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Correspondences of Canaan
A STUDY OF THE SPIRITUAL GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY OF THE LAND AND NATIONS OF THE WORD
CARL THEOPHILUS ODHNER
ACADEMY BOOK ROOM
BRYN ATHYN, PA. 1911
Charts of the ethnology of the ancient church.
1. The land of the Word and the Church. The land of Canaan is, above all other regions of the earth, the land of the Word of God and the land of the Lord's ancient churches.
Here was the cradle of mankind. Here was the Garden of Eden, where the celestial men and women of the Golden Age lived in the happy and innocent days of the infancy of our race. Here the Ancient Church, the Church of Noah, arose after the Flood. Here the Hebrew and Israelitish Churches flourished and declined. Here, as a citizen of this land, the Creator of the universe, the Savior of mankind, assumed and glorified the Human. Here He taught and founded His Christian Church. And here the Word of God was written.
The study of this land is, therefore, nothing but the study of the Word of God and of the Church. If we can succeed in having the map of Canaan thoroughly impressed upon our sensories, and if at the same time we can form distinct ideas of the spiritual significance of its contours, we shall have enriched our minds with a map of the Word, a map of the spiritual constitution of man, a map of the Lord's Church in every age, and a map of His Heavenly Kingdom.
2. The land of Canaan representative throughout. Universal nature is a theatre representative of its Creator and His spiritual kingdom. The effect cannot but bear the impress and similitude of its cause.
All nature is the Word of God, written by His own hand in the sun, the stars, and all things of the earth. "The Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge."
To the men of the Golden Age the Book of Nature was the Word of God, and they had no need of a written Revelation. They enjoyed open communication with Heaven, and the things in the natural world were to them nothing but the external and perfectly intelligible signs of the spiritual and celestial things which they beheld and heard in the angelic world. Hence they had a clear perception of the internal meaning, significance and correspondence of every single thing on earth. Mountains and valleys, lakes and rivers, plants and animals,—all were grasped by them in spiritual ideas, and named by them in correspondence with their heavenly prototypes.
3. The origin of its representatives. The most ancient people lived in the land of Canaan and round about, and they spoke a language formed from Heaven and in many things similar to the ancient Hebrew tongue. Hence every place and natural feature of that land originally received its name from Heaven and in harmony with its correspondence to things in Heaven and in the human mind. These names remained long after their true meaning had been forgotten by the degenerate descendants of the people of the Golden and Silver Ages, and thus it came to pass that the Land of Canaan was more suitable than any other country to be the theatre in which the spiritual drama of the Israelitish Church could be enacted and the Word of God written in types of heavenly things. Not that Canaan was actually more representative than any other country. Pennsylvania is just as much the handiwork of God, and just as representative of spiritual things, but the names of places here were not given immediately from Heaven, and their signification has not been revealed.
4. The general representation of the land. As to the generally representative character of the land of Canaan, we have the following teachings in the Writings of the New Church:
5. The comprehensiveness of its representation. The land of Canaan possesses so universally comprehensive a representation in the letter of the Word that it would be difficult to state what it does not represent. A few passages from the Writings will illustrate this comprehensiveness:
6. Resume. From these and innumerable other teachings we may draw up the following resume of the general and particular representations and significations of the land of Canaan:
I. The Lord's Kingdom, i. e., the Church.
a. in the individual man.
b. in the whole complex.
in the other life, i. e., the Heavenly Canaan:
d. the perverted man of the Church.
e. the Church perverted and consummated.
f. the kingdom of falsity and evil in Hell.
II. Every state of religion, in this life and in the other.
III. The Lord Himself.
a. as to His infirm Human.
b. as to His victorious Human.
c. as to His Divine Human.
7. The Land.— (Ha-arets.)—This is par excellence the designation most frequently used in the Word, and this expression nearly always means nothing else than that particular region which is known as the land of Canaan. This was the land, the land of lands, to the people who inhabited it,—as is every land to its own inhabitants. But in this case it was called the land from something more than mere pride of patriotism.
When a land or a country is mentioned in the Word, it never means the mere soil of the ground,—for there is nothing of spiritual or eternal importance in dead matter. In the Old Christian Church many have the idea that the very soil of Canaan is holy, and an orthodox Jew can conceive of no greater posthumous bliss than to be buried in the "land of his fathers,"— the soil which is mingled with the dust of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This veneration of the material soil is clearly founded on an association of ideas of living things,—the idea of the persons who have inhabited the soil, and the idea of the principles which they represented.
When we think of "our country," we are not thinking of the mere dirt and stones, but of our nation, our institutions, our principles of government and freedom, etc. And thus also, in the Word, whenever a "land" is mentioned it signifies, first, the people who live in that country; next, the peculiar and distinctive characteristics which make that people what it is,—its civil and moral good and truth; and finally, in the internal sense, the spiritual principles, the religious doctrines and life of the Church with that people, which lie at the foundation of all national development.
But the land of Canaan signifies "the Church" more especially than any other land, since from the beginning of the human race it had been the home of the purest form of the Church,—the home of the worship of the one living God. As the centre of Monotheism, the Church in the land of Canaan had for ages been the. centre of spiritual light and life, the heart and lungs of that world-wide "Church Universal" which, in more or less obscurity, exists among all races of mankind. Hence, when various countries are mentioned, such as the land of Egypt, the land of Edom. the land of Moab, etc., Canaan is simply mentioned as "the land,"—meaning the Church, where the Lord is worshipped and His Word acknowledged in purity of heart and doctrine.
8. The Holy Land. This designation originated during the Middle Ages, as an expression of the pious veneration with which pilgrims and crusaders looked up5n that country in which every mountain and stream was consecrated by the memory of Jesus and His twelve apostles. "The Holy Land" is still the most common name for Canaan, and one frequently hears stories of visitors to the "Holy Land" kissing that precious soil which had been pressed by the footsteps of Jesus and which had been moistened with His blood. But this is mere idolatry. The Lord is present in America just as much as He ever was in the Holy Land, and the blood that He shed was part of that merely Jewish human which He rejected at His resurrection. The soil of Canaan is, if anything, less holy than that of other parts of the earth,—having been defiled, for thousands of years, by the worst of all nations, and now largely desert, sterile and useless.> (AC 1438, 6516.) "The Holy Land" is therefore an expression which we may well leave to the sentimental in the Old Church.
9. The Land of Promise. Thus the land was called when spoken of as the inheritance which the Lord promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,—a land ardently longed-for by their descendants, a land "good and broad, flowing with milk and honey." These terms, indeed, do not apply to the dismal region now known as Palestine, but in ancient times this country was literally a paradise. The now bare and forbidding cliffs and wildernesses were then covered with fruitful loam and smiling verdure, a land the most favored of all by its situation, climate, and resources, the highway between Egypt and Assyria, protected by mountain- ranges, cooled by the sea, semitropical in climate, well watered, productive of everything the oriental heart could wish for,—a land of promise, truly. And this most blessed region was but the faint similitude of a still more glorious "Land of Promise,"—the Heavenly Canaan which is promised as the everlasting inheritance of all who follow the Lord.
10. The Land of Canaan.— (Kenaan.)—This name, we may say, is the most distinctive and proper designation of the land. It is to be observed that this name of the Land is not derived from Canaan, the son of Ham, as is generally supposed, but the Hamitic Canaanites were named from a root meaning "to be low," in correspondence with their character. For we are taught that the country was named Canaan from most ancient times, (AC 4453), long before the time of Noah and his descendants, and that "it was so named from 'merchandise' or 'trading,' "—in Hebrew kana,—and this because it was the central home of the Most Ancient Church and afterwards of the Ancient Church, from which all the other nations roundabout received their spiritual merchandise, that is, their knowledge of good and truth.
History strikingly confirms this teaching, for from prehistoric times the nations inhabiting the land of Canaan have been devoted to the love of trade. Here was the home of the ancient Hittites,— the gentle descendants of the Most Ancient Church, who even in the time of Abraham are referred to as merchants. Here, also, dwelt the Phoenicians, who, for some two thousand years, controlled the entire trade of the civilized world,—their little ships penetrating every nook of the Mediterranean Sea, visiting the North Sea and the Baltic, and even circumnavigating Africa. And the Jews, finally, though originally a pastoral people, after their conquest of Canaan developed that intense love of trading which to this day has remained as their most distinctive national characteristic. We are told in the Writings that even after death they continue their favorite occupation of trading in jewelry.
Whence came this unbroken love of trading among the inhabitants of Canaan, if not from their first ancestors who, in the clays of the Golden and Silver Ages, were the teachers of all mankind,—spiritual traders who ardently loved to communicate to the rest of the world the blessings which the Lord had bestowed upon them, the heavenly jewels and garments of genuine doctrine, the goods and truths which they had derived from that inexhaustible treasure-house which had been revealed to them by celestial perceptions, and in the pages of the Ancient Word? The earliest Canaanites were the great missionaries of ancient times who went forth, as did the Apostles in the dawn of Christianity, to spread the light of the Word to distant and gentile nations. Afterwards, when the Ancient Church became corrupt in the land of Canaan, it is easy to see how the missionaries began to work for their own gain instead of the salvation of others, and how they gradually took to natural instead of spiritual merchandise. The love of trading remained, but had now become worldly instead of heavenly.
It has been the same with more modern nations. Whenever the Word has been received and missionary zeal has been kindled, natural trade has followed in the foot-steps of the evangelists. It was so in Italy, during the Renaissance, when the Word again began to be studied, and when Venice, Florence, and Genoa became the trading centres of the world. It was so in Holland, after the Reformation had won its cause in the Low Countries. And it was so in England after the English had gained free possession of the Bible. Englishmen became and still remain the most zealous missionaries, as well as the most successful traders, in the world.
The derivation of the name "Canaan" from kana, to trade, though self-evidently reasonable, is not recognized by the learned world. In all modern lexicons the name is derived from another root, kana, to be low, but this etymology does not seem rational, inasmuch as Canaan as a whole is not a lowland, but most decidedly a highland. It is true, however, that the people of Canaan, after the Church had become corrupt among them, from being the highest became the most "low" and degraded of all civilized nations.
11. Palestine.— (Pelesheth.)—This is a name derived from the "Philistines," whose name, again, is derived from a root signifying to "emigrate." It is never used in a favorable sense in the Word itself, but always refers to that small but rich strip of coast-land where dwelt the most immediate enemies of the Israelitish nation. The name "Palestine" came into use especially during the age of the Crusaders, and is now the most common official designation of the country on all maps.
12. Es-Shem, and Syria, are the names by which the modern inhabitants, mostly Arabs, call their country. The former means simply "the land of the Semite," and the latter is derived from ancient Tyre, the capital of Phoenicia.
13. The central location of the land. In a most literal sense the land of Canaan is truly "set in the midst of the nations and countries round about her." (Ezech. 5:5.) Such is the statement in the letter of the Word, and in the Writings of the New Church we are told that "the land of Canaan represented and thence signified the Church; for that land is in the central part of the whole of our world, having Europe in front, Africa on the left hand, and Asia behind it, and on the right hand." (Cor. 52.) This unique situation has also been observed by geographers, as by Dr. George Adam Smith, who describes it as "a land lying between two continents,—Asia and Africa.; between two primeval homes of men,—the valleys of the Euphrates and the Nile; between two great centres of empire,—Western Asia and Egypt; between all these, representing the eastern and ancient world, and the Mediterranean which is the gateway to the western and modern world." (Hist. Geog. p. 6.) We may add to all this the fact, that the land lies exactly midway between the Equator and the Polar Circle. Thus in every way it is most centrally located,— in fitting correspondence to the spiritual situation of the Lord's specific or spiritual Church as the life-giving centre, the heart and lungs, of the Church Universal.
14. Its isolation. Very significant, also, is the peculiar isolation of this land, which is surrounded on the east and south by enormous and terrible deserts,—the Arabian desert and the wilderness of Sinai,—while the Mediterranean Sea separates it from the whole western world, and the rugged Lebanon mountains from the regions of the north. This isolation represents the distinctiveness of the Church from the world, from all that is not of the Church. For the Lord's Spiritual Church must by all means be distinct in order to be protected from the influence of worldly and selfish loves and ideas. When a Church loses its distinctiveness, it loses its reason for being, its purity of doctrine and life, its means of serving the Lord in the work of salvation. As an illustration we may point to the early Christian Church after Constantine had made it the state religion. The Church was then supposed to have conquered the world, but in reality it was the world that had conquered the Church. The primitive Christian brotherhood was dissolved; the love of the Savior as the only God of the Church had vanished; the love of worldly power and gain took possession of the ruined temple; and intolerance and the persecution of brethren followed, and the introduction of tritheism and other pagan doctrines.
15. Its means of communication. Though thus isolated, the land of Canaan nevertheless possesses means of communicating with the entire world. The only natural approaches, however, are from the west and the north: from the west by the broad highway of the sea; and from the north by the narrow valley between the two Lebanon ranges. This, also, is profoundly significant. The west is Faith, and the Sea is the Word. The entrance into the Church is by means of Faith in the Word of the Lord. Again, the north is ignorance, and the Lebanon valley, like all Syria, is knowledge. No one can from a state of ignorance enter into the Church except through the acquisition of knowledge respecting the Doctrines of the Church. Thus, in Nature itself, the Creator has inscribed the lesson that no one can enter into the Church and become a regenerating man by any immediate influx from Heaven, but only by the narrow and laborious road of learning the Divine Truth from the Word and its Doctrine.
This lesson, also, is inscribed upon the very body of man in the remarkable isolation of the heart and the lungs: beneath these central organs there is the broad expanse of the diaphragm, and around them are the ribs and the various plexuses. The only approach to the heart is by the Vena Cava, and to the lungs through the wind-pipe.
At the same time, while the Church is not of the World, it must necessarily be in the world, in order to serve the world with the means of salvation. And for this purpose it must possess means of communicating with the world. There must be means of trading, spiritually, with the Science and Philosophy of the world, even as the land of Canaan was in communication with Egypt and Assyria by means of well-beaten highways and caravan routes across the deserts, or as the heart and lungs communicate, more indirectly, with the rest of the body through arteries and veins and all sorts of membranes.
16. The size and extent of the land. In view of the enormous importance of the land of Canaan, historically as well as spiritually, its very limited extent cannot but excite astonishment. From Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south there is a distance of only 170 English miles,—a little further than from Philadelphia to Washington. Again, from the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea there are but seventy miles, while from the Sea of Galilee to the Phoenician seaboard there are only forty miles. The whole country includes 7150 square miles, and in size and outlines greatly resembles the state of New Hampshire.
This limited area stands as an eternal lesson that the importance and influence of a country or a Church are not to be measured by its natural size or its multitude of inhabitants and members. Canaan was one of the smallest of the countries in the ancient world,—and yet, what a part it has played in the history of mankind! So, also, the Lord's New Church is at the present time numerically one of the most insignificant among all religions bodies, and yet it is the only Church in the wide world that worships the Lord Jesus Christ as the only God,—the only true Christian Religion,—the only medium of influx from Heaven,— the only Church that is spiritually alive and life-giving. We mean, of course, especially the new Divine Revelation which has been given to the New Church, but we mean also the members of the Church in so far as they receive this Revelation ar;d live according to it. Their numerical smallness signifies nothing. "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." (Luke 12:32.) It is the duty of the New Church to take possession of that Canaan which has descended from Heaven in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem,—to conquer the foes which oppose the entrance,—to live in the land and cultivate its glorious fields and gardens. If the Church is faithful in this work, the Lord will gift it with such increase and such riches that the whole world will need to live on its heavenly meat and drink.
17. The Boundaries of Canaan. In considering this subject, it is necessary to remember that the boundaries changed at various times, but that, in general, two distinct sets of boundaries must be described.
In a most extended sense the land of Canaan included all the region between the Nile and the Red Sea, on the south, and the river Orontes and the Taurus mountains on the north; and between the Euphrates and Tigris on the east and the Mediterranean Sea on the west. These are the boundaries of the Garden of Eden as described in the second chapter of Genesis, and we are taught in the Writings that the Garden of Eden was situated in Canaan, nay, included all that land. These boundaries, in the reign of David and of Solomon, again became the limits of the larger Canaan, but remained as such only for a few years. (AC 444; AE 654.)
In a more limited sense, the southern boundary of Canaan, strictly so called, was an imaginary line drawn from the southeastern corner of the Mediterranean to Beersheba and the southern end of the Dead Sea, and thence across to and along the river Arnon. The eastern boundary line ran in the Arabian desert along the thirty-sixth longitude, from the river Arnon to Mt. Hermon. The northern line ran from Mt. Hermon and Dan along the southern spurs of Mt. Lebanon to the Sea, just south of Tyre; and the western boundary was the Mediterranean shore. These were the boundaries throughout the greater part of Israelitish and Jewish history.
As to the general signification of these boundaries we are taught that
And, in reference to the Human of the Lord, "all things which were in the land of Canaan were representative; the things in the midst of the land represented the Lord's Internal man, as Mt. Zion and Jerusalem; those places which were somewhat remote therefrom, represented those things which are somewhat remote from interior things; and those which are ultimate or at the boundaries, represented the external man." (AC 2973.)
19. The spiritual significance of mountains. Being the loftiest things on the earth, mountains correspond to the most sublime states of love and faith in Heaven, in the Church, and in the human mind. When we ascend a lofty mountain there comes a sense of rising above the earthly things of this world, above the obscuring clouds of sensual appearances, above the grosser atmosphere of worldly cares and loves. As we climb higher and higher, there seems to be a nearer approach to Heaven, to the beginning of all things, and as we stand upon the summit with the world at our feet, there is a feeling of the tranquillity of peace and of aloneness with God, which comes from those who dwell alone with God upon the mountain-tops of the supreme or celestial Heaven.
