13) of this chapter, as well as from its being here related that "Jehovah God made them a coat of skin, and clothed them;" for it here treats of the first-and more especially of the second and third-posterities of the church, who were endowed with such good.
AC 296. That the skins of kids, sheep, goats, badgers, and rams signify spiritual and natural goods, is evident from the internal sense of the Word, where Jacob is treated of, and also where the ark is treated of. Of Jacob it is said that he was "clothed with the raiment of Esau," and on his hands and on his neck, where he was naked, "with skins of kids of the goats," and when Isaac smelled them, he said, "the smell of my son is as the smell of a field" (Gen. 27:15, 16, 27). That these skins signify spiritual and natural goods, will of the Lord’s Divine mercy be seen in that place. Of the ark it is said that the covering of the tent was "of rams‘ skins and badgers’ skins" (Exod. 26:14; 36:19), and that when they set forward Aaron and his sons covered the ark with a covering "of badgers‘ skins," and likewise the table and its vessels, the candlestick and its vessels, the altar of gold, and the vessels of ministry and of the altar (Num. 4:6-14). Of the Lord’s Divine mercy it will in that place also be seen that these skins signify spiritual and natural good, for whatever was in the ark, the tabernacle, or the tent, yea, whatever was upon Aaron when clothed with the garments of holiness, signified what is celestial spiritual, so that there was not the least thing that had not its own representation.
AC 297. Celestial good is not clothed, because it is inmost, and is innocent; but celestial spiritual good is that which is first clothed, and then natural good, for these are more external, and on that account are compared to and are called "garments;" as in Ezekiel, speaking of the Ancient Church:--
I clothed thee with broidered work, and shod thee with badger, I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk (Ezekiel 16:10).
Put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the city of holiness (Isaiah 52:1).
In the Revelation:--
Who have not defiled their garments, and they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy (Revelation 3:4, 5),
where it is likewise said of the four and twenty elders that they were "clothed in white raiment" (Revelation 4:4). Thus the more external goods, which are celestial spiritual, and natural, are "garments;" wherefore also those who are endowed with the goods of charity appear in heaven clothed in shining garments; but here, because still in the body, with a "coat of skin."
AC 298. Verse 22. And Jehovah God said, Behold the man is become as one of us, knowing good and evil; and now lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of lives, and eat, and live to eternity. The reason "Jehovah God" is first mentioned in the singular, and afterwards in the plural number, is that by "Jehovah God" is meant the Lord, and at the same time the angelic heaven. The man‘s "knowing good and evil," signifies that he had become celestial, and thus wise and intelligent; "lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of lives," means that he must not be instructed in the mysteries of faith, for then never to all eternity could he be saved, which is to "live to eternity."
AC 299. Here are two arcana: first, that "Jehovah God" signifies the Lord, and at the same time heaven; secondly, that had they been instructed in the mysteries of faith they would have perished eternally.
AC 300. As regards the first arcanum,--that by "Jehovah God" is meant the Lord and at the same time heaven,--it is to be observed that in the Word, always for a secret reason, the Lord is sometimes called merely "Jehovah," sometimes "Jehovah God," sometimes "Jehovah" and then "God," sometimes the "Lord Jehovih," sometimes the "God of Israel," and sometimes "God" only. Thus in the first chapter of Genesis, where it is also said, in the plural, "Let us make man in our image," He is called "God" only, and He is not called "Jehovah God" until the following chapter, where the celestial man is treated of. He is called "Jehovah" because He alone is or lives, thus from Essence; and "God," because He can do all things, thus from Power; as is evident from the Word, where this distinction is made (Isa. 49:4, 5; 55:7; Ps. 18:2, 28, 29, 31; 31:14). On this account every angel or spirit who spoke with man, and who was supposed to possess any power, was called " God," as appears from David:--
God hath stood in the congregation of God, He will judge in the midst of the gods (Ps. 82:1)
and in another place:--
Who in the sky shall be compared unto Jehovah? who among the sons of the gods shall be likened to Jehovah? (Ps. 89:6).
Confess ye to the God of gods, confess ye to the Lord of lords (Ps. 136:2, 3).