A mountain, therefore, in the highest sense signifies the Lord who is supreme above all things of Creation; and hence a mountain signifies those who are in love to the Lord, the highest of all human and angelic loves. And since the Lord is the Word, by a mountain is also signified the Word and the love of the Word: the top signifies the inmost or celestial sense; the sides of the mountain, the internal or spiritual sense; and the foot of the mountain, the external or literal sense. (AC 9422).
In the Most Ancient Church it was customary to worship the Lord upon the mountains, and thus mountains came to be associated with the idea of holy worship, adoration, and love of the Lord. When the Church afterwards became perverted and fell into idolatry, the worship on the mountains still continued, but it was now the worship of man-made gods. And thus mountains came to have also an evil significance, the very opposite to the celestial love of God,—namely, the love of self, and especially the pride of self-exaltation, and the love of domineering over others.
20. Canaan as a whole is a mountainous country; mountains and hills are seen from every part of the land. And on this account Canaan could fitly represent the Lord's internal Church, in which the love of the Lord and the love of the neighbor are universal, everywhere producing interior perceptions of wisdom and lofty views of all things of life. In striking contrast with this elevated land were its neighboring countries, Egypt and Assyria. Egypt was one continuous low and narrow valley, the true type of the merely scientific mind; while Assyria was a far-reaching plain, representative of the plane of the natural rational mind, upon which the thoughts and reasonings dart to and fro, like the Assyrian horsemen with their bows and arrows. A great wilderness separated Canaan from Assyria on the one hand and from Egypt on the other. A wilderness represents vastation, and vasta- tion always precedes regeneration. The conceit of learning, the pride of self-intelligence, the self-sufficient confidence in one's own natural powers of reasoning, these must be broken by various afflictions, by self-humiliation, by the confession that of himself he knows nothing and understands nothing, before the natural man can become a spiritual man. From the sensual and merely natural rational states there is no road to the heavenly Canaan, except through temptation and vastation.
21. Mt. Ararat. In studying the mountains of Canaan (together with those of the districts which were included within its most ancient boundaries), the first mountain to be noted is also the one first mentioned in the Word, viz., Mt. Ararat, in Armenia. It was here that the ark of Noah is said to have rested after the fountains of the deep had been stopped at the end of the universal Deluge of evil and falsity which had overtaken the degenerate descendants of the Church of Adam. Noah represents the new Church which then commenced,—the Church of the Silver Age; the journey of the ark upon the raging waters represented the first temptations of that Church; and the mountains of Ararat represented the first steady light that was given to this infant Church, after its long night of fluctuation, vastation, and temptation, the new light of the regenerate life. (AC 854.) It is a significant fact that the name of the mountain is connected with the root 'or, which means light.
22. The Lebanon mountains. The mountains of Armenia are continued into Syria through the Taurus and Anti-Taurus ranges, and near the sea-coast from the famous mountains of the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon. The Lebanon runs for a hundred miles closely parallel to the sea, in an unbroken ridge of the average height of 7,000 feet, though some of the peaks rise more than 10000 feet above the sea. The name means the White Mountains, and they are so called either from their snowy summits, or from their white limestone formation.
The appearance of these mountains, especially from the sea, is beautiful in the extreme. "Along their base eternal summer smiles; and along their summits rest eternal snows. Between the two flourish the vegetation, fruit and flowers of all climes." (Stewart, The Land of Israel, p. 107.) "The glory of Lebanon" is frequently mentioned in the Word, and is always associated with the mighty forests of cedars which in ancient times covered the sides of the mountain. From their geographical position, (as leading from Assyria to Canaan), from the appearance of their shining rocks, and especially from the character of the cedar trees, the Lebanon mountains always represent the loves and perceptions of the natural-rational mind. Having gained the "new light" represented by Mt. Ararat, the regenerating man must find his way into Canaan, or the internal Church, by passing through the Lebanon valley,—by using the gift of natural reason which the Creator has bestowed upon him. And he must then at the same time pass through Syria; he must acquire the cognitions or knowledges of the truths and goods of the Church, and store these in his rational understanding, thus breaking away from the false dogma of the Old Church that knowledge and rea- son have no part in faith, and that the understanding must be kept captive in obedience to blind faith. There is thus no room in the New Church for the maxim of St. Augustine: "Credo quia absurdum." The motto of the New Church is on the contrary: "Nunc licet intrare intellectualiter in mysteria fidei," (Now it is allowed to enter intellectually into the mysteries of faith), and this entrance is through the valley of Syria between the lofty ranges of the Lebanon and the anti-Lebanon,—through the road.of learning the truths of faith, all along guided by the perceptions of the rational mind. (AE 650, 730.)
The Cedar of Lebanon is the very image of perception founded on solid reason. Its fragrant wood is the most enduring of all trees. The majestic pillar of its stem, serving as support of the Temple, is the type of the rational truths upon which the genuine Church must be founded. Its upright stature, its straight, far-reaching branches, its needle-like leaves,—all bear the natural semblance of the rational mind, with its straight thoughts and pointed arguments.
On the other hand, the pride of the merely natural man, who would subordinate even Divine Revelation to the conceit of his own intelligence, is also typified by the Cedar of Lebanon, as in the words of the Psalmist: "The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars; yea, the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon," (Is. 25:5), which signifies the omnipotence of Divine Truth breaking down the false reasonings of the perverted understanding. This, however, does not alter the excellence of true reason when kept in subordinate service to revealed Truth. When in such service, "Asshur is a cedar in Lebanon, with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of a high stature, and his top is among the thick boughs." (Ezech. 31:3.) And of the Church of the New Jerusalem it was prophesied that "the glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary." (Is. 60:13.) For in the Writings of the New Church there is a divinely revealed highway between Egypt and Assyria. True Science and true Philosophy arc there united with true Religion.
Among the hills and peaks of Galilee few can properly be termed mountains, but there are some interesting eminences of historical importance. Among these are
23. Mount Napthali, the highest peak of the Galilean range, now known as "Jebel Jermuk," which rises about 4,000 feet above the sea. "Naphtali" means wrestlings, the struggles of temptation. Having actually entered into the land of the Church from the natural-rational state, (= Lebanon), through the gate of acknowledgment, (= Dan), the pilgrim at once finds himself in states of temptation, (= the dark gorges of the Naphtali mountains). The life of regeneration has begun.
24. Mt. Tabor, a few miles east of Nazareth, in lower Galilee, is a shapely, symmetrical mountain, rising like a dome from the surrounding plain, and is thickly studded with trees. It is supposed by some that this was the scene of the "Sermon on the Mount;" by others it is supposed to be the mountain of the Transfiguration.
25. The Plain of Esdraelon. This is the modern name, derived from the ancient Jezreel, a great triangular plain extending between the Jordan and Mt. Carmel, and separating Galilee from the mountains of Samaria. It is drained by the river Kishon and its tributaries, and is remarkable not only on account of its extent and fertility, but also and especially on account of its strategical and historical importance as "the battle-field of the Ages." Here the Egyptians under Thothmes III. vanquished the Hittites some 1,600 years before Christ. Here, in the time of the Judges, Barak overwhelmed the Syrians in that memorable battle when "the stars in their courses fought against Sisera," (Judg. 5:20). Here, at Mt. Gilboa, Saul and Jonathan were slain in battle against the Philistines, and here King Josiah was mortally wounded by the Egyptians under Pharaoh Necho. On this vast battle-field Canaanites, Midianites, Amalekites, Philistines, Israelites, Syrians, Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Crusaders and Saracens have met and bled, and, as late as 1799, Napoleon here defeated a Turkish army. "Here dynasties have risen and fallen. Here kingdoms have been lost and won."
This district is also known as the "plain of Megiddo," so named from an ancient Canaanitish fortress which guarded the approach from the south, and it is usually identified with the "Armageddon" of the Apocalypse. Thus Dr. R. L. Stewart observes: "It is not strange that this 'valley of Megiddo,' with its long record of conflicts, from Thothmes III. to Napoleon, should have been selected as the typical representative of the last great field of conflict between truth and error, right and wrong." (The Land of Israel, p. 133.)
The commentators generally interpret the name "Megiddo" as meaning "a place of God," but the Writings of the New Church give a different, and, as we shall see, a far more scientific interpretation.
" 'And he gathered them together into a place called in Hebrew Armageddon,' (Rev. 16:16), signifies a state of combat from falsities against truths, and a disposition to destroy the New Church arising from the love of rule and of pre-eminence.... By Armageddon is signified, in heaven, the love of honor, of dominion, and of super-eminence; and in the Hebrew language, also, loftiness is signified by Aram or Arom, and love from loftiness is signified by Megiddo in the old Hebrew tongue, as is manifest from its signification in the Arabic language." (AR 707; A. E. 1010.) And on looking into an Arabic lexicon we find that the word magada means "to swell up, lift oneself up, to be proud, arrogant, super-eminent." (Compare Heb. Meged.)
The plain of Megiddo, or Esdraelon, as the most southern part of Galilee, and the northern part of Samaria, represents the inmost of the natural, i. e., the rational field with the man of the Church, and this is the plane on which all his spiritual battles take place.
The Mountains of Samaria, taken together, are usually known as Mount Ephraim, though these are not only in the old territory of Ephraim but also in that of Manasseh, and include a whole system of peaks and ridges, more rugged, rocky and irregular than the mountains of Galilee. The intervening valleys are not so large and frequent as in Galilee, yet abounding in fine pastures and rich crops. The special mountains of Samaria are:
26. Mt. Gilboa, a ridge some ten miles long, to the southeast of, the plain of Esdraelon. It was here that Saul and Jonathan were slain.
27. Mt. Carmel, ("the vineyard of God"), a ridge eighteen miles in length, bordering the plain of Esdraelon on the southwest, and terminating in a bold headland on the coast, 1,730 feet above the sea. In the Old Testament we read constantly of the "excellence of Carmel," "the honor of Carmel," "the glory of Carmel," "like gladness and joy from Carmel," etc., and it must have been a place of exceeding beauty in ancient times, before its forests had been cut down and its terraced vineyards devastated. Even now, for one brief month in the year, Mt. Carmel is clothed in the beauty of a wonderful profusion of flowers,— orchids, cyclamens, lilies, tulips, etc., but on the whole, the mountain now presents a desolate aspect. This mountain was the scene of Elijah's contest with the prophets of Baal, who with mad and bloody rites called in vain upon their idol, while heavenly fire fell upon Elijah's altar. And from here was seen "a little cloud arising out of the sea, like a man's hand," which grew until it overspread the heavens and refreshed the land with an abundance of rain after a three years' drought. (1 Kings 18:1-46.) Mt. Carmel represents in general "the Lord's Spiritual Church, because there were vineyards there." (AC 1971; AR 316; AE 730), and this fits in well with the representation of Samaria and of Ephraim, both of which refer to what is spiritual and intellectual, while Galilee refers to what is natural, and Judaea to what is celestial.
28. Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim are two short parallel ridges with rounded summits, in the very heart of the mountain district of Ephraim, with the narrow valley of Shechem between them, each about 3,000 feet in height. These mountains were the scenes of some most notable events in Biblical history. Here Jotham, the son of Gideon, spoke the fable of the talking trees, (Judges 9:6-21.) Here the Law, which had been given to Moses, was rehearsed and ratified by the people, according to the prophetic command of the law-giver: six of the tribes should stand upon Mt. Gerizim to bless the people, after they had come into the land; and six tribes should stand upon Mt. Ebal to curse those who disobeyed the Law. (Deut. 27:12, 13.)
Here, also, the Lord spoke with the woman of Samaria, who said: "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet in Jerusalem, worship the Father." (John 4:20, 21.) As a matter of fact, this prophecy has not yet come true in the letter, as far as Mt. Gerizim is concerned, for an ever diminishing remnant of the ancient Samaritans still observe the Passover here as an annual festival. But the spiritual lesson of these words of the Lord is that in the coming genuine Church there would be worship "in spirit and in truth," and not from the love of dominion, as in Jerusalem and Rome, nor yet from the love of the world, as in Samaria and in the Reformed Churches.
The Mountains of Judaea are more wild and barren than those of Samaria, though in ancient times the now bare cliffs were carefully terraced and covered with soil. The mountains reach their highest elevation, (3,546 feet above the sea), to the north of Hebron, and slope thence gradually northward to the mountains of Ephraim; westward to the "Shephelah" or hill-country bordering on Philistea; southward to the deserts around Beersheba; while, on the east, they descend abruptly into the Dead Sea. The following peaks are the most noteworthy:
29. Mizpeh, (a watch-tower, from tsaphah, to look forth), five miles to the north-west of Jerusalem. This is a peak nearly 3,000 feet in height, and affords a magnificent panorama over the whole of southern Canaan. By the Crusaders, it was called "Mountjoye," as they here caught the first glimpse of the Holy City. Here the people of Israel often assembled, in the time of the Judges, to take counsel together, and to offer sacrifice for deliverance from their enemies. Here Samuel judged and was buried, and here the people ratified the selection of Saul as their first king. (For the spiritual significance of Mizpeh, see AC 4198.)
30. Mount Moriah, (Jehovah seeth, i. e., provideth). This was the mountain where Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, Isaac, when a ram was providentially substituted, on which account Abraham called the place "Jehovah Jireh,"—the Lord will provide. Concerning this, we read:
Here, on an area or platform of thirty-five acres, was situated the only temple ever dedicated to the worship of Jehovah in the Israelitish Church,—the temple which was first built by Solomon, restored by Ezra, rebuilt by Herod, and destroyed by Titus. Here, for nearly two thousand years, was the center of the only monotheistic worship then remaining in the world; and here, in the beautiful Mosque of Omar, one God is still worshipped.
31. Mt. Zion, (a fortress, citadel, from tsazvah, to place, establish). A ravine 120 feet deep formerly separated Mt. Moriah from its twin mountain, Mt. Zion, but is now largely filled up by the debris of ages. Mt. Zion is much broader and 120 feet higher than Mt. Moriah, and was the "acropolis" of Jerusalem, the "city of David," "the Holy City,"—which has been defiled with blood perhaps more than any other city in the world. Of these two mountains we read that Mt. Moriah, where the worship was conducted, signifies the Divine Truth, and thus also the Lord's Spiritual Church and Kingdom; while Mt. Zion, where the people lived, signifies the Divine Good, and thus also the Lord's Celestial Church and Kingdom. And since the celestial heaven is higher than the spiritual, the city of David was built on the higher eminence. "For Zion and Jerusalem were built as much as possible according to the form of Heaven." (AE 40528.)
32. The Mount of Olives, or Olivet. To the east of Mt. Moriah, separated from it by the Valley of Jehoshaphat, is a mountain, 2,682 feet high, which of all the mountains of Canaan has the holiest associations and the highest signification.
33. The Wilderness of Judaea is a long and narrow district along the western bank of the Dead Sea, a dreary, barren region of jagged cliffs and savage gorges, uninhabited except during the rainy season when, for a brief space, "the desert rejoices and blossoms as the rose." affording herbage for the flocks of wandering shepherds. Into this forbidding wilderness the "scapegoat" was driven with blows and curses, vicariously laden with the iniquities of the people, and here, probably, the Lord tarried during the forty days of temptation in the wilderness.
By the "South Country" we mean here the whole district south of Canaan, including the region around Beersheba, the Sinaitic peninsula, and the lands of Midian and of Edom,—a desert table land, arid, wild, desolate, and silent. Among the special districts and eminences we note the following:
34. The Wilderness of Zin, west of the southern end of the Dead Sea, and just south of Beersheba. Here was Kadesh Barnea, where Miriam died, and where Moses struck the rock from which water came forth in abundance.
It is to be observed that the term "wilderness," as used in the Word, is very inclusive, both as to its natural and its spiritual meaning.
I. A "wilderness" may mean a district entirely desolate, void of all water and vegetation, and inhabited only by wild beasts and lurking robbers. In this sense it represents the state of a church thoroughly devastated of all spiritual life, averse to all good and truth and open only to the influx of devils and satans. Such is the state of every Old Church at the time of the final Judgment upon it, and such is the permanent state of Hell. "In the Hells, also, there are deserts where there is nothing but what is barren and sandy; in some places rugged rocks in which are caverns, and in others, huts. Into these deserts are cast out those who have suffered the extreme things; their ultimate state is such a life." (HH 586.)
II. On the other hand, a wilderness may mean any region which as yet is but little cultivated and inhabited, being either a desert possessing here and there a redeeming oasis, or else a land that can be reclaimed by irrigation and cultivation. An oasis represents a remnant of spiritual life, and a reclaimable wilderness denotes the state of the gentiles who possess but little spiritual life, yet long for more.
III. In either case a wilderness signifies a state of spiritual want, obscurity, danger and suffering, to those who have to pass through it on their way to a better land, and thus in general it corresponds to a state of temptation in the life of the regenerating man. It was to represent this that the Israelites had to pass forty years wandering in the great Arabian desert, in "a land of solitude and the pit, a land of drought, and of thick shadow." (Jer. 2:6.) And it was to represent a whole life of supreme temptation-combats, that the Lord was tempted of the devil in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights.
35. The Wilderness of Shur. This is the northwestern portion of the Sinaitic peninsula, adjoining the Mediterranean Sea, and reaching from the border of Egypt to the land of the Amalekites. Being close to Egypt it represents "the scientifics of the Church which have not yet acquired life, thus such things as would acquire life by means of temptations," (AC 8346), in other words, a state of temptations brought on by the infesting doubts which arise from the merely worldly knowledges of the sensual man. It was here that the angel of the Lord revealed the hidden well to famishing Hagar, and it was here that the Israelites, after departing from Egypt, went three days without water, until the murmuring host reached the bitter waters of Marah, which by a miracle were made sweet.
36. The Wilderness of Sin was to the south of Shur, along the coast of the western gulf of the Red Sea, not far from Mt. Horeb. Here the Israelites at Elim found sweet water and an oasis of palm trees, and here manna and quails were first sent to them from Heaven. In a good sense this wilderness, on account of these blessings, "signifies the good which is from truth. But in the opposite sense, Sin, which was a city of Egypt from which the wilderness took its name, signifies the evil which is from falsity." (AE 8398.) "'Egypt, Sin, and No,' (Ezek. 30:15), signify scientifics and fallacies which are of the natural man, which are obstacles to the reformation of man by means of truths from the Word." (AE 72118.)
37. Mt. Horeb is the collective name for a group of three mountains near the southern point of the peninsula, comprising Mt. Serbal, (6,712 feet), Jebel Musa, (or the Mount of Moses), which is the central peak; and Mount St. Catherine, where there is a famous monastery founded by the Emperor Justinian in the year 527. It was here that Tischendorf, in 1844, discovered the celebrated "Codex Sinaiticus,"—a manuscript of the Old and New Testament in Greek, dating from the fourth century. Modern geographers and antiquarians usually consider Mt. Horeb as but another name for Mt. Sinai, but in the Writings of the New Church we are informed that "the whole extent of the mountain was called 'Horeb,' while the more lofty mountain in the middle of it was called 'Mt. Sinai.' Hence by Horeb is signified Heaven, or, what is the same, Divine Truth in the whole complex; the internal of it by Mt. Sinai; and the external by the mountainous parts round about it." (AC 10608, 10543.)
38. Mt. Sinai, (probably so called from the wilderness of Sin), is 7,363 feet high. On the north side, close under its precipitous cliffs, is a great plain, over a mile in extent, where it is supposed that Israel was encamped while the Law was being delivered.
Since by Horeb is signified what is external of the Word, of worship, and of the Church, we can understand why it was that the Divine Revelation which was given to the Israelitish Church, commenced by Jehovah revealing His holy name to Moses upon Mt. Horeb, where He appeared in the flame of fire out of the midst of a bramble bush. The bramble represents the rough, almost uncouth appearances of Divine Truth in the letter of the Word, in the midst of which, nevertheless, the Divine Love—the flame of fire—descends out of Heaven to man. (AC 6830). On Mt. Horeb, also, the people had to remain, while the Law was promulgated on Sinai; by which is signified that the people were in external appearances, and could not approach the Divine Truth in its internal form. (AC 10543.) And on Horeb they made the golden calf for their worship, by which is signified that the worship of the Word among the Jews was merely external and idolatrous, as, indeed, it is among all who are not willing to acknowledge the presence of an internal sense within the Word. (AC 9391.)
Sinai itself, on the other hand, signifies the Divine Truth itself, such as it is in Heaven, and hence, while the Law was delivered, the whole mountain was enveloped in smoke, which signified that the internal of the Divine Revelation appeared in obscurity to the externally-minded people. (AC 8819.) As a whole, "'Mount Sinai signifies the Law, or the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord, thus the Word. The summit of the mountain, where was Jehovah, signifies the inmost of the Law or of the Word; the rest of the mountain below the summit, signifies the internal of the Law or of the Word, such as it is in Heaven; and the parts below the mountain, where were the elders and the people, signify the external of the Law or of the Word, which is its external sense." (AC 9422.)
39. The Wilderness of Paran. Ascending from the southern point of the Sinaitic peninsula, we come first to the wilderness of Paran, which reaches from the central portion towards the east, where it terminates in Mt. Hor and Mt. Seir.
40. Mount Hor. Some 25 miles north-east of Kadesh-Barnea, on the north-western border of Edom, this isolated mountain rises from a barren plain to the height of 4,800 feet. It was inhabited, in ancient times, by the "Horites," an idolatrous tribe of the Nephilim who were driven out thence and from the neighboring Mount Seir, by the descendants of Esau. (Gen. 14:6; 36:8, 20; Deut. 2:22). On this mountain Aaron died and was buried.
41. Mount Seir, (rough, hairy, shaggy). This is the name of the whole mountainous region stretching from the south of the Dead Sea to the eastern gulf of the Red Sea, (the gulf of Akaba). Here was the home of the Edomites, the descendants of Esau, whose name, also, means "hairy" or "shaggy." By Esau is signified good in the natural, as by Jacob, (whose name means "a heel"), is signified truth in the natural. By Esau, as also by Mt. Seir, in the highest sense, is signified "the celestial-natural good of the Lord's Divine Human," (AC 3527, 4240, 4384), while in the relative sense it signifies the Lord's Kingdom with those who are in simple natural good outside the Church,—thus, with the gentiles. (AC 4240.) Hence the illumination of the gentiles who are in darkness, but who in the fulness of time will receive the light of the New Church, is signified by the words: "He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will inquire, inquire ye: return, come." (Isaiah 21:11, 12.) For as the "morning" will come with ever increasing light to the simple good who receive the New Church, so the night will increase in the same proportion with those who remain in the falsities and evils of the Old. (AC 10134.)
Proceeding from the south to the north on the eastern side of the Dead Sea and the Jordan, we meet an unbroken chain of mountains, highlands, and plateaux, which is nothing but a continuation of the Anti-Lebanon range. Following the route of the Israelites in their forty years' wandering, we come, after crossing Mt. Seir, to the plateau of the land of Moab, a district at one time fertile and well cultivated, but now little better than a wilderness. As we approach the neighboring country of the Ammonites, to the north, the land becomes more and more mountainous, until we reach the culminating eminence, Mt. Nebo.
42. Mt. Nebo, with its central peak, known as Mt. Pisgah. The former is the name of the whole mountain, which towers some four thousand feet above the northern end of the Dead Sea, just opposite Jericho. The name, Nebo, is probably derived from the Chaldean god, Nebo, who, like Pthah of the Egyptians, was the scribe of the gods, the god of prophecy and revelation, and who also, like Pthah, is figured as a person lightly clothed, except as to his face and hands. Both represent the Word, which is clothed in literal appearances except as to its essential truths, which here and there appear through the clothing of its literal sense. It is significant that from this "mountain of prophesy,"—Nabi in Hebrew means simply "a prophet"—the Lord permitted His most eminent prophet, Moses, to gain a complete view of the promised land, toward which, during the forty years of wandering, he had faithfully led the murmuring people; nevertheless, on account of a moment of doubt, he was not allowed to enter the land, and here the wonderful mission of the prophet ended.
43. Mt. Gilead, (strong, rocky, hard, or rough). The district known as "the land of Gilead" was one of the most favored regions of Canaan. It included a long stretch of beautiful highland, reaching from the Dead Sea to the Sea of Galilee, along the eastern bank of the Jordan. Though mountainous, it was exceedingly fertile, well cultivated, and abounding in forests, with trees of many kind, from the resinous gum of which were made the celebrated balsam and myrrh of Gilead. The highest peak of the land, "Jebel Osha," (3,597 feet), was probably the "Mount Gilead," from which a view could be gained "from Gilead even.to Dan." This magnificent region was divided between Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh. Here was the home of Jephthah, the warrior judge, and of Elijah, the prophet.
Situated beyond the Jordan, Gilead represents a natural and external state,—but, being still within the borders of Canaan, in a broad sense, it represents what is of the Church, a first and introductory state of the regenerate life. Being a fertile and beautiful region, it represents the good of such a state,—a good, or a delight, which can be appreciated when we think of the joy of the Israelites in arriving at the land of Gilead after their many years of privation in the wilderness, and with the Promised Land in full view across the Jordan. Spiritually, it represents the "honeymoon" state, as it were, of the regenerating man,—the first holy joy and love such as is first experienced by the man who, coming out of the shadows of the Old Church, gains a first general view of the Heavenly Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, together with a thorough conviction that this is, indeed, the Divine Truth itself! This delight is what is meant by "the balm of Gilead," and the recollection of this holy joy and early enthusiasm, will often act as a "balm" in subsequent states of internal temptations, just as the recollection of the honey-moon love, in states of conjugial temptations, will kindle anew the love of husband and wife, with the promise of an eternal honey-moon in Heaven. "Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why, then, is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?" (Jer. 8:22.) "The daughter of my people" is the affection of truth.
44. The hills of Bashan, (fruitful). To the east of the Sea of Galilee there is a wide plateau, with a net-work of hills and low ridges, which, on account of its extraordinary fertility, was known simply as "the fruitful," and, in later times, "the granary of Syria." Here, in mighty forests, grew "the oaks of Bashan;" here were bred, and are still bred in teeming herds, "the bulls of Bashan," and "the rams of the breed of Bashan."
Like Gilead, Bashan represents external good, or the voluntary good of the external or natural man. (AE 405.) By "the lambs, and the rams, and the he-goats of Bashan," (Deut. 32:14), are signified the "goods of innocence of three degrees," or good works done from a simple, but innocent love. (AE 314.) On the other hand, Bashan may also represent the conceit of the. natural man, the self-flattering pride which such a man takes in his works, which then no longer are good, but evil within. (AE 410, 514.) Such conceits will infest every regenerating man, even as they infested and tempted the Lord Himself, in His human, as is prophetically described by David in the words: "Many bulls have compassed me; strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and roaring lion." (Ps. 22:12, 13.)
45. Mount Hermon, (Chermon, = one breaking through, penetrating). Our survey of the mountains of Canaan concludes with this noble mountain, the highest and grandest of them all, at the northern boundary of the land. Rising to the height of 9,383 feet above the surrounding plain, to the south of the Anti-Lebanon range, its snow-covered, glittering dome may be seen, towering above ever-forming clouds, from every point of the Jordan valley. To the ancient Syrians it was, par excellence, a sacred mountain, and its sides and base are covered with ruins of many shrines and temples. To this day it is known as "Jebel esh Sheik," the Chief mountain, or the mountain of the Chief. This, according to the most generally accepted tradition, was the mountain of the Transfiguration, where Peter, James and John beheld the Lord in the ineffable glory of His Divine Human, attended by Moses and Elias,—that is, by the historical and prophetical Word, both of which had been "fulfilled" by the Word made flesh. But it was not with the eyes of the body that the disciples then beheld the Lord, nor upon a mountain in this natural world, but with the eyes of the spirit, and in a prophetic representation in the spiritual world. For on the one hand, it is said that the disciples were "heavy with sleep," (Luke 9:32); and, on the other, Moses and Elias were not then living in the natural world, and a spirit cannot be seen by the natural eye. And, finally, "Jesus was not yet glorified," and therefore could not be seen in His glorified Human, except through a prophetic representation, (TCR 777).
This, however, does not detract from the holy significance of Mount Hermon, which is forever preserved in the lovely, the Divine words of the Psalmist: "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the dew of Hermon that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life forever more." (Ps. 133.) This verse involves remarkable natural facts, as well as still more wonderful spiritual verities. There is a remarkable and unchangeable current of air in the Jordan valley, which conveys the evaporations of the river, and of the Dead Sea, back to the top of Mount Hermon, where the ever-lasting snow converts it into rain and dew which spread over the whole of the land, reaching even to "the mountains of Zion," and every- where bestowing "life forevermore." But, in its spiritual representation, this phenomenon involves the lesson of the continual reciprocation between Heaven and Earth,—the lesson of action and reaction, influx and reflux. For while we, who live on the earth, depend upon the angels of Heaven for our every thought and affection, they, in turn, depend upon us for our every word and deed. These return to them, and react upon them, as the vapor of the land of Canaan returns to Hermon.
46. The Mediterranean Sea. "The Sea," meaning the Mediterranean Sea,—the Sea "in the midst of the lands,"—also called "the Great Sea," "the Sea of the Philistines," in the Hebrew is synonymous with "the West," or "the going down of the Sun," and signifies in general good and truth in a state of relative obscurity,(AC 3693, 9633; A. R. 238), and thus the boundary or ultimate of Heaven and the Church.
This correspondence of "the Sea" is from the appearances of actual conditions in the spiritual world. In that world "seas appear in various places, especially near the ultimate boundaries, where are the terminations of the spiritual societies or of Heaven; and this is because in the boundaries of Heaven, and outside them, are those who have been merely natural men, who also appear there in the depths where their abodes are. But in those [seas] are the natural who are not evil, whereas those who are evil natural are in the hells. The quality of those who are in such seas is evident from the color of the water,—varying either to obscurity or to clearness;—if to obscurity, sensual spirits are therein, who are the lowest natural ones; if to clearness, interior natural spirits are therein. But the waters of the seas which are over the hells are dense, black, and sometimes red; and the infernal crews therein appear like snakes and serpents, and like monsters such as are in the seas." (AE 5113.)
"The earth and the sea," signify, respectively, natural good and natural truth,(AC 2162), and "heaven, earth, and sea" refer respectively to the three heavens, the celestial, the spiritual, and the natural. (AE 609.)
Water, it should be remembered, is nothing but an atmosphere, the lowest and densest of the discrete atmospheres of the natural world which correspond to the successive degrees of good and truth emanating from the Sun of the spiritual world in accommodation to the successive four degrees of organic life-forms: the celestial, the spiritual, the natural, and the sensual. All these are said to be "accommodations," that is, veilings more and more dense, woven by the more and more thickly interlaced appearances of truth. Thus the quick and living perceptions of those who live in the celestial aura, by combination and compression form an ether of spiritual ideas, and these, again, by the same process, produce an air of natural thoughts, which finally ultimate or express themselves to the external senses in the form of words. And hence the Sea, as the greatest collection of waters, corresponds most universally to the Word of God in the letter, which is the most ultimate containant of the Divine Truth, or the Water of Life itself.
Again, if we consider the various forms in which water is collected on the earth, we find the three degrees of fountains, rivers, and lakes. Of these, fountains and wells correspond to the inmost perceptions of truth, bubbling forth immediately from the living affection; rivers correspond to leading doctrines or principles of truth; and lakes,—especially the greatest of all lakes, the universal ocean,—correspond to the infinite containant of all Truth, that from which all our truths are derived, and to which all our truths return, the all-embracing Word of God, as it exists in the natural world.
When, with these teachings in mind, we stand on the shore of the limitless ocean, we are impressed with awe at the majesty, the all-embracing infinity, the immeasurable profundity, the irresistible Divine power and force of that for which the ocean stands as a mighty symbol. And so also, when opening the Word of God, we find ourselves in the immediate presence of the Infinite and the Eternal. We perceive arcana within arcana, depths beneath depths. We cannot fathom the fulness of its meaning, but everywhere we hear the voice of the Creator reaching our perception like the gentle murmur of the waves or the breaking of unceasing billows. "The voice of the Lord is upon the waters. The God of Glory thundereth, the Lord is upon many waters." (Ps. 29:3.)
As we are able to see only the surface of the ocean, so in this world we generally can grasp only the surface-meaning of the Word, - —that is, the literal sense. But as the surface of the sea is broken by the waves which reveal its nearest depths, so our understanding of the sense of the dead letter is vivified by the genuine truths which continually appear even in the natural sense. On the other hand, as the sea also lends itself to destructive storms as well as to quiet navigation, so the appearances in the literal sense of the Word, when moved by the influx of evil affections with the reader, may easily lead to false reasonings, doubts, and spiritual controversies, in which faith will perish unless its doctrinal ship be built of the stout, safe beams of rational truths. "The tumult of the seas and of the waves," (Ps. 65:7, signify the disputings and ratiocinations of those who are beneath the heavens, and who are natural and sensual. (AE 706.) "The seas and billows shall roar," (Luke 21:25), signifies the uproar of heresies and controversies. (AC 2120).
The Church, indeed, must be founded upon the Word of God in its literal form: "Upon the seas hath He founded it, and upon the rivers hath He established it." (Ps. 24:2.) But, being the most external, general, and ultimate form of the Divine Truth, the letter of the Word is in itself obscure and dead, and hence it is that the great sea, as the representative of the letter of the Word, in the Hebrew is synonymous with the west, or the setting of the sun, that is, a state of obscurity, the state of those whose ideas of Religion are confined to the narrow horizon of their own sensual observations in the letter. This state of obscurity finds its correspondence in the common expression "to be at sea" on any subject, that is, to be at a loss what to understand.
And those who refuse to see in the Word any living spiritual Truth, but confine themselves exclusively to the letter and confirm thereby the false persuasions of the sensual man, such may be said to have sunk beneath the waves of the Sea. They are spiritually drowned in the "letter which killeth," and the Sea in this connection signifies "damnation and Hell." (AE 355.) From them has come the inundation of literalism and sensualism in which the old Christian Church has perished, and it was against this infernal ocean of falsity that the Lord in His human battled single-handed but victorious. (TCR 123.) The final result of this Divine victory over the Hells appeared at the time of the Last Judgment, when "the Sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them," (Rev. 20:13), by which is signified the liberation of the simple good from the dominion of the imaginary heavens, and at the same time our own liberation from the false dogmas of the Old Church, formed from the merely literal sense of the Word. For, by the revelation of the internal sense of the Word, the "former heaven and the first earth" were judged and swept away, and "there is no more sea,"—we need no longer be "at sea" as to the true meaning of the Word of God. The "sea," indeed, is still with us; we still possess and worship the letter of the Word, but it is now "a sea of glass, like unto a crystal," for it is now translucent and glorified by the perception of the genuine spiritual truth that sparkles within.