Men also as being possessed of power are called "gods," as in (Ps. 82:6; John 10:34, 35). Moses also is said to be "a god to Pharaoh" (Exod. 7:1). For this reason the word "God" in the Hebrew is in the plural number--"Elohim." But as the angels do not possess the least power of themselves, as indeed they acknowledge, but solely from the Lord, and as there is but one God, therefore by "Jehovah God" in the Word is meant the Lord alone. But where anything is effected by the ministry of angels, as in the first chapter of Genesis, He is spoken of in the plural number. Here also because the celestial man, as man, could not be put in comparison with the Lord, but with the angels only, it is said, the man "is become as one of us, knowing good and evil," that is, is wise and intelligent.
AC 301. The other arcanum is that had they been instructed in the mysteries of faith they would have perished eternally, which is signified by the words, "now lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of lives, and eat, and live to eternity." The case is this: When men have become inverted orders of life, and are unwilling to live, or to become wise, except from themselves and from their Own, they reason about everything they hear respecting faith, as to whether it is so, or not; and as they do this from themselves and from their own things of sense and of memory-knowledge, it must needs lead to denial, and consequently to blasphemy and profanation, so that at length they do not scruple to mix up profane things with holy. When a man becomes like this, he is so condemned in the other life that there remains for him no hope of salvation. For things mixed up by profanation remain so mixed up, so that whenever any idea of something holy presents itself, an idea of something profane that is conjoined with it is also there, the consequence of which is that the person cannot be in any society except one of the damned. Whatever is present in any idea of thought in consequence of being conjoined with it, is most exquisitely perceived in the other life, even by spirits in the world of spirits, and much more so by angelic spirits, so exquisitely indeed that from a single idea they know a person’s character. The separation of profane and holy ideas when thus conjoined cannot be effected except by means of such infernal torment that if a man were aware of it he would as carefully avoid profanation as he would avoid hell itself.
AC 302. This is the reason why the mysteries of faith were never revealed to the Jews. They were not even plainly told that they were to live after death, nor that the Lord would come into the world to save them. So great were the ignorance and stupidity in which they were kept, and still are kept, that they did not and do not know of the existence of the internal man, or of anything internal, for if they had known of it, or if they now knew of it, so as to acknowledge it, such is their character that they would profane it, and there would be no hope of any salvation for them in the other life. This is what is meant by the Lord in John:--
He hath blinded their eyes, and stopped up their heart, that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and convert themselves, and I should heal them (John 12:40).
And by the Lord speaking to them in parables without explaining to them their meaning, lest (as He Himself says),
Seeing they should see, and hearing they should hear, and should understand (Matt. 13:13).
For the same reason all the mysteries of faith were hidden from them, and were concealed under the representatives of their church, and for the same reason the prophetic style is of the same character. It is however one thing to know, and another to acknowledge. He who knows and does not acknowledge, is as if he knew not; but it is he who acknowledges and afterwards blasphemes and profanes, that is meant by these words of the Lord.
AC 303. A man acquires a life by all the things he is persuaded of, that is, which he acknowledges and believes. That of which he is not persuaded, or does not acknowledge and believe, does not affect his mind. And therefore no one can profane holy things unless he has been so persuaded of them that he acknowledges them, and yet denies them. Those who do not acknowledge may know, but are as if they did not know, and are like those who know things that have no existence. Such were the Jews about the time of the Lord‘s advent, and therefore they are said in the Word to be "vastated" or "laid waste," that is, to have no longer any faith. Under these circumstances it does men no injury to have the interior contents of the Word opened to them, for they are as persons seeing, and yet not seeing; hearing, and yet not hearing; and whose hearts are stopped up; of whom the Lord says in Isaiah:--
Go and tell this people, Hearing hear ye, but understand not, and seeing see ye, but know not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and smear their eyes, lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, so that they be healed (Isaiah 6:9, 10).
That the mysteries of faith are not revealed until men are in such a state, that is, are so vastated that they no longer believe (in order, as before said, that they may not be able to profane them), the Lord also plainly declares in the subsequent verses of Isaiah:--
Then said I, Lord, how long? And He said, Even until the cities are desolated, so that there be no inhabitant; and the houses, so that there be no man, and the ground be utterly desolated, and Jehovah have removed man (Isaiah 6:12).