The coast of the Mediterranean sea everywhere represents the memory which first receives and retains the knowledges of truth from the letter of the Word. Lowest down, towards the south, there is the seaboard of Egypt, by which is signified the science of the sensual man,—that is. the lowest things in the human memory which receives by sensual sight and hearing the first knowledges from the Word. Travelling northward, we come to the "coasts of the Philistines," by which is signified "the science of cognitions,"—that is, the knowledges of good and truth from the Word reduced to a systematic science—but still only in the external memory, and thus still only a matter of faith alone. And further to the north we have the coasts of Sidon and Tyre, the land of the Phoenicians, by which is signified the "cognitions of good and truth,"—that is, the knowledges of the more interior and spiritual goods and truths from the Word, the highest things of human knowledge, but still only in the external memory, still only on the coast or outskirts of the spiritual understanding.
47. The Sea of Galilee. This beautiful lake in the north of Canaan is also known, in the New Testament, as "the Sea of Tiberias," (John 6:1), and the "Lake of Gennesaret," (Luke 5:1), the latter name being derived from its Old Testament designation,—Yam Kinnereth, (Numb. 34:11; Josh. 11:2), the name being probably derived from Kinnor, a lyre,—from the general resemblance of the outlines of the lake to those of this musical instrument.
The Sea of Galilee is twelve and a half miles long, and seven miles broad at its widest extent. It is nowhere more than two hundred feet in depth. Its waters are of a deep, rich blue color, and still, as in the time of the Lord, are noted for their abundance and variety of fish, though nowadays a fisherman is seldom seen upon the lake. Among the fish are found some species which cannot be found anywhere else, except in the Mediterranean Sea,—a fact which points to a prehistoric connection between the Lake and the Sea. The general aspect of the region is now forlorn and desolate,—on the east a chain of mountains two thousand feet high, red and brown masses strewn with rocks of lava and pumice stone; on the west the rounded hills of Galilee gradually sloping towards the lake. The eastern shore was always a wilderness, but the western was in ancient times unsurpassed for beauty and fertility, and was covered with gardens, villages and cities. Here, still, are Tiberias and Magdala, once flourishing towns but now miserable villages. Here, in the time of the Lord, were Gennesaret and Capernaum, Chorazin and Bethsaida, cities of from ten to fifteen thousand inhabitants but now heaps of unidentifiable ruins.
It was in this region that the Lord spent the greater portion of the three years of His public ministry. Here He preached, and healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, and performed most of His miracles. The reason He chose this region was, we conceive, because Galilee represents the natural degree of the Church; it was the "Galilee of the Gentiles" as it is called in Matthew 4:5; because here, far from Jerusalem, far from the center of the corrupt Jewish Church, were still to be found "the remnant" the simple fisher-folk, who alone were willing to receive the Lord in His Advent. Hence most of the twelve apostles and the seventy disciples came from the region round about the Lake of Galilee, and hence this lake, in a good sense, signifies "the cognitions of truth and good in the whole complex." (AE 514.)
It was on the waters of this sea that Jesus walked in the midst of the tempest, by which is signified the Lord's "presence and influx into the ultimate of Heaven and the Church, and the derivative life from the Divine for those who are in the ultimates of Heaven. That their faith is obscure and vacillating, was represented by Peter beginning to sink when walking upon the sea, but, being caught by the Lord, he was saved. That meanwhile the sea was in a state of commotion with the wind, and that the Lord assuaged it, signifies the natural state of life which precedes [salvation], which state is unpeaceful and tempestuous." (AE 51421.)
On the other hand, in an opposite sense, the lake signifies the abyss of Hell, as in the night when the disciples were about to perish in the storm, and when Jesus "rebuked the wind and the sea, and there was a great calm." (Matth. 8:26.) This represented, in one act, the Lord's universal work of Redemption by subjugating the hells into obedience to His Word. The same is signified by the Lord casting out the devils from the two men who were possessed, and "the devils went into a herd of swine, and the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters." (Matth. 8:32.)
48. The Dead Sea. As the great Sea of the West represents the Word of God, thus the Divine Truth itself, so the Dead Sea represents falsity itself. Even thus the Church in this world is set in the midst between truth and falsity,—between Heaven on the one hand and Hell on the other.
The Dead Sea is mentioned but a few times in the Word, but is then referred to as "the Sea of Salt," as in Genesis 14, where it is spoken of as "the Vale of Siddim, which is the Sea of Salt." This Vale is described as being "full of pits of bitumen," by which are signified "the filthy and unclean things of lusts." That this is their signification may be evident to every one.
The salt of this Sea is produced chiefly by the extraordinary evaporation of the water, which, constantly inflowing from the Jordan, has no other outlet. The heat in this depression is tremendous, and the escaping waters have for ages left behind the salt which is contained in all water. The accumulation of salt is such as to render this lake the saltiest water on earth, and the saltness is further increased by the proximity of the Jebel Usdum (mountain of Sodom), a solid mountain of rock salt at the southern end of the Sea. From its slimy depths there arise also masses of bitumen or asphalt,—the combination of this inflammable material with the salt presenting, in the analysis of spiritual chemistry, the true representative of "falsities breaking forth from lusts."
The lake as a whole is the very picture of Hell. To begin with, it is the deepest hole on earth, even as it is the hottest. The level of the lake is 1,300 feet below the level of the Mediterranean, and its own greatest depth is another abyss of 1,300 feet. Along its western shore the bleak and rugged rocks of Judaea rise to a height of 2,000 feet, and on the eastern shore the table-land of Moab is raised 4,000 feet above the level of the Dead Sea.
Shut up in this abysmal caldron,—46 miles long and from 5 to 9 miles wide,—is a collection of waters that have no natural outlet, even as there is no outlet to Hell. "He that enters here, let him forsake all hope." Thus the lake is like that love of self which greedily receives all things but gives nothing in return. And as Hell lives exclusively from the influx of Divine Good and Truth, but immediately turns all inflowing life into bitter falsity and fiery, filthy evils, so the Dead Sea exists entirely from the influx of the waters of Jordan which immediately are defiled by the salty deposit of the lake and the sulphurous and bituminous substances which are constantly arising from its bottom.
The scenery around this earthly Inferno is wild, dreary, and desolate in the extreme. The low shores at the foot of the bare and dirty cliffs are covered with a peculiarly offensive slimy, black mud, smeared over with a white and salty incrustation. No vegetation can flourish here, but over the universal desolation there hangs a heavy, shimmering atmosphere, filled with the poisonous exhalations from the filthy waters, and the heat which reigns in this hell-hole is seldom relieved by a gust of wind.
The density of the water is so great that the human body cannot sink in it. No birds are seen flying over it, and no fish can live in the lake. The fishes that are occasionally washed down from the Jordan, die immediately on arriving in the lake. A few poverty-stricken fellahin live at the northern and southern ends of the Dead Sea, but they are weak and sickly in mind and body, and are said to be the most immoral and degraded of all the modern inhabitants of Canaan.
The whole region is of volcanic nature, and science has abundantly confirmed the Old Testament story of the terrible cataclysms which in the time of Abraham destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, at the southern end of the lake. When Lot looked down upon this region from the heights of Bethel, "he beheld all the plain of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, even as the garden of the Lord, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah." (Gen. 13:10.) But not long afterwards "the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from out of heaven;" and Abraham, from the mountain ridges above, "looked toward Sodom, and toward all the land of the plain, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace." (Gen. 19:24.)
Sodom and Gomorrah were at one time rich and populous centers of a Hamitic population,—the original Canaanites,— which, in the last days of the Ancient Church, had become utterly degraded in religion and in moral life. The destruction of these cities was one of the incidents of the Last Judgment upon the Ancient Church. Such of the inhabitants as escaped are said to have fled to the sea-coast where they founded Sidon and became the ancestors of the wealthy but cruel and corrupt Phoenician nation.
49. The Red Sea, or the Sea Suph. (Suph = reeds, rushes, sea-weed; probably from the Egyptian word twfi = reeds.) It has been supposed by some of the learned that "the Sea Suph" was the name only of the Bitter Lakes in the desert between the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Suez, but not only do the Septuagint and the Vulgate translate the "Sea Suph" by the Red Sea, but the Writings of the New Church clearly establish their identity. We read there of the Egyptians being immersed "in the Red Sea," ( (AC 4601), and of the east wind which dried up the "Red Sea." (S. D. 5078.) The letter of the Word also speaks of "the shore of the Sea Suph in the land of Edom," (1 Kings 9:26), which shows that it was a general name applicable not only to the Gulf of Suez, but also to the Gulf of Akaba, which was the southern boundary of the land of Edom.
The Sea Suph, or the Red Sea, being on the one hand the eastern border of the land of Egypt, and on the other hand the western and southern boundary of the land of Canaan, (regarded in its widest extent), signifies "truth sensual and scientific," (AC 9340), and at the same time "the ultimates of the Church, which are the scientifics which comprehend the cognitions of truth and good." (AE 514.) That this sea was regarded as one of the boundaries of Canaan is evident from Exodus 23:31, where it is said, "I will set thy bounds from the Sea Suph even unto the Sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river," by which is signified "the Church in all its extension." (AE 701.)
When viewed as the abyss in which Pharaoh and his host were engulfed, the Sea Suph represents the sensual and scientific falsities which destroyed the Ancient Church in Egypt, and the destruction of the Egyptians in the Red Sea represents the Last Judgment upon the Ancient Church in that region, (AC 6589, 6907), and thus the hell and damnation into which the imaginary heavens of that vastated Church were finally cast down. (AC 7704, 8099; AE 503.) But the Red Sea being divided to let the Israelites pass through, represents the dissipation of those sensual and scientific falsities at the time of the Last Judgment, and thus the liberation of the captive spirits in the lower earth.(AC 8184.)
In the spiritual world there is still a Sea Suph, or Red Sea, which is a hell in front, deep under the hells of the adulterers, extending considerably towards the left. [The Gulf of Suez!] "It is separated from the other hells by waters like those of a sea." Those who are being delivered from infestations are led towards the left, through the midst of this hell, and come out at the left, where there is as it were a desert. While they are passing through they are so protected by the Lord that not the least of evil can reach them; for they are encompassed with a column of angels with whom the Lord is present. This was represented by the passing of the sons of Israel through the Sea Suph. (AC 8099.)
50. The Rivers of the Garden of Eden were not only representative of the state of wisdom enjoyed by the men of the Golden Age, but were also, in the literal sense of the Word, the actual boundaries of the land of Canaan, regarded in its widest extent. (AC 567.) As a whole, the four rivers proceeding out of Eden, signify the leading principles of the most ancient faith, and thus the Doctrines of the celestial Church, (Cor. 27), and since it is doctrine that distinguishes the Church from that which is not the Church, doctrine, therefore, is the ultimate intellectual boundary of the Church.
51. Pishon, said to "encompass the whole land of Havilah," signifies "the intelligence of the faith which is from love." (AC 110.) It is not known, either from Revelation or from science, what natural river is meant by Pishon. Josephus supposed that it is identical with the Ganges, but it seems to us more likely to be either the Orontes or the Leontes, in Syria, since we know that it was one of the boundaries of Canaan, and since there is no doubt as to the identity of the other three rivers.
52. Gihon, said to "encompass the whole land of Cush," signifies "the cognition of all things of good and truth, or of love and faith."(AC 116.) By "Cush" everywhere is meant Ethiopia, and Ethiopia signifies cognition, even as Egypt, lower down in the Nile valley, signifies the science of the natural man. (AC 117.) There can be no doubt, therefore, that Gihon was the most ancient name of the Nile, which "encompasses" or runs through Ethiopia as well as Egypt.
53. Hiddekel, (= swift), said to "go eastward toward Asshur," is clearly idential with the Tigris. The name of this river, in the Assyrian language, is Idiklat or Diktat, Arabic Diglat, Zend Tegel and Teger, whence the modern name Tigris. In Assyrian the name means "an arrow," and, in the spiritual sense, it signifies "the clearsightedness of reason."(AC 118.) The Tigris, at the present, as in ancient times, is an exceedingly clear stream, flowing swiftly from the mountains of Armenia, between steep and narrow banks, until it joins its larger sister-stream, the Euphrates.
54. Phrath, (= the fruitful one), is the regular Hebrew name for the Euphrates; (the Greek Eu-phrates means simply "the well-abounding" river). This is the largest, longest, and most important river in western Asia, and is usually referred to in the Word as Hannahar, the River, as in Exodus 23 131, where "from the desert to the river" means from the desert to the Euphrates. (AC 9341.) Rising near the source of the Tigris in the Armenian mountains, it carries down with it a rich burden of alluvial deposits which, in its annual inundations, it spreads over Mesopotamia and Chaldea, thus bestowing not only moisture but actual fruitfulness, as the Nile does for Egypt. It is, in all, 1,780 miles long, and navigable for 1,200 miles. After uniting with the Tigris at Koorma, it is known as Shat-el-Arab, and forms at its mouth an ever-increasing delta in the Persian Gulf. Like the Nile it is a sluggish and very muddy stream, and, on this account, as also on account of its situation, it represents the science or scientifics of the natural-sensual man.(AC 120.) "For the Euphrates was the boundary towards Assyria, up to which was the dominion of Israel, as the scientific of the memory is the boundary of the intelligence and wisdom of the spiritual and celestial man." (ibid.) When, however, the Euphrates is regarded as the boundary of Assyria, or as an Assyrian river, it signifies the good and truth of the rational.
In general we conclude that as the Tigris represents the rational faculty of the natural man, and as the Nile represents the sensual or lowest degree of the natural, so the Euphrates, which is between the two, represents the interior sensual, the intermediate between the sensual and the rational,—that is, the imaginative plane and faculty,—in complete harmony with the correspondence of Chaldea and Babylonia, as will be shown more fully later on.
55. The Rivers of Syria. While these rivers, or most of them, are not directly mentioned in the Word, our knowledge of the rivers of Canaan would be incomplete without a brief account of the system of rivers which rise from the Lebanon mountains, to the north of Canaan. They are:
56. The Orontes, (Nahr-el-Asi), the largest, longest, and most northern river in Syria, which rises near Baalbec, in Coeli-Syria, runs northward for a long distance, and then turns sharply westward, flowing into the Mediterranean, not far from the site of ancient Seleukia. On its banks were the ancient and populous cities of Hamath and Antioch.
57. The Adonis, (Nahr Ibrahim), a small mountain stream, flowing westward from the Lebanon to the sea, which it joins just south of Byblos. This stream is famous in mythology as the scene of the death of Adonis and the mourning of Aphrodite, which here was celebrated by annual festivals and orgies. In this stream, it is said, some Phoenician king planted stolen roots of the Egyptian papyrus, which thrived so well that Byblos rivalled Egypt in the manufacture of paper. Hence "a book" came to be known as "byblion," whence we have our own word "Bible."
58. The Lycus, (Nahr-el-Kelb, or "Dog River"), another small mountain stream running from the Lebanon to the sea, and famous for the tablets, near its mouth, on which successive Egyptian and Assyrian conquerors inscribed their records, as they marched by.
59. The Leontes, (the Litani or Kasimiyeh), a river second only to the Orontes in size and importance. Rising only a few hundred yards from the source of the Orontes, it flows southward through Coeli-Syria, until it bends sharply westward and terminates in the Mediterranean, five miles north of Tyre. All these rivers would seem to represent things of doctrine and intelligence, originating in the love of acquiring cognitions, that is, doctrinal knowledges of good and truth,—Syria in general signifying such cognitions.
60. The Amana, (Abana or Barada), the ancient Chrysorrhoas or "Golden Stream" of Damascus, rises in the Anti-Lebanon, and flows eastward through the beautiful plain of Damascus, which it makes into one of the richest and most favored spots on the earth. Its waters are afterwards swallowed up in the marshes, and sands of the desert.
61. The Belus, (Nahr Naman), a small stream rising near the hills of Nazareth and flowing into the Mediterranean through the rich plain of Acre. This stream in ancient times abounded in the murex or shell-fish from which the Phoenicians' manufactured the famous Tyrian dye, and it was from the vitrous sand of this river that Phoenician sailors are said to have made the first kind of glass,—an unlikely story, as the Egyptians manufactured glass, ages before Tyre and Sidon had come into existence.
62. The Kishon, "that ancient river, the river Kishofl," (Judges- 5:21), which swept away the Syrian hosts of Sisera in the great battle of Megiddo, celebrated in the song of Deborah and Bafak.. This river, which in the dry season is but a small brook, but in winter a raging torrent, rises on Mount Tabor, drains the plain of Esdraelon, and flows northwestward along the northern slope of Mount Carmel, terminating in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Acre. The modern Arabic name of the river is Nahr Mukutta, or "river of slaughter," in commemoration of Elijah's slaughter of the discomfitted priests of Baal. "And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there." (1 Kings 18:40.)
63. The Yarmuk, (the ancient Hieromax), is the chief tributary of the river Jordan. It is a rapid, perennial torrent, rising among the hills of Bashan, and flowing westward to the Jordan, which it joins four miles south of the Sea of Galilee. It is not mentioned by name in the Word.