He is called a "man" who is wise, or who acknowledges and believes. The Jews were thus vastated, as already said, at the time of the Lord’s advent; and for the same reason they are still kept in such vastation by their cupidities, and especially by their avarice, that although they hear of the Lord a thousand times, and that the representatives of their church are significative of Him in every particular, yet they acknowledge and believe nothing. This then was the reason why the antediluvians were cast out of the garden of Eden, and vastated even until they were no longer capable of acknowledging any truth.
AC 304. From all this it is evident what is meant by the words, "lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of lives, and eat, and live to eternity." To "take of the tree of lives and eat," is to know even so as to acknowledge whatever is of love and faith; for lives" in the plural denote love and faith, and to "eat" signifies here as before, to know. To "live to eternity," is not to live in the body to eternity, but to live after death in eternal damnation. A man who is "dead" is not so called because he is to die after the life of the body, but because he will live a life of death, for "death" is damnation and hell. The expression to "live," is used with a similar signification by Ezekiel:--
Ye hunt souls for My people, and save souls alive for yourselves, and ye have profaned Me among My people, to slay souls that will not die, and to make souls live that will not live (Ezekiel 13:18, 19).
AC 305. Verse 23. Therefore Jehovah God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. To be "cast out of the garden of Eden," is to be deprived of all intelligence and wisdom; and to "till the ground from which he was taken," is to become corporeal, as he was previous to regeneration. That to be "cast out of the garden of Eden" is to be deprived of all intelligence and wisdom, is evident from the signification of a "garden," and of "Eden," as above; for a "garden" signifies intelligence, or the understanding of truth; and "Eden," being significative of love, signifies wisdom, or the will of good. That to "till the ground from which he was taken" signifies to become corporeal, such as he was before regeneration, has been shown above (verse 19), where similar words occur.
AC 306. Verse 24. And He cast out the man; and He made to dwell from the east toward the garden of Eden cherubim, and the flame of a sword turning itself to keep the way of the tree of lives. To "cast out the man," is to entirely deprive him of all the will of good and understanding of truth, insomuch that he is separated from them, and is no longer man. To "make cherubim from the east to dwell," is to provide against his entering into any secret thing of faith; for the "east toward the garden of Eden," is the celestial, from which is intelligence; and by "cherubim" is signified the providence of the Lord in preventing such a man from entering into the things of faith. By the "flame of a sword turning itself," is signified self-love (amor proprius) with its insane desires and consequent persuasions, which are such that he indeed wishes to enter, but is carried away to corporeal and earthly things, and this for the purpose of "keeping the way of the tree of lives," that is, of preventing the profanation of holy things.
AC 307. It here treats of the sixth and seventh posterities, which perished by the flood, and were altogether "cast out of the garden of Eden," that is, from all understanding of truth, and became as it were not men, being left to their insane cupidities and persuasions.
AC 308. As the signification of the "east" and of the "garden of Eden" were given above, it is needless to dwell longer on them; but that " cherubim" denote the providence of the Lord lest man should insanely enter into the mysteries of faith from his Own, and from what is of the senses and of memory-knowledge (sensuali et scientifico), and should thus profane them, and destroy himself, is evident from all the passages in the Word where mention is made of "cherubim." As the Jews were of such a quality that if they had possessed any clear knowledge concerning the Lord‘s coming, concerning the representatives or types of the church as being significative of Him, concerning the life after death, concerning the interior man and the internal sense of the Word, they would have profaned it, and would have perished eternally; therefore this was represented by the " cherubim" on the mercy-seat over the ark, upon the curtains of the tabernacle, upon the vail, and also in the temple; and it was signified that the Lord had them in keeping (Exod. 25:18-21; 26:1, 31; 1 Kings 6:23-29, 32). For the ark, in which was the testimony, signified the same as the tree of lives in this passage, namely, the Lord and the celestial things which belong solely to Him. Hence also the Lord is so often called the "God of Israel sitting on the cherubim," and hence He spake with Moses and Aaron "between the cherubim" (Exod. 25:22; Num. 7:89). This is plainly described in Ezekiel, where it is said:--
The glory of the God of Israel was uplifted from upon the cherub whereon He was, to the threshold of the house. And He called to the man clothed with linen, and said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men who groan and sigh for all the abominations done in the midst thereof. And to the others He said, Go ye after him through the city, and smite; let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity; slay to blotting out the old man, and the young man, and the virgin, the infant, and the women; defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain (Ezekiel 9:3-7).