64. The Jabbok, a small brook rising in the hills of Bashan, and draining the land of Gilead. It joins the Jordan midway between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. Its modern name is Wady Zerka. It was on the banks of this river that Jacob wrestled with the angel, (Gen. 32:22), and "it was the Jabbok that Jacob first passed over, when he entered into the land of Canaan, [from Aram], by which is signified the first insinuation of the affection of truth." (AC 4301.) "The reason Jabbok signifies this first insinuation, is that it was a boundary of the land of Canaan, [between Israel and the land of Amnion], Thus also the ford or passage of Jabbok, which, relatively to the land of Canaan, was beyond the Jordan, was the boundary of the inheritance of the sons of Reuben and of Gad. The reason it fell to them as an inheritance, was that by 'Reuben' was represented faith in the understanding, or doctrine, which is the first of regeneration, and by Gad were represented the works of faith. These two things are those through which the man who is being regenerated is insinuated or introduced into good. Hence it is that by the passage of Jabbok is signified the first insinuation." (AC 4270.)
65. The Kidron, a small brook which in ancient times flowed in the valley of Jehoshaphat, between Mount Moriah and the Mount of Olives, but is now choked up with debris. In the New Testament it is mentioned as "the brook Cedron," over which Jesus passed when entering Gethsemane. (John 18:1.)
66. The Arnon, the northern boundary of the land of Moab, still known by the Arabs as "Wady Mojib." This is a small but rapid stream, rushing through a dark gorge in the mountains of Moab, at a depth of 2,000 feet, and casting itself headlong into the Dead Sea,— :a striking picture of the course of merely natural good (= Moab) in its progress to Hell. Arnon Is a name of great antiquity, as may be seen from the fact that it is mentioned in the part of the Ancient Word (the "Prophetical Enunciations"), which is quoted by Moses in Numbers 21:28: "There is a fire gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon; it has consumed Ar of Moab, and the lords of the high places of Arnon."
67. The Jordan. (Hayardan = the descending one.) In the geography and history of the Word there is no river which plays so important a part as the river Jordan. It is, by eminence, the river of the land,—forever sacred to the people of Israel as the gate which afforded them the entrance to their land of Promise, and which, after the captivity, separated them from the Gentile world without. Nor has it been less sacred to the people of the Christian Church, as the scene where the Savior first appeared in His public ministry,—the waters by which John the Baptist preached repentance, and into which the Lord Himself descended, as the First of His Church, to receive the Baptism of water.
As a river, the Jordan is neither very long nor deep nor broad and yet it is certainly one of the most remarkable streams in the world, being without a rival as to swiftness, steepness and tortuous windings. The distance from its sources on Mount Hermon to its termination in the Dead Sea is only 120 miles in a straight line, yet the total length of the river, in all its serpentine crookedness, is exactly twice that distance. And during this comparatively brief course it manages to fall not less than 2,300 feet, 01 nearly ten feet per mile,—and this without any waterfall or unusually steep rapids. It may thus be seen why it is called "the Jordan," the descending one.
The channel of the Jordan occupies a very remarkable depression which at one time, in the Tertiary period, connected the Mediterranean with the Red Sea. The river itself is formed by the confluence of three small mountain streams, arising respectively at Caesarea Philippi, at Dan, and at the foot of Mount Hermon. After the juncture of these it flows at first in numerous cascades through a jungle of thickets, canebrakes, and papyrus swamps, until it enters the Waters of Merom,—after a descent of 1,000 feet in 12 miles. Thence, after a further descent of 682 feet in ten miles, it enters the Sea of Galilee, which is twelve miles long. The channel has now reached a depth of 690 feet below the surface of the Mediterranean, and in its subsequent course it falls 660 feet, flowing on with ever-increasing rapidity and force, until its restless waters are finally lost in the all-absorbing abyss of the Dead Sea.
The Jordan valley varies from 4 to 14 miles in width, but the river itself is not much more than 30 to 40 yards broad, and is hemmed in on both sides by steep banks of white marl, some 40 to 50 feet high. It is in no place navigable, except by a small canoe, being everywhere too rapid and full of rocks. The surrounding scenery is wild and lonely, the banks being covered with a dense jungle of willows, canes and tamarisks, with a mass of oleander trees which are native to this region. Once a year,— in the month of February,—the melting snows of Mount Hermon cause the river to overflow. The raging torrent cannot then be forded in any place, though at other seasons there are a number of fords, the most celebrated of which is at Bethabara, (now Hajlah), to the east of Jericho, where the Israelites are supposed to have passed over, and where John is said to have preached and baptized. In the last few miles of its course, just above the Dead Sea, the river becomes sluggish and shallow, running through a muddy and desolate flat.
In all its natural features the river Jordan entirely agrees with the spiritual correspondence and representation which it bears in the Word, and this with the miraculous consistency which is the evidence of Divine Doctrine.
Thus, in its most general aspect, this river signifies the boundary between that which is of the Church and that which is not of the Church, or, what is the same, the boundary between the spiritual man and the natural man. What was beyond the Jordan represented the natural, the external, the gentile, the unregenerate, or the only partly regenerate state. What was to the west of the Jordan represented the spiritual, the internal, the regenerate state,—the Church itself. The Israelites, while on the eastern side of the Jordan, while approaching the Promised Land, represented the man who is becoming a Church, but who is still in a preparatory or introductory state; while after their passage over the river, they represented the man who. has become a Church, or the man in whom the true internal Church has become established.(AC 4255.)
Being thus the boundary line, the Jordan represents also the medium, (A. E. 434), between the internal and the external; and being the medium, its representation must partake of the signification of the two things between which it is the intermediate. It has, therefore, a twofold signification; a good and an evil meaning.
Now, in a good sense, what is it that most definitely separates or distinguishes the man of the Church from the man who is not yet of the Church? What but Repentance, the repentance which is the very first step in the regenerating life? Yet repentance is an act in the life of man, and is not, in itself, an influx, or a spiritual stream. The repentance itself was represented by the passing over of the Jordan, and by the baptism in the Jordan. The river itself was that which was passed over, and that in which the baptism took place, and the river must therefore signify, first, that of which a man repents; and secondly, the means of repentance.
When viewed from within Canaan, the Jordan represents that which is outside of the Church, that which is merely external, and which therefore in itself is low and distant from what is heavenly, (AC 1585; AE 514), "and as the external man is continually attacking the internal, and affects dominion, it became a prophetic formula to speak of 'the pride' or 'elation' of the Jordan, (as in Jer. 12:5). The elation of the Jordan [i. e. its swelling up and destructive inundations in the rainy season], signifies those things which are of the external man, which want to rise up and domineer over the internal man." (AC 15854,5)
The waters of the Jordan, therefore, in this connection, signify the falsities and evils of the external man, which inflow from hell, and bring on infestations and temptations, and because the regenerating man must pass through these temptations and overcome these evils and falsities, in order to enter into the spiritual life of the Church, therefore the Jordan represents repentance and introduction.(AC 901.) And since man can repent of his evils and be introduced into spiritual life only by means of instruction in the knowledges of good and truth, the waters of the Jordan, in the good sense, signify these knowledges or cognitions. And these cognitions, being initiatory, must necessarily be such as are accommodated to the comprehension of the external man, and the waters of the Jordan therefore signify most especially the cognitions of good and truth such as are revealed in the letter of the Word. (AE 395, 475, 700.)
The miracle of the Jordan dividing itself to allow the Israelites to pass over, signifies
"As by the waters of Jordan are signified the truths which introduce into the Church, which are the cognitions of truth and good from the Word; and by washing therein was signified purification from falsities, and the consequent reformation and regeneration by the Lord,... therefore Naaman was commanded to wash himself seven times in the water of Jordan, (2 Kings 5:10), and therefore baptizing was instituted, which was first done in the Jordan by John, by which was signified that they were being initiated into cognitions from the Word concerning the Lord, His Advent, and Salvation by Him." (AE 47518, 19.)
63. The Nephilim. "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare unto them; the same became mighty men, which were of old, men of renown." (Gen. 6:4).
Both in the letter of the Word and in the Writings of the New Church we are taught that the Garden of Eden was in the land of Canaan. Here, therefore, was the cradle of mankind, and here, in the unnumbered days of the Golden Age, lived the celestial men of the Most Ancient Church. Here, also, took place the fall of mankind, and the degeneration and perversion of the celestial race which culminated in the profane conjunctions of the "sons of God" with "the daughters of men," that is, the intermingling of the holy truths of the Church with the persuasive lusts of the flesh. The truths of the Church were so twisted and perverted as to excuse and confirm the evils of the will, and when this practice had become general in the Church, the fallen celestial race became a race of monstrous profaners, giants in their own conceit and in the fearful power of their persuasive reasonings and lust of dominating over all others. These, in the Authorized Version, are described by the "giants" which were in the land in those days of old, but the term used in the original Hebrew is "Nephilim."
The meaning of this name is somewhat uncertain. Some derive it from a root, Palah or Pala, "to be marvellous," but most probably it is a form of the verb, naphal, "to fall," meaning either fallen ones, or those who fall upon others, or "abortions," untimely and monstrous births. In either case, the etymology of the name is in correspondence with the spiritual and natural characteristics of the man of this race, "the wickedness of whom was great in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of whose heart was only evil continually." (Gen. 6:5.)
This people, it should be remembered, were of the race of celestial men, with whom the will and the understanding acted as one,—men who, the instant they recognized a truth, immediately assented to it in their heart and acted upon it in their life. Consequently, when perverted, their understanding recognized nothing but falsity, and their evil will immediately assented to this falsity and carried it out in life, nor were they able to control themselves or compel themselves to shun what was evil. They were hopelessly fallen, and were in such evil and falsity as "had never been before nor ever shall be again."(AC 7686.)
This direful race at last perished from the earth in the universal deluge of evils and falsities which overtook the fallen Church in the time of Noah. Filled with an insane love of dominating over others, they waged internecine warfare in the land of Canaan, tribe against tribe, family against family, and brother against brother. The decimated people finally choked to death, as in the waters of a flood,—their evil lusts and practices clogging and stopping up the channels of their internal respiration. "With some, however, external respiration then began."(AC 1120.)
As a nation the antediluvian Nephilim perished, but a remnant escaped extinction,—or, rather, we should say, two distinct sets of remnants. Of these there was one generation, signified by Noah, which had preserved remains of uprightness and rationality, and which therefore could serve as the nucleus of a new Church or dispensation. These, having received a new revelation or doctrine from the Lord, not only separated themselves from their evil associates as to doctrine and life, but also, probably, after bitter persecutions, fled from the land, perhaps to Ararat among the mountains of Armenia, where they could in security develop the doctrine, worship, and life of their new Church, the Church of the Silver Age, and also spread its light among the neighboring gentile nations who are represented by the sons of Noah and their descendants. The other remnant, continuing in the evil ways of their forefathers, remained in the land of Canaan, and became the progenitors of the seven profane tribes which are known as the Avim, the Anakim, the Horim, the Emim, the Zuzim, the Zamzummim, and the Rephaim.
These seven tribes or nations, which in the Word are still included under the general designation of Nephilim, are all described as men of gigantic stature and fearsome habits, a savage and vicious race of robbers and murderers, living in the caves of the mountains like wild beasts, yet preserving some sort of tribal organization, by which, for a time, they could resist the successive invasions of Hittites, Canaanites, and Hebrews.
We touch here upon a chapter in the history of the Ancient Church in the land of Canaan, which, as yet, is involved in great obscurity. The ethnology of Canaan is much like one of the ancient cities in that land, in which modern excavations have brought to light layer upon layer of cities,—cities beneath cities. Beneath a modern Arabic village we find the ruins of a town of the Saracens; beneath this a Greek or Roman city; beneath this a fastness of Jewish origin; beneath this a town of Canaanitish, Phoenician or Philistine character; beneath this, perhaps, a Hittite city, and' beneath this, finally, the caves and dwelling places of the aboriginal, troglodyte Nephilim.
From the records of the Old Empire in Egypt, especially from the monuments of the conquering heroes of the twelfth dynasty, we find that Canaan, at that time, was inhabited by a race known as the "Sati," who seem to correspond to the aboriginal Nephilim. From the names recorded, both in the Egyptian monuments and in the Word, these appear to have spoken a language cognate to the Hebrew, but they certainly were neither Semites nor Canaanites, but of a far more ancient stock, cordially hated and abhorred by Hittites, Canaanites, and Hebrews alike. At one time they undoubtedly possessed the whole of the land, since they left their names to places in the interior of Canaan, (as, for instance, the Valley of Rephaim, near Jerusalem, and the town of Avim, in the district of Benjamin). It is also certain that they were driven away from the interior by the invasion of the Hittites, who, according to the Writings of the New Church, were a gentle and upright nation of the Ancient Church, directly descended from the good remnant of the Most Ancient Church. Who could these original Hittites have been but the descendants of the Church of Noah, having returned from their exile among the Armenian mountains in order to take possession of the land of their fathers? This, we think, will be proved in our chapter on the Hittite nation, but for the present we suggest it only as a working hypothesis. At any rate, in the time of Ramses II., we find the interior of Canaan in the possession of the Hittites, (by the Egyptians known as the Cliatti or Cheta), while the remnants of the Nephilim are found on the southern and eastern borders of the land. It is here, also, that we find them when Chedorlaomer, the Elamite conqueror of Chaldea, made the victorious expedition against them which is recorded in the fourteenth chapter of Genesis. "And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim, and the Horim in their Mount Seir, unto El-Paran, which is by the wilderness." (Gen. 14:5,6.) Only four of the seven tribes are here mentioned, but we will now consider each of them according to their position in the land of Canaan as recorded in the Word.
69. The Avim, ("dwellers among ruins," or "ruined ones," from Avvcih, "destruction, ruin"). Concerning this tribe we read in Deuteronomy, chapter 2, verse 23: "And the Avim which dwelt, in Hazerim, even unto Azzah, the Caphtorim, which came forth out of Caphtor, destroyed them, and dwelt in their stead." This people undoubtedly belonged to the remnant of the Nephilim, as they are mentioned in connection with the Emim, the Horim, and the Zamzumim who are spoken of in the same chapter. They are, moreover, reckoned as among the aborigines of Palestine by all commentators of the Bible. They are said to have dwelt in Hazerim, even to "Azzah," which means that they occupied the most southern portion of the coastland which afterwards was occupied by the Philistines. "Azzah," in the Hebrew, is the same as Gaza, the most southern city of the Philistines. The Caphtorim is only the most ancient name of the Philistines. The Avim are afterwards, (in Joshua 13:3), mentioned among the various tribes of the Philistines, from which it would appear that while the majority of the tribe was destroyed, a portion was adopted and incorporated in the Philistine confederation. The character of this people may be inferred from the meaning of their name as being either "ruined ones" or "dwellers among ruins,"—probably both!
70. The Anakim ("long-necked ones," from Anaq, "to be long, stretched out, and over-towering"). This tribe is first mentioned in the book of Numbers, (13:22, 32, 33), in the report which the spies brought to Moses: "And they ascended by the south, and came unto Hebron, where were Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt)." And the spies added: "The land through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, [Nephilim], the sons of Anak, of the giants, [Nephilim] ; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." And in Deuteronomy 9:2, they are further described as "a people great and tall, the children of the Anakim, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard (the saying) 'Who can stand before the children of Anak?' "
Commentators have supposed that this Anak was an individual, the son of a certain Arba who built Hebron seven years before Zoan in Egypt, but the whole context shows that a race of people is referred to, rather than any individual person. The ancient name of Hebron Was Kiriath Arba, a name which means "the city of four," or "the city which lieth four-square,"—like the New Jerusalem. Now, such a city signifies "a church in which there is justice,... because to look equally to the four quarters is to regard all things from what is just." (AR 905.) Hence we have the common expression "a square man," and "a square deal," meaning a just man and a just transaction. This, therefore, was an eminently proper name for the city which was the capital of Canaan in the time of the Ancient Church, before Jerusalem became the capital and the special representative of the Church. (AC 29092.) But "that every Church in process of time decreases until it has nothing of faith and charity left, and that it is then destroyed, was represented by Kiriath Arba, which is Hebron, being possessed by the Anakim, by whom are represented direful persuasions of falsity." (AC 29093.)
It is to be noted that Kiriath Arba or Hebron in the time of Abraham was in the possession of the Hittites, a gentle, courteous and generous race, and not a word is said in the book of Genesis as to the presence of any Anakim there, while in the time of Moses and Joshua the city was occupied by the Anakim, and nothing is said about the former Hittite inhabitants. We judge from this that the original possessors had been driven out by an invasion of the Anakim, who may have been a remnant of refugees from the Horim who had been smitten by Chedorlaomer in Mount Seir. At any rate, they were like the Horim a gigantic race of fear-inspiring aspect and habits of life, who, in the time of Joshua, possessed not only Hebron, but also a number of other towns among the southern mountains of Palestine, divided into three tribes named after the three sons of Anak: Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai. At the time of the Israelitish invasion Joshua came "and cut off the Anakim from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel; Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities. There were none of the Anakim left in the land of the children of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod there was a remnant." (Josh. 9:21, 22.)
In these cities of the Philistines some families of the gigantic Anakim remained for hundreds of years, even until the time of David, for of this monstrous stock came the giant Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and one span, (about ten feet and a half). The stripling David slew the boasting monster, but many years afterwards the aged king was met in battle by four other giants of the same accursed race: Ishbi-benob, "who was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass," and Saph, who was also of the sons of the giant, and Lakmi, the brother of Goliath, "whose spear was like a weaver's beam," and an unnamed monster, "a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant. These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants." (2 Sam. 21:10-22; 1. Chron. 20:4.). And that is the last that we hear of the descendants of the Anakim in the land of Canaan.