He said to the man clothed in linen, Go in between the wheel to beneath the cherub, and fill thy palms with coals of fire from between the cherubim, and scatter them over the city; the cherub put forth his hand from between the cherubim unto the fire which was between the cherubim, and took thereof, and put it into the palms of him that was clothed in linen, who took it and went out (Ezekiel 10:2, 7).
From these passages it is evident that the providence of the Lord in preventing men from entering into the mysteries of faith is signified by the "cherubim;" and that therefore they were left to their insane cupidities, here also signified by the "fire that was to be scattered over the city," and that "none should be spared."
AC 309. That by the "flame of a sword turning itself," is signified self-love (amor proprius) with its insane cupidities and persuasions, which are such that they desire to enter (into the mysteries of faith), but are carried away to corporeal and earthly things, might be confirmed by so many passages from the Word as would fill pages; but we will cite only these from Ezekiel:--
Prophesy and say, Thus saith Jehovah, Say a sword, a sword, it is sharpened, and also burnished to make a sore slaughter; it is sharpened that it may be as lightning. Let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword of his slain; the sword of a great slaughter, which entereth into their bed-chambers, that their heart may melt, and their offenses be multiplied, I have set the terror of the sword in all their gates. Alas! it is made as lightning (Ezekiel 21:9, 10, 14, 15).
A "sword" here signifies the desolation of man such that he sees nothing that is good and true, but mere falsities and things contrary, denoted by "multiplying offenses." It is also said in Nahum, of those who desire to enter into the mysteries of faith, "The horseman mounting, and the flame of the sword, and the flash of the spear, and a multitude of the slain" (Nahum 3:3).
AC 310. Each particular expression in this verse involves so many arcana of deepest import (applicable to the genius of this people who perished by the flood, a genius totally different from that of those who lived subsequent to the flood), that it is impossible to set them forth. We will briefly observe that their first parents, who constituted the Most Ancient Church, were celestial men, and consequently had celestial seeds implanted in them; whence their descendants had seed in them from a celestial origin. Seed from a celestial origin is such that love rules the whole mind and makes it a one. For the human mind consists of two parts, the will and the understanding. Love or good belongs to the will, faith or truth to the understanding; and from love or good those most ancient people perceived what belongs to faith or truth, so that their mind was a one. With the posterity of such a race, seed of the same celestial origin necessarily remains, so that any falling away from truth and good on their part is most perilous, since their whole mind becomes so perverted as to render a restoration in the other life scarcely possible. It is otherwise with those who do not possess celestial but only spiritual seed, as did the people after the flood, and as also do the people of the present day. There is no love in these, consequently no will of good, but still there is a capability of faith, or understanding of truth, by means of which they can be brought to some degree of charity, although by a different way, namely, by the insinuation of conscience from the Lord grounded in the knowledges of truth and the derivative good. Their state is therefore quite different from that of the antediluvians, concerning which state, of the Lord’s Divine mercy hereafter. These are arcana with which the present generation are utterly unacquainted, for at the present day none know what the celestial man is nor even what the spiritual man is, and still less what is the quality of the human mind and life thence resulting, and the consequent state after death.
AC 311. In the other life, the state of those who perished by the flood is such that they cannot be in the world of spirits, or with other spirits, but are in a hell separated from the hells of others, and as it were under a certain mountain. This appears as an intervening mountain in consequence of their direful phantasies and persuasions. Their phantasies and persuasions are such as to produce so profound a stupor in other spirits that they do not know whether they are alive or dead, for they deprive them of all understanding of truth, so that they perceive nothing. Such also was their persuasive power during their abode in the world; and because it was foreseen that in the other life they would be incapable of associating with other spirits without inducing on them a kind of death, they all became extinct, and the Lord of His Divine mercy induced other states on those who lived after the flood.
AC 312. In this verse, the state of these antediluvians is fully described, in that they were "cast out," or separated from celestial good, and in that "cherubim were placed from the east toward the garden of Eden." This expression, "from the east toward the garden of Eden," is applicable only to them, and could not be used in relation to those who lived afterwards, of whom it would have been said, "from the garden of Eden toward the east." In like manner, had the words "the flame of a sword turning itself" been applied to the people of the present day, they would have been "the sword of a flame turning itself." Nor would it have been said the "tree of lives,", but the "tree of life;" not to mention other things in the series that cannot possibly be explained, being understood only by the angels, to whom the Lord reveals them; for every state contains infinite arcana, not even one of which is known to men.
AC 313. From what is here said of the first man, it is evident that all the hereditary evil existing at the present day did not come from him, as is falsely supposed. For it is the Most Ancient Church that is here treated of under the name of "man;" and when it is called "Adam," it signifies that man was from the ground, or that from being non-man he became man by regeneration from the Lord. This is the origin and signification of the name. But as to hereditary evil, the case is this. Every one who commits actual sin thereby induces on himself a nature, and the evil from it is implanted in his children, and becomes hereditary. It thus descends from every parent, from the father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and their ancestors in succession, and is thus multiplied and augmented in each descending posterity, remaining with each person, and being increased in each by his actual sins, and never being dissipated so as to become harmless except in those who are being regenerated by the Lord. Every attentive observer may see evidence of this truth in the fact that the evil inclinations of parents remain visibly in their children, so that one family, and even an entire race, may be thereby distinguished from every other.
CONTINUATION CONCERNING MAN‘S ENTRANCE INTO ETERNAL LIFE
AC 314. After the use of light has been given to the resuscitated person, or soul, so that he can look about him, the spiritual angels previously spoken of render him all the kindly services he can in that state desire, and give him information about the things of the other life, but only so far as he is able to receive it. If he has been in faith, and desires it, they show him the wonderful and magnificent things of heaven.
AC 315. But if the resuscitated person or soul is not of such a character as to be willing to be instructed, he then desires to be rid of the company of the angels, which they exquisitely perceive, for in the other life there is a communication of all the ideas of thought. Still, they do not leave him even then, but he dissociates himself from them. The angels love every one, and desire nothing more than to render him kindly services, to instruct him, and to convey him to heaven. In this consists their highest delight.
AC 316. When the soul thus dissociates himself, he is received by good spirits, who likewise render him all kind offices while he is in their company. If however his life in the world has been such that he cannot remain in the company of the good, he desires to be rid of these also, and this process is repeated again and again, until he associates himself with those who are in full agreement with his former life in the world, among whom he finds as it were his own life. And then, wonderful to say, he leads with them a life like that which he had lived when in the body. But after sinking back into such a life, he makes a new beginning of life; and some after a longer time, some after a shorter, are from this borne on toward hell; but such as have been in faith toward the Lord, are from that new beginning of life led step by step toward heaven.
AC 317. Some however advance more slowly toward heaven, and others more quickly. I have seen some who were elevated to heaven immediately after death, of which I am permitted to mention only two instances.
AC 318. A certain spirit came and discoursed with me, who, as was evident from certain signs, had only lately died. At first he knew not where he was, supposing himself still to be in the world; but when he became conscious that he was in the other life, and that he no longer possessed anything, such as house, wealth, and the like, being in another kingdom, where he was deprived of all he had possessed in the world, he was seized with anxiety, and knew not where to betake himself, or whither to go for a place of abode. He was then informed that the Lord alone provides for him and for all; and was left to himself, that his thoughts might take their wonted direction, as in the world. He now considered (for in the other life the thoughts of all may be plainly perceived) what he must do, being deprived of all means of subsistence; and while in this state of anxiety he was brought into association with some celestial spirits who belonged to the province of the heart, and who showed him every attention that he could desire. This being done, he was again left to himself, and began to think, from charity, how he might repay kindness so great, from which it was evident that while he had lived in the body he had been in the charity of faith, and he was therefore at once taken up into heaven.
AC 319. I saw another also who was immediately translated into heaven by the angels, and was accepted by the Lord and shown the glory of heaven; not to mention much other experience respecting others who were conveyed to heaven after some lapse of time.