71. The Horim ("troglodytes, or cave-dwellers" from Hor, "a cave"). Of this aboriginal race in Canaan we read first that Chedorlaomer smote "the Horites in their Mount Seir, unto El- Paran, which is by the wilderness," (Gen. 14:6), and later on that "the Horim also dwelt in Mount Seir beforetime; but the children of Esau succeeded them, when they had destroyed them from before them, and dwelt in their stead," (Deut. 2:12), from which we learn that these cave-dwellers were not utterly destroyed by Chedorlaomer, but remained in their mountain-fastnesses between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea until they were finally exterminated by the Edomites, the Hebrew descendants of Esau.
Lenormant, in his Ancient History of the East, states that in northern Arabia, bordering on the Chaldean desert, there is found on the best maps a mountainous district called Thamud. "It is in this region thai, a tradition, even now believed among the Arabs, places the ancient nation of the Thamud, who made their dwellings in caves of the.rocks. They were, it is said, an impious nation, and they were destroyed by a certain 'Codar-el-Ahmar.' It is almost impossible to avoid recognizing in them the Horites or Troglodytes of the book of Genesis" (p. 146). In the neighborhood of Beit Djibrin, the Eleutheropolis of the Romans, and especially at Petra, their rock-hewn dwellings and excavated caves are still found by the hundreds in the sandstone cliffs and mountains of that wild and deserted region.
By the Horim, we are informed, in general, "are signified the persuasions of falsity which are from the love of self, such as are most foul," (more foul than the persuasions from the love of the world), "for they are opposite to the celestial things of love, involving the desire to command over others," (AC 1675),—all of which is in keeping with the character of this people as descendants of the antediluvian Nephilim.
72. The Emim ("terrible ones," from 'Aim, "to terrorize"). Of this people, with such an ominous name, we know nothing except the fact that Chedorlaomer smote them in Shaveh Kiriathaim, which was in the land afterwards occupied by the Moabites, the Hebrew descendants of the elder son of Lot. In that land, we are further told, "the Emim dwelt in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakim, which were also accounted giants, as the Anakim, but the Moabites called them Emim." (Deut. 2:11.) The word here rendered "tall," may also be translated "haughty," or great in their own estimation. The passage is suggestive of the awe-inspiring character of these Nephilim, who, although they were dispossessed and probably exterminated by the more numerous descendants of Moab, yet produced such an impression upon the conquerors that they could record them by no other names than "the terrible ones." Concerning them we are told in the Writings that they "were of a similar kind to the Nephilim," and "signified persuasions of what is false, or the hells of such, which the Lord conquered." (AC 1673.)
73. The Zuzim, an aboriginal people which is mentioned but once in the Word, viz., in Genesis xiv, where it is said that Chedorlaomer "smote the Zuzim in Ham." From the context it appears that these Zuzim lived somewhere to the east of the Jordan, anywhere between the rivers Jabbok and Arnon, thus in the country afterwards occupied by the Hebrew tribe of Ammonites Some have identified their stronghold, "Ham," with the ancient Rabbah, now called Amman. Others have suggested the modern Humeimath, one mile above Rabbah, the ancient Ar-moab, on the Roman road.
74. The Zamzummim, a people described in Deuteronomy 2:20,21, where we are told that the land of Ammon "was also accounted a land of giants; giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites called them Zamzummim; a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakim, but the Lord destroyed them." It is quite possible that these Zamzummim were the same people as the Zuzim of Genesis 14; at any rate they must have been closely related to each other, as both lived in the land of Amnion. The names of both seem to suggest that they spoke in a language not understood by the surrounding Canaanites and Hebrews, to whom their speech sounded like a buzzing or humming noise. The roots, Zamzam, signify to murmur, to hum; also to meditate and to plan evil. The Zuzim, we are taught in the Writings, "were similar to the Nephilim," (AC 1673), but signify in particular "a kind of persuasion of falsity." (AC 1654.) Hence it was from correspondence that their territory was afterwards occupied by the Ammonites, by whom is signified the adulteration of truth. (SS 18.)
75. The Rephaim (of uncertain etymology ; some derive it from rapha', "to heal," but cannot establish any connection of ideas; others from raphah, "to throw down, to sink down, to be unstrung with fear").
The word "Rephaim," in a wide sense, seems to be a general term for all the remnants of the Nephilim in the land of Canaan, and is, like the word "Nephilim," very often translated by "giants" in the Authorized Version; but in a distinctive sense it is the name of a gigantic race of troglodytes living in Bashan and the northern region of the land of Gilead. Here we first hear of them in the record of the invasion of Chedorlaomer, who "smote the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim" (Gen. 14:5). In Deuteronomy the Emim and the Zamzummim are included under the title of Rephaim, (Deut. 2:11,20), but Bashan in particular is described as "the land of the Rephaim," (Deut. 3:13), where, in the time of Abraham, they possessed sixty strong cities or towns. After their defeat by Chedorlaomer the tribe rapidly declined and were supplanted by the Ammonites; and in the time of Moses "only Og, king of Bashan, remained of the remnant of the Rephaim; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Amraon? Nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man." (Deut. 3:11.) It was this gigantic king who, with all his people, came out to give battle to the invading Israelites at the city of Edrei, and here the sons of Israel "smote him until there was none left to him remaining." (Deut. 3:1-3.)
Before occupying the land of Bashan it seems that the Rephaim had dwelt in the interior of Canaan, as they left their name to "the Valley of Rephaim,"—a valley to the southwest of Jerusalem, on the right hand of the road which leads from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. It is a continuation of the ill-famed "Valley of the son of Hinnom," which in later times became known as "Gehenna," and like the latter it is full of caves, the prehistoric dwellings of the troglodyte Rephaim.
Herodotus, Strabo, and Aristotle have given accounts of various troglodyte tribes in Africa, who may have been related to the Horim, Emim, Rephaim, etc. "The best known of these African cave-dwellers were the inhabitants of the 'Troglodyte country,' on the coast of the Red Sea, who reached as far north as the Greek port of Berenice, and of whose strange and savage customs an interesting account has been preserved by Diodorus and Photius from Agatherchides. They were a pastoral people, living entirely on the flesh of their herds, or, in the season of fresh pasture, on mingled milk and blood. But they killed only old or sick cattle, (as, indeed, they killed old men who could no longer follow the flock), and the butchers were called 'unclean;' nay, they gave the name of parent to no man, but only to the cattle of which they had their subsistence. They went almost naked; the women wore necklaces of shells as amulets. Marriage was unknown except among the chiefs. They practiced circumcision, or a mutilation of a more serious kind. The whole account, much of which must be here passed by, is one of the most curious pictures of savage life in ancient times. The Biblical Horim, who inhabited Mount Seir before the Edomites, bore a name which means 'cave-dwellers,' and may probably have been a kindred people to the Troglodytes on the other side of the Red Sea." (Encyc. Brit., vol. 23, p. 583.)
Concerning the appearance of the Nephilim, who were the ancestors of the seven tribes described above, the Writings of the New Church state that "they could no longer express visibly any idea of thought, but what was most deformed." (AC 607) "With their married partners they lived in a certain delight, yet their marriages were merely a kind of adultery and lasciviousness." (S. D. 4076.) "The men, as they grew up, became deformed, shaggy, and hairy, the hair hanging loose about their face.... They prided themselves on a multitude of children, whom they had with them wherever they went, walking before them in a curved line." Their love of offspring was, however, only another form of their self-love and love of domineering. (AC 1272; SD 3589.)
The houses erected by the giant Rephaim in the volcanic districts of Bashan are still the wonder of the traveler. The walls are formed of large blocks of basalt, very hard and difficult to work, yet carefully dressed and fitted together without cement. Roofs, doors, stairs, and windows, are all of stone. "This, of course, imparts to the buildings great massiveness of appearance and great solidity, and in multitudes of cases the houses, though 'without inhabitant,' are as perfect as when first reared. Since buildings so strong are apparently capable of enduring for any length of time, and since some of these are known, from the inscriptions upon them, to date from before the commencement of the Christian era, it is not unnatural to regard them as, in fact, the work of the earliest known inhabitants of the land, the Amorites or the Rephaim;... some of these inscriptions are in an unknown character, resembling the Himyaritic." (Encyc. Brit., vol. 3, p. 41 x.)
It is, perhaps, from the profane and horrible character of the Rephaim, and from the recollection of the direful struggles between them and the first Canaanitish invaders who dispossessed them, that the Phoenicians always used the term "Rephaim" as an expression of horror and execration, the term being used in the sense of "manes" or haunting ghosts of infernal spirits. In the Old Testament the name Rephaim is often synonymous with "the dead," and is most often so translated in the Authorized Version, as in the following passages:
76. The good remnant of the Most Ancient Church. Besides the direful tribes generally known as "Nephilim," there was in the land of Canaan another and very different class of aborigines, —the two more or less scattered nations known as "Hittites" and "Hivites." While these, in the letter of the Word, are generally classed as "Canaanites," as in the oft-repeated lists of "the Jebusites, and the Perizzites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Kenites, and the Girgashites," etc., the Hittites and the Hivites must be considered separately from the rest because of their distinct origin, history, character, and spiritual representation.
The meaning of the names of these two nations is still wrapped in obscurity. The Hittites, (Chitti, or more usually, Chit- tim), are also known as B'ni Cheth, sons of Cheth, but the root- meaning of "Cheth" is not known. The name "Hivites," (Chevvi), is of equally obscure etymology; it may possibly be connected with the root, Chava, "to live,"—this tribe being among the last "living" remnants of the Most Ancient Church, in the midst of their spiritually dead neighbors,—the Nephilim.
Both the Hittites and the Hivites are said in the tenth chapter of Genesis to be of the sons of Canaan, and according to the letter of this genealogical table they must therefore be considered of Hamitic origin, like the rest of the nations of Canaan. But it is to be remembered that the family-trees of Genesis X. refer to the spiritual rather than the natural descent of nations and races. Shem, Ham, and Japheth were not actually the sons of Noah, but were Gentile nations converted by the Church Noah to the doctrines of the Ancient Church. Asshur, or Assyria, which in Gen. 10:22 is described as a son of Shem, in verse 11 of the same chapter is mentioned as if of Hamitic origin, and this because,— as is known to history,—the original Semitic Assyrians, after their conquest of Babylon, accepted the corrupt Hamitic religion of the conquered Chaldeans. And so also the Hittites and the Hivites are classed among the descendants of Canaan,—although from the Divine Revelation to the New Church we know them to be direct remnants of the Most Ancient Church,—because after the Hamitic conquest of Canaan they gradually accepted the idolatrous religion of the Canaanites.
Thus in the light of the New Church alone can a solution be found of the question which is still puzzling the archaeologists: the question as to the origin of the Hittites and the Hivites. "The Hittites seem to have been included among the Canaanites by a mistake," says the Rev. T. K. Cheyne in the Encyclopedia Britannica; and nearly all the modern authorities admit that these nations were neither of a Semitic, nor Hamitic, nor Indo-European, i. e., Japhetic stock. Whence, then, did they come? The Writings of the New Church answer: from a stock far more ancient than all these!
77. The Southern Hittites and Hivites. Most certainly they were of a race quite foreign to the Hebrews. Abraham tells them that he is a stranger in their land; and Isaac and Rebekkah view with displeasure the marriage of their son Esau with the Hittite women "Adah, the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibama, the daughter of Anah, the daughter of Zibeon, the Hivite," (Gen. 36:2),—and this in spite of the very friendly relations maintained between these people and the early Hebrew patriarchs. While the Hittite names mentioned above, and all other Hittite and Hivite names occurring in the Bible, (—Zohar, Ephron, Judith, Beeri, Bashemath, Hamor, Shechem, Abimelech, Uriah—), are all Hebrew names, yet this does not prove that the Hittites and Hivites were of Semitic stock. For the names of the Nephilim, and the names of all the other races inhabiting Canaan, are all capable of an Hebrew interpretation, and this because the foreign invaders who successively conquered Canaan all in their turn accepted the vernacular of the land, a Hebrew far more ancient than the tongue of Eber or Abraham,—an original Semitic which was the language of the Most Ancient Church in the land of Canaan.
The Hittites as well as the Hivites, at the time they appear in the Scriptures, were each divided into a southern and a northern branch, inhabiting widely distant territories. The southern Hittites in the time of Abraham inhabited the mountainous country which in later times belonged to the tribe of Judah, making their, headquarters at Kiriath-Arba, whence they had driven out the Anakim and re-named the city, Hebron. In this region they also possessed another town known by the significant name of Kiriath-Sepher, (city of Books), which was another name for Kiriath Sannah, (city of Instruction),'—names suggesting the existence of some most ancient university where the sacred books of the Ancient Word were once preserved and studied. In the times of Joshua these southern Hittites had been crowded out of Hebron by the Anakim, and had withdrawn to the more mountainous country further north. In Numbers 13:29, we learn that "the Hittites dwell in the mountains," while the Amalekites dwelt in the south, and the Canaanites dwelt "by the sea."
The northern Hittites, on the other hand, constituted a great empire of confederated states, occupying the whole of northern Syria, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Euphrates, extending also, as we shall see, over the whole of Asia Minor, from Armenia to the Aegean Sea. But of them later.
The Hivites were likewise divided into two great branches, the southern and smaller division inhabiting the towns of Shechem and Gibeon and the territory afterwards occupied by the tribe of Ephraim. But the main body of the Hivites dwelt in the north, "under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh," (Josh. 9:3), and in "Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-Hermon to the entering in of Hamath," (Judges 3:3), that is, the ranges of Lebanon and the intervening valley of Coeli-Syria. Here, according to some ethnologists, their descendants still dwell under the modern name of Druses.
Prior to the Revelation given through Swedenborg nothing was known in the Christian world concerning these two nations, beyond the meager details given in the letter of the Word. But in the Writings of the New Church a new and unexpected light was shed upon the ancient Hittites and Hivites, as a part of the grand new revelation concerning the Ancient and the Most Ancient Church. In these Writings we are first of all told that
78. Their gentle disposition. The twenty-third chapter of Genesis presents a truly pleasing record of the courtesy and kindliness prevailing among gentlemen of antiquity, before the charity of the Ancient Church had yet passed into oblivion. Sarah had died in Hebron, and Abraham came unto the sons of Heth to buy from them the cave of Machpelah as a burying place for his beloved dead. And the children of Heth answered him, saying: "Hear us, my lord; thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mightest bury thy dead." And when Abraham offered them money, Ephron the Hittite answered him, saying: "Nay, my lord, hear me; the field I give thee, and the cave that is therein I give thee; in the presence of the sons of my people I give it to thee; bury thy dead." Finally, however, Ephron was prevailed upon to accept the price: "four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchants."
And the Hivites under their princes Hamor and Shechem, in their treatment of Jacob, rivalled the courtesy and generosity of the Hittites: "Ye shall dwell with us, and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein." A simple-minded, warm-hearted, credulous people, these Hivites were no match for the cruel craftiness of the sons of Jacob, who persuaded them to accept the rite of circumcision as a pledge of their alliance; and then, while the Hivites were still sick on account of the operation, the treacherous Hebrews fell upon them and slew all the males, and despoiled the city, to avenge the honor of Dinah.
79. The "Church with the Ancients." Treating of this incident Swedenborg reveals a distinction, (hitherto but little noticed), between "the Church with the Ancients," on the one hand, and "the Ancient Church" on the other.
And the same number thus continues:
The spiritual reason for the destruction of the Hivites is found in their willingness to accept the rite of circumcision at the demands of the sons of Jacob: "Their words were good in the eyes of Hamor and Shechem." (Gen. 34:18). Concerning this we are told that
80. Their signification. Being thus the direct descendants of the celestial men of the Most Ancient Church, we may see the reason why by the Hittites are signified "the exterior cognitions of celestial things, that is, such as have reference to love, thus life,"(AC 1203). For while, in the course of time, they became gentilized through their contact with the idolatrous Canaanites, yet there lingered amongst them remains and traditions of the most ancient doctrine, the celestial doctrine of life, as is evident, indeed, from their charitable treatment of the Hebrew patriarchs. These exterior, more or less obscured traditions and cognitions of celestial things, agreed with the goods and truths which were represented, though not cherished, by the Hebrew patriarchs, and it was on account of this agreement and correspondence that the latter were buried amongst the Hittites and Hivites. In "the field of Machpelah which is before Mamre" they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekkah his wife and there they buried Leah and long afterwards Jacob, (Gen. 49:31), and, finally, the Israelites buried the bones of Joseph, which they had brought with them out of Egypt, in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob had bought of the sons of Hamor (Joshua 24:32).
But though the Hittites and the Hivites were and therefore signified the celestial remains of the Most Ancient Church, they nevertheless at last became "sons of Canaan" and partakers of the idolatrous and polytheistic religion of the other Canaanites, (see Deut. 20:17), and they then came to represent the falsities opposite to the cognitions of celestial things: "the Hivites signify falsity from lighter evils; the Canaanites falsity from more grievous evils; and the Hittites, falsity from the most grievous evil." (AC 9332.) It is in this evil sense that the Hittites are mentioned in the reproach which the prophet Ezechiel raised against the Old Jerusalem: "Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Ammorite, and thy mother an Hittite," (Ezech. 16:3, 45),—signifying that the perverted Church, (Christian as well as Jewish), originated from the conjunction of the evil represented by the Ammorites, with the falsity represented by the Hittites. (AC 289, 2913.)
81. Their extermination by the Israelites. Being idolaters, the Hittites and the Hivites were included in the general command given to the Israelites to utterly destroy all the pagan nations in Canaan, "that they teach you not to do after all their abominations which they have done unto their gods." (Deut. 20:17.) The Hittites, indeed, now exhibited some of the military spirit which had always animated their kinsmen in the north of Syria, and joined with the other Canaanitish tribes in their unsuccessful effort to check the victorious approach of Joshua and his invading hosts. They were overwhelmed, indeed, on that memorable day when Joshua commanded the sun to stand still upon Gibeon, and the moon in the valley of Ajalon. (Josh. 10:12.) The great majority of the southern Hittites were exterminated in this and subsequent battles, but some submitted and were spared, on condition of tributary service in the Tabernacle, as "hewers of wood and drawers of water'' in the service of Jehovah.
82. The Hivites dwelling in Gibeon saved themselves by a memorable and decidedly humorous trick. Sending ambassadors to Joshua, they fixed them up with "old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old and rent, and bound up; and shoes old and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them, and bread dry and mouldy." (Josh. 9:4-5.) Pretending that they had come from "a very far country,"—so far away that all their dilapidated old things had been new when they first set out on their journey, they completely deceived Joshua, and induced him to make peace with them by a solemn oath. Three days afterwards the trick was found out; the Gibeonites were found to be near neighbors and as such intended for extermination; but because of Joshua's oath they were permitted to live, but conditioned to servitude as the hewers of wood and drawers of water. The real reason for their preservation was the fact that "Hivites from ancient time signified interior truth, and because they were among the more upright nations, in whom iniquity was not so much consummated,—i. e., the truth of the Church not so much extinguished; and therefore the Hivite Gibeonites were preserved by the Providence of the Lord." (AC 4431.)
83. The last remnants. They were thus absorbed by the Israelitish nation and became members of their Church, but still for ages they remained a distinct race in the land. That some of them attained places of trust and honor is evident from the fact that Ahimelech the Hittite was one of David's most trusted companions, while Uriah the Hittite, the husband of Bathsheba, was one of the king's body-guard. In his unsuspecting loyalty and bravery he is a worthy representative of the Hittite character,—a simple-hearted, honorable descendant of the most ancient celestial race.
Under Solomon the remnant of the Hittites were subjected to the same tribute of bond-service as the other remains of the Canaanites, (1. Kings 9:20). Solomon also formed an alliance with the "kings of the Hittites," (1 Kings 9:29), but these were evidently chieftains of the northern Hittites, from whose families, also, he took some of his numerous wives. (1 Kings 9:1.) Even after the Jews had returned from the Babylonish captivity, there were still Hittites in Palestine, existing as a distinct people, and they are named among those alien tribes with whom the returning Israelites contracted those marriages which Ezra forbade and Nehemiah dissolved. (Ezra 9:1; Nehemiah 13:23-28.) The last of the southern Hittites were probably absorbed by the Samaritans. Unlike their greater northern kinsmen they left no monuments or inscriptions wherewith to puzzle modern archaeologists.
84. The Northern Hittites. Modern scholars are doubting whether the great Syrian nation known as Hittites really were of the same general stock as the southern Hittites so frequently mentioned in the Bible, and this because the names of the latter are all of Semitic origin, while those of the northern Hittites, as preserved in the Egyptian and Assyrian records, are on the whole strikingly non-Semitic. This, however, proves nothing, for on the one hand, the Assyrians and Egyptians were as careless about foreign names as were afterwards the Greeks and in modern times the English. And on the other hand, the northern Hittites, while of the same general race and stock as the southern, were undoubtedly of a different branch, with a different historic development. In the Word, certainly, the northern branch is called Hittites, just as the southern, and no apparent distinction is observed.
The "ships from the coast of the Hittites," mentioned in Numbers 24:24, clearly refers to the northern Hittites dwelling by the Syrian coast, for the southern Hittite had no sea-ports or ships. The Writings of the New Church tell us that by these "ships of the Hittites" are signified "the cognitions of truth and good which had been possessed by those of the Ancient Church." (AE 514.) Thus the northern Hittites, like the southern, signify "cognitions." In Joshua 1:4 we read of a land extending "from the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites." This describes exactly the boundaries of the great northern empire which the Assyrians called the land of the "Khatti," and the Egyptians the land of the "Cheta." And in the second book of Kings, 7:6, it is said that the great siege of Samaria was raised when the Syrians of Hamath heard a supernatural noise "as if the king of Israel had hired the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt, to come upon us,"—thus associating the Hittites as allies of the Egyptians, just as the Cheta sometimes actually were.
There is no reasonable cause, therefore, to doubt the identity of the northern Hittites with the Cheta or Khatti of the Egyptian and Assyrian monuments,—that great, warlike, well organized, highly civilized nation, which in most recent times has, as if by a miracle, risen out of their forgotten graves to reveal the existence of an ancient Empire which for thousands of years has remained totally unknown, but which for ages rivalled Egypt and Assyria in power, influence, and civilization.
85. Their historic resurrection. From time to time travellers have brought home from Syria and Asia Minor copies of hieroglyphic inscriptions, of a character very different from those of Egypt. The first of these were found in 1736 and the collection has since been steadily augmented. Some were found as far west as Smyrna and Sardis, some in the depth of Asia Minor, some in Armenia, and some in Coeli-Syria. They have been found even among the ruins of Nineveh and Babylon,—covering thus a vast extent of territory, and dating, apparently, from untold antiquity down to about 500 B. C. Within the last few years, especially, whole libraries of these inscriptions have been discovered, and ruined palaces covered with bas-reliefs and intaglios representing a race of people who, in features and garments, were totally different from any of the other nations of antiquity. For years the learned were totally unable to "place" these people, until, as late as 1878, the two great archeologists, Wright and Sayce, identified them with the Cheta of the Egyptians, the Khatti of the Assyrians, and the Hittites of the Bible. Then, quickly, the brand-new science of "Hittitology" sprang into existence.
One learned work after another appeared, reproducing the inscriptions and the bas-reliefs, and attempting to decipher the strange hieroglyphics. Theories and systems of interpretation rapidly replaced one another, but thus far no system has been generally accepted as correct and proven.
86. Their writing and language. The writing of these Hittites is a kind of picture-writing, hieroglyphics which to some small extent resemble those of Egypt, but the figures are more rounded, free, and unconventional. Sometimes the pictures are fully drawn, and at other times only suggested. There are all kinds of animal heads, hands with swords, feet with shoes turned up at the tips, crowns, tiaras, pointed caps, thrones, serpents, beside various abbreviated figures and signs. More than two hundred of these have already been listed and their number is constantly increasing. Most of them are of the same rounded type, reminding us of the curved writing of the most ancient people of which Swedenborg speaks. Following the direction in which the faces are turned, it has been established that the writing runs from right to left in the first line of the inscription, then, from left to right in the second line, from right to left in the third line, and so on,—quite different from the Hebrew which always runs from right to left, or the Assyrian which always runs from left to right, or the Old Babylonian and Egyptian, which runs from top to bottom. This alone shows that the Hittites were of a genius very distinct from that of any of their ancient neighbors. As to their language, something may be known from the Hittite names mentioned in the Egyptian and Assyrian inscriptions, and also from the Hittite inscriptions in cuneiform character which have been found in Armenia. Thus far, however, there is no consensus whatever among the learned as to the nature of the Hittite language: some claim it is akin to the modern Armenian tongue, which is supposed to be of Indo-Germanic origin, but all the theories appear like guess-work.
87. Their personal characteristics and national costume are as distinctive as their mode of writing. In general their heads are strikingly short, their eyes and hair dark, and their noses remarkably large and curved. On the Egyptian monuments the Cheta are represented with long, slender noses, slightly curved, decidedly receding foreheads, prominent cheek-bones, short, round, beardless chins, and fair complexion. On the Hittite monuments, however, many of the men are bearded. The hair is long and thick and falls on the shoulder in a braided queue.
The national dress consists chiefly of a short coat with half- sleeves, a long, pointed, sugar-loaf hat, with the lower rim turned upwards. This hat is especially characteristic of the Hittites, as is also the shoe which is always turned upward at the toes. The turned-up tips are accounted for by the fact that the Hittites lived in mountainous districts ; it is found among many other mountain- tribes because it protects the toe better than the straight shoe or sandal.
88. As to their Religion but little is definitely known. Originally, of course, they were monotheists, but in course of time, like the southern Hittites, they became idolators and polytheists. If, as has been surmised, the ancient Hyksos or Shepherd-kings, who at one time overran Egypt, were Hittites, then the latter at that time were probably worshippers of one only God, whom they named Sutekh, for it is known that Apepi, the last of the Shepherd-kings in Egypt, (who is supposed to have been the Pharaoh of Joseph's time), "chose the good Sutekh as his Lord, and did not serve any other god in the whole land." (Lenormant, Ancient History of the East. Vol. I., p. 223.)
According to the monuments and inscriptions of the Hittites themselves, (and according to Prof. Jensen who claims to have deciphered them), this people placed at the head of their Pantheon "the Lord of the heavens, the god of the sky, the dispenser of the blessings of the fields; he is called 'the Lord,' or 'the supreme one,' 'the great Papa or baba,' i. e., of course, 'father,'—compare the Phrygian Zeus Papas,—also the 'lord of Khate-Hati,' etc. His consort is 'the great Ma'a' that is, of course, 'mother,' also called 'the great goddess.' " (Hilprecht, Explor. in Bible Lands, p. 788.) The worship of this "great mother," who is always adorned with the mural crown, spread from the Hittites throughout Asia Minor, to Phrygia, and thence into Greece, where she became known as Cybele. The great Papa,—the Zeus pater or Jupiter,—was variously represented; sometimes armed with the forked lightning and the battle ax; at other times depicted as the god of fertility, holding in one hand a great vine with many clusters of grapes, and in the other a cornucopia whence streams of water are issuing.
The subjects of the Hittite sculptors are chiefly religious. Great processions of gods and goddesses are represented, also winged, human headed, or double headed sphinxes, and other emblems, among these the "double eagle" which is never seen in Egypt or Assyria. It is said that the early Turks adopted this emblem from the Hittite monuments, and then, in turn, passed it on to the Austrian and German Empires! Their art, though possessing many features in common with that of Egypt on the one hand, and of Assyria on the other, is nevertheless very original and distinctive on the whole. Though somewhat rude, stiff, and childish, lacking in the elements of proportion and perspective, it still has a certain grace and dignity of its own, and the conviction seems to be growing that it had a very important influence upon early Greek art through the mediating hands of Phrygians and Lydians. While the Greeks undoubtedly received the alphabet and writing from the Phoenicians, they certainly did not learn their art from this source, for the Phoenicians simply had no art, except the art of money-making. Hellenic art, no less than Hellenic Religion, had its cradle in Asia Minor.
89. The Hittite Empire. The chief seats of the Hittites, in historic times, were the city of Kadesh on the Orontes, and the city of Carchemish on the northern Euphrates. The former, known to the Egyptians as "Ketesh, on the river Arunata," was situated not far from Hamath or Baalbek, where many Hittite inscriptions have been found. The name is a Hebrew one, and indicates that the place was considered a "holy" city. The latter, known at present as Jerabis or Jereblis, (from the Greek Hieropolis), was also a "sacred city" and for more than a thousand years was the real capital of the Hittite Empire. Here, at Carchemish, important ruins have been uncovered and great masses of inscriptions found by Prof. Winkler, of the German Exploration Expedition, within the last two years, but as yet these literary treasures have refused to yield up their real secrets. Nor is it known how far to the north and west the Hittite Empire actually extended. It seems to have been a great federation of allied states, bound together by the bonds of common blood, religion, and civilization, each with its own king, rather than one great monarchy under a central head, (except, perhaps, in times of great national danger). Hittite inscriptions and monuments have been found throughout Asia Minor. The proto-Armenians were certainly of this stock, as were also, perhaps, the original inhabitants of Pontus, Cappodocia, Cilicia, Phrygia, Lydia, and the Troad. The "liberty-cap" of the ancient Phrygians is now regarded as a survival of the conical hat of the Hittites; Gyges, the fabled founder of the Lydian kingdom, is now supposed to have been an Hittite adventurer; and the great Trojan War is regarded as a contest between the degenerated Hittite descendants of the Ancient Church and the rising youthful power of the Ionians, [—Hebrew Javan, Assyrian Javnanu, Latin juvenes, English young ones.] Whether the Hittites were at all connected with the Hyksos or Shepherd-kings is, at least, questionable. Some believe the Hyksos were Hebrews; others maintain they were Philistines. Who knows? According to the Egyptian monuments the Hittites first appear in history in the time of Thothmes III., (about 1450 B. C.), who in a great battle at Megiddo defeated the confederated Cheta and laid them under tribute. Whence they had come, or how long they had possessed Syria and Mesopotamia, is not known for certain. Archeologists surmise that they had advanced from the highlands of Armenia sometime between 3-4000 B. C.
In the time of Ramses I., (after the expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt), the Hittites had again become dangerous rivals of Egypt and united under a single monarch. Ramses I. therefore led his army into Canaan and Coeli-Syria, the war finally ending by a treaty between the Egyptian king and Sephal, the king of the Hittites. Seti I., the son of Ramses, renewed the war, and after long and desperate struggles captured Kadesh, the key to the whole of Coeli-Syria. The reserve power of the Hittites was so great, however, that Seti soon afterwards restored his conquests to the Hittite king, Mautnur, and a new treaty was drawn up, which the Hittites, at least, faithfully observed.
Peace was again broken by Ramses II., the son of Seti, "le grand monarch," the Louis XIV of Egypt. Invading Canaan in the fifth year of his reign, he met with but indifferent success, but is represented as having won the day at Kadesh more through his own personal bravery (and divine intercessions) than through the greater prowess of his army. No material advantages accrued to Egypt through the war, but a new treaty of peace was drawn up. Khetsera, the king of the Hittites, arrived in Thebes with a splendid retinue. The articles of peace were drawn up on a great tablet of silver. Everything was left in statu quo ante, and the peace was celebrated by the marriage of the Egyptian monarch with a daughter of the Hittite king. The campaign and the treaty form the subject of the great Egyptian national epic by the poet Pentaur,—the first epic in the history of Literature,—which to this clay is to be read in magnificent hieroglyphics on the temple walls of Karnak.
In the Assyrian inscriptions the Hittites are mentioned quite as frequently as in those of Egypt. From the line of Tiglath Pileser I., (about noo B. C.), to that of Sargon, (722-705 B. C.), there was almost constant warfare between the Khatti and the Assyrians who contested with them the possession of Mesopotamia. Sargon finally put an end to the Hittite rule over the country east of the Taurus, and they remained subject to Assyria until the fall of Nineveh, after which the eastern Hittites fell first under the dominion of Media and then of Persia, and gradually pass out of history. In Asia Minor, however, they remained independent for a long time, especially in the kingdom of Cilicia, and later on in Armenia, but in the former they gradually adopted the civilization of Greece, and in Armenia they seem to have amalgamated with various mountain tribes of uncertain race. Some of the learned think that the Georgians of Caucasus are direct descendants of the Hittites.
90. The Hittites, direct descendants of Noah. Now, as to the origin of these Hittites and Hivites, who were of neither Semitic, Hamitic, or Japhetic stock, but direct descendants of the Most Ancient Church, I would venture to offer an hypothesis, which, though not yet proved either from Revelation or Science, still suggests itself from the Writings of the New Church. At the time of the Great Flood, i. e., at the time of the destruction of the Most Ancient Church, the inhabitants of the land of Canaan were divided into two general and very different classes of people. The first, who constituted the vast majority, were the antediluvians, the monstrous Nephilim, the perverted celestial men who had become the worst people this earth has ever seen. Most of these perished through the clogging up of their channels of internal respiration, but some survived,—the horrible tribes known as Rephaim, Anakim, Horim, Avim, Emim, Zuzim, and Zamzummin.
The other class, a small nucleus, was the remnant of simple good people, collectively called Noah, who were saved from destruction by a new Divine Revelation, (the Ancient Word), the seed of a new church. Between these and the Nephilim there could be no friendship, no modus vivendi; there must have been direful persecutions and wars of extermination, and the Noachites as a whole undoubtedly had to flee for their lives. Is it not significant that Noah found refuge on Mt. Ararat, in Armenia? Why is Ararat mentioned,—a mountain so far from the centre of Canaan,—unless there is some substratum of historical truth in the Biblical account of the Flood? To me it seems evident that the people called Noah actually fled from Canaan and "planted a vineyard" in Ararat, in other words, founded a colony in the highlands of Armenia. From this region, as a basis, they sent forth missionaries preaching the spiritual truths of the Ancient Church to various gentile nations who thus became "the sons," the converts, of Noah, and in time became the ancestors of the Semitic, Hamitic, and Japhetic races. The Church and nation called Noah in the meantime remained in their mountainous homes in Armenia, until, after many ages, they became a strong nation which finally pressed forward and took possession of Asia Minor and Syria. These, then, were the "northern Hittites," known in history only after the Ancient Church had become corrupted amongst them.
But who were the southern Hittites and Hivites, the celestial remnants in the mountains of Canaan itself? May not they have descended from families of Noachites who did not emigrate with the rest, but found refuge in the mountains nearer home? We are informed in the Arcana Coelestia 640 that "besides the Church Noah there were also others at that time, [i. e., other salvable remnants of the Most Ancient Church], such as that which is called 'Enoch,' and others also, of whom no such mention and description are extant." From some of these, or from remaining Noachites, the southern Hittites and Hivites must have come, known by the same national names as that of their northern, more numerous, and warlike brethren.
It is to be added that the modern Armenians, (who are supposed to be descendants of the Hittites), claim to be the most ancient people in the world, and their language the original speech of mankind. The same claim was made by the ancient Phrygians, who were clearly an Hittite nation, (see Encyclop Brit., vol. 18, p. 849).
One more consideration: Why is it that Syria everywhere in the Word signifies cognitions, that is, knowledges of spiritual things? The "wise men from the East" who came to worship the newborn Lord, were "Syrians," we are told in the Writings, "for in Syria were the last remains of the Ancient Church, and therefore in that land the cognitions of good and truth were still preserved, as is evident from Balaam," who knew. Jehovah and quoted directly from the Ancient Word,(AC 3249). Was it not because Syria was occupied mainly by the Hittites, who, as the immediate descendants of Noah, preserved among themselves the traditions of the Ancient and Most Ancient Churches, in greater fulness than could be found with other nations?
91. The Hamitic invasion. We have treated thus far of the Aborigines of Canaan as represented on the one hand by the Nephilim and on the other hand by the Hittites and Hivites. We come now to a new race of people who took possession of the land towards the end of the Ancient Church, almost within historic times. The Nephilim were the monstrous remnant of the Antediluvians, who never accepted the Ancient Church. The Hittites and Hivites were the good remains of the Most Ancient Church, who, in the time of Noah, received the Doctrines of the Ancient Church and after untold ages became a strong nation. In the course of time the Ancient Church declined with them, as with other nations, and a race of foreign origin was permitted to take possession of the land.
Ham, like Shem and Japheth, was originally a race of gentiles who had been converted to the Ancient Church by the evangelistic zeal of the Church called Noah. Unlike his "brothers," however, Ham received the new doctrines more by the intellect than by the heart, making faith rather than charity the principal thing of the Church. Gradually his faith became faith alone, cloaking a life of arrogance, contempt of others, love of dominion and lusts of the flesh.
All archeological as well as Biblical evidence points to the banks of the lower Euphrates as the original home of the Hamitic race. It is here, in Chaldea and Babylonia, that we find the descendants of Cush, (the elder son of Ham), and his son, Nimrod, "the beginning of whose kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Akkad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar." (Gen. 10:10.) Here, also, the tower of Babel was erected, and here the confusion of tongues took place, leading to the dispersion of the Hamitic race into various regions of the earth. Hence Cush went forth to settle Ethiopia, and Mizraim, the second son of Ham, to take possession of Egypt. Phut, the third son, became the ancestor of the Libyan race in northern Africa; and finally Canaan, the fourth and last son, left his ancestral home to emigrate into the land of Canaan,—which, however, was not named from him.
According to Herodotus, the Phoenicians, (who were preeminently Canaanites), "as they themselves say, formerly dwelt on the Erythraean Sea, [the Persian Gulf]. From thence they passed transversely across Syria, and now dwell there on the seashore." (Book VII.) Modern discoveries have thoroughly confirmed this statement by the "father of history." It appears that the original Canaanites were driven from their first homes on the northern shore of the Persian Gulf by the Semitic conquerors of Babylonia and Chaldea. Migrating across the Arabian Desert they settled first in the fertile lowlands to the south of what is now called the Dead Sea, where they founded the once prosperous cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and at the northern end of the Sea the city of Jericho. Gradually they separated into various tribes. Under the name of Jebusites and Perizzites they took possession of the interior of the land, and under the name of Amorites they conquered the Jordan valley and the land of Bashan. Others, retaining the original name of Canaanites, spread along the plains of Esdraelon, Megiddo and Acre, and finally settled the whole sea-board of Syria, where they founded (or took possession of) the cities of Sidon and Tyre, and became ancestors of the powerful Phoenician nation. The aborigines were either exterminated by the Canaanitish conquerors or were assimilated with them; the Rephaim were exterminaetd, while the southern Hittites and Hivites were assimilated and in consequence are mentioned as "sons of Canaan" in Gen. 10:15-17, although ethnologically they were of a far more ancient stock.
Authorities differ as to the time when the Canaanites became masters of the land. According to the Egyptian records they did not exist there at the time of Amenemhat I. of the 12th dynasty, but when Abraham entered Palestine we are told that "the Canaanite dwelled then in the land," (Gen. 13:7). The Phoenicians themselves claimed a history of no less than 30000 years, but the founding of Tyre is now generally accepted as having taken place about 2750 B. C. Justin, in his extracts from the lost works of Pompeius Trogus, says that "the people of the Tyrians are descended from Phoenicians who, disquieted by an earthquake, left their first homes on the Dead Sea, and soon afterwards, settling on the nearest sea-coast, there built a town which they called Sidon, on account of the abundance of fish, for fish is called 'sidon' by the Phoenicians." It is now becoming apparent that the Phoenicians were not the actual founders of Sidon and Tyre, but simply took possession of these cities, in which, in earlier times, a much higher development of civilization had once flourished. (See Historians' History, Vol. II., p. 264.) This would explain the fact that Sidon and Tyre were once of the Ancient Church itself, whereas the Canaanitish conquerors, as far as known, were always a corrupt and degraded people.
92. General characteristics of the Canaanites. In the Writings of the New Church we are taught that Canaan, the son of Ham, signifies the worship which inevitably resulted from faith alone, a worship in externals without any internal charity and faith. (AC 1063, 1091.) The curse of Noah fell upon Canaan, and not upon his father, Ham, who was the original sinner, for the reason that faith, (Ham), even though it be faith alone, still "may become adjoined to charity," whereas the worship and life, (Canaan), resulting from faith alone, is necessarily corrupt, hypocritical, and damnable, because it is nothing but evil, having altogether turned itself away from the Lord. (AC 1093.)
Hence the Hamitic Canaanites, who to the-full practiced such corrupt worship and life, came to signify "all kinds of evils, (AC 1444), a signification that is abundantly confirmed by everything that is known about them.
The Canaanites were literally as well as spiritually an accursed race. Doomed to inevitable destruction by their cherished evils, they have gone down into history as one of the most degraded races of mankind, who well deserved the name of "low ones," by which they were stigmatized by the rest of the Ancient Church. (AC 2913.) For, as has been observed before, this people was named from a root signifying "to be low," whereas the land of Canaan was named from a root signifying "merchandise."
Cultivating the things of faith alone, without regard to charity, and placing the whole life of religion in mere rituals, the Canaanites never possessed the essential elements of national cohesion. "So far from showing the slightest tendency towards unity or concentration," says Maspero, "they were more hopelessly divided than any of the surrounding nations. Their mountains contained nearly as many states as there were valleys, while in the plains each town represented a separate government." (History of Egypt, Vol. IV., p. 183.) Each little district or settlement had its own special idol, and also its own "king" or sheik, and they were always at war with one another. No permanent bond existed between them, and such were their mutual jealousies that even the common danger from foreign invaders but seldom forced them into even temporary alliances. No wonder, then, that they were so easily conquered by the smaller but united forces of Israel!
Churches of our modern world present a very similar picture. Born of Ham, or faith alone, they have been destitute of mutual charity and cohesion ever since the days of Luther, Zwingli, and Henry VIII. Even the common danger from the Catholic Church could not induce them to subordinate their minor differences as to matters of dogma and ritual, but, dividing and subdividing on the smallest disputes, they became a sandy rope of almost innumerable sects, each anathematizing all the others, and all of them powerless at this day to resist the assaults of the Egypt of modern science, or the Assyria of modern philosophy. But the very fact of their hopeless division renders more easy the general victory of the new Israelite, the Newchurchman, over the Canaanites within himself.
Though condemned to utter extermination, remnants of the Canaanites were allowed to survive in various parts of the land for more than a thousand years, to continue as a source of infestation and seduction to the disobedient Israelites who were ever prone to "make covenants with the nations," marrying amongst them and "going a whoring" after their gods. The Philistines were never subdued, and the powerful Phoenicians were not even attacked, but the former again and again enslaved the Israelites, and the latter supplied to them queens such as Jezebel and her daughter, Athaliah, who led the people into idolatry. And besides these, remnants of Canaanitish tribes survived throughout the history of Israel in various parts of the land even after the final dispersion of the Jewish nation. Nay, traces of them are to be found to this day among the thieving and murderous fellahin in the remoter districts of the Holy Land.
On the Egyptian monuments the Canaanites are generally depicted as a tall and thin people, with high cheek bones, a brutal lower jaw, receding chins, thick lips, long noses slightly curved, slanting eyes, and foreheads artificially flattened in childhood as among the Flat-head Indians of North America. (Maspero, Vol. IV., p. 218.)
93. Their Religion. As known to history, the Religion of the Canaanites is one of the lowest and most revolting forms of idolatry, without a single redeeming feature of artistic beauty or symbolic imagery. All their divinities are importations from Babylon and Egypt, but horribly debased and caricatured, divested alike of the majestic strength of the Chaldean, and of the delicate grace and calm dignity of the Egyptian forms. Horrible monsters, gross, ugly, lascivious, and blood-thirsty, were worshipped as gods. The Trinity was represented as a being with one body and three heads,—quite in the style of orthodox Christianity. At the head of the Pantheon stood Baal, (Lord), with his female consort, Baaltis. The former was a sun-god who re-appears in glorified form in the Greek Apollo, (Hapaal). Baaltis was the goddess of the moon, and is depicted as a gaping pregnant she-wolf, with flaccid breasts hanging from all around her body. She, also, re-appears in nobler form in the Diana of the Ephesians.
Baal himself is represented under various repulsive types, which were known generally as Baalim, each tribe and each town having its own special Baal. As Baal-peor, (lord of the phallus), he was worshipped by the lascivious Moabites, while the faith-alone Philistines at Ekron adored him under the name of Beelzebub, (literally, the "the lord of flies"), or Belzebul, (the "lord of the dunghill"), though these were probably names of derision bestowed upon him by the Jews. Concerning him we learn that "the doctrine of Faith alone, which deprives man of all power in spiritual things, is like a man saying 'I have no more power than Belzebub, the god of Ekron,' who, according to the signification of his name, can only drive away flies." (TCR 630.) And, again, "the reason Beelzebub is called 'Satan,' in Matthew 12:24, and not the 'Devil,' is that by Beelzebub, who was the god of Ekron, is meant the god of all falsities; for if you translate the word Beelzebub, it is 'the lord of flies,' and flies signify falsities of the sensual man, thus falsities of every kind." (AE 740.)
As Moloch, (the "king"), Baal was figured with a human body and the head of a bull; in his outstretched arms he received the little children who rolled thence into a fiery furnace within his brazen statue. In general, he corresponds to "worship from the love of self and the love of the world," (AE 760), and to "cupidities and falsities of every kind." (AR 132.) Ashtoreth, (plural Ashtaroth), was the goddess of love and fecundity and is represented sometimes as a woman holding a dove, sometimes as having the head of a cow, (Ashtaroth Karnaim, the lady with the two horns). She is the Ishtar of Babylonia, the Hathor of Egypt, the Astarte of Greece. Her priests were eunuchs, and her priestess were licensed harlots known as Kadeshoth or "holy ones," who supported her temples by their infamy!
Dagon, the god of the Philistines at Ashdod, "was like a man above and like a fish beneath, and this image was devised because a man signifies intelligence, and a' fish, knowledge, which make one." (SS 23.) He is typical of the national worship of the whole Philistine nation,—a worship from faith alone, "which religion, from faith, was as it were spiritual, but from having no charity was merely natural," (D. F. 52); for the statue of Dagon, "being like a man from the head to the navel, represented the understanding from truths; and its being like a fish from the navel downward, represented the natural destitute of the good of love." (AE 81710.)
Such were the gods for whose worship the Israelites so often forsook Jehovah,—a worship which is vividly described in the First Book of the Kings, the Canaanitish priests "calling on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal hear us! But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which they had made.... And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them." (18:26, 28.)
94. Their human sacrifices. The most fearful blot upon the religion of the Canaanites was their systematic offering of human victims, especially infants, upon the altar of their gods. They had fallen into this horrible rite from a perversion of the more ancient custom of sanctifying the firstborn to the service or priesthood of the Lord, "but by sanctification they began to mean sacrific ation. The descendants of Jacob inclined to do the like, but to prevent their doing so, the Levites were set aside in place of the firstborn."(AC 8080.) This monstrous custom arose quite naturally from a notion of a vicarious atonement. "It had been known from the most ancient times that the Lord was to come into the world, and that He would suffer death; this may be manifestly known from the fact that a custom of sacrificing their sons existed among the heathen, who believed that thus they would be expiated, and God propitiated. They could not 'have placed the supreme of their religion in this abominable practice, unless they had received from the ancients the knowledge that the Son of God was to come, who, as they believed, would become a sacrifice. To this abomination also the sons of Jacob inclined, and Abraham, too, for no one is tempted except by that to which he inclines; but lest the sons of Israel should rush into that abomination, it was permitted to institute burnt offerings and sacrifices." (AC 2818.)
But though the Canaanites also practiced animal sacrifice, they would not relinquish their favorite rite of human sacrifice. "The Baalim thirsted after blood, nor would they be satisfied with any common blood such as generally contented their brethren in Chaldea or Egypt; they imperatively demanded human as well as animal sacrifices. Among several of the Syrian nations they had a prescriptive right to the firstborn male of each family; this right was generally commuted, either by a money payment or by subjecting the infant to circumcision. At important junctures, however, this pretence of bloodshed would fail to appease them, and the death of the child alone availed. Indeed, in times of national danger, the king and nobles would furnish, not merely a single victim, but as many as the priests chose to demand. While they were being burnt alive on the knees of the statue, or before the sacred emblem, their cries of pain were drowned by the piping of flutes or the blare of trumpets, the parents standing near the altar, without a sign of pity, and dressed as for a festival; the ruler of the world could refuse nothing to prayers backed by so precious an offering, and by a purpose so determined to move him." (Maspero, Vol. IV., pp. 233, 234.)
Such was the worship which at one time, through the power of the Canaanitish Empire of Carthage, threatened the civilized world with universal dominion. Carthage was especially famed or notorious through its sacrifice of infants to the ever-glowing image of Moloch, and so deeply rooted was the practice in this city that it was not stamped out until the time of Tiberius. But nations who have persisted in the indulgence of such abominations have not been permitted to survive. In the Divine Providence of the Lord, Hannibal was not allowed to enter Rome. Carthage had to be destroyed,—but the essence of the Canaanitish abomination was engrafted upon the Christian Religion, through the unwitting influence of Christian Fathers such as Tertullian of Carthage and Augustine of Hippo, in the spiritualized but still more baneful form of the doctrines of the vicarious Atonement, the bloody sacrifice of Christ, Salvation by Faith alone, and Predestination.
95. The original Canaanites. In the enumeration of the tribes inhabiting Palestine, we find the term "Canaanite" employed in three different senses.
1. In its most generic sense it includes all the gentile nations and tribes within the widest borders of the land,—not only the real, i. e., Hamitic Canaanites. such as the Amorites, Jebusites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Phoenicians and Philistines, etc., but also the pre-Hamitic Hittites and Hivites, and such Hebrew nations as had accepted the Canaanitish idolatries, such as the Ammonites and Moabites.
2. In a more restricted sense the term refers to the group of tribes actually descended from Ham, and, 3, in a most specific sense it means those Canaanites which "dwelt by sea, and by the coast of Jordan." (Num. 13:29.) As these especially retained the name of "Canaanites," it is probable that they were the more direct descendants of the original Canaanites. These seem to have been the worst of all, for we read that "those who cultivated the doctrinals of faith alone were called Canaanites, and were separated from the rest of the inhabitants of Canaan." (AC 2913.)
In general, the original "border" of these particular Canaanites "was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha," (Gen. 10:19),—a region which signifies, as a whole, "the extension of cognitions with those who have external worship without internal." (AC 1211.)
The first settlements of the Canaanites, upon reaching Palestine from their original home in lower Chaldea, were formed in the rich plains to the south of the Dead Sea, the once magnificent country which, when Abraham first arrived in the land, "was well watered everywhere, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the Garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar." (Gen. 13:10.)
Here was the city of Sodom, famed for its wealth, and infamous for its wickedness,—a wickedness which has given name to the most unnatural of all sexual perversions. The very name of this ill-fated city is said to mean, literally, "a burning," and signifies spiritually "those who are in the highest degree of exercising command from the love of self, and not for the sake of use." (S. D. 6096.) Hence the association, in the Writings, of Sodom with Babylon and the Church of Rome.
Here, also, was its sister-town of Gomorrah, (or Amorrah), so named, it is said, from a root meaning "enmity, rancor, malice." Nothing special is known of this city, historically, but even as Sodom signifies cupidities of evil, so Gomorrah stands for "persuasions of falsity." (AC 1587.) Of the other "cities of the plain," such as Gerar, Admah, Zeboim, and Lasha, we know nothing further, except that they were all subdued by Chedorlaomer, but it is probable that they were destroyed by that seismic cataclysm which took place in the day when "the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven. And He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and all that which grew upon the ground,... and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace," (Gen. 19:24-28),— all of which signifies the consummation of the Ancient Church among the Canaanites, and the last judgment upon them, (Cor. 41).
Jericho, (the "city of the moon," also called "the city of palm trees"), was another ancient and prosperous city of the Canaanites, situated at the northern end of the Dead Sea. In the time of the Ancient Church itself this city signified "instruction in the cognitions of good and truth, by which man is introduced into the Church; for it was not far from the Jordan, which river signifies introduction into the Church. And as Jericho signifies instruction, it also signifies the good of life, because no one can be instructed in the truths of doctrine except him who is in the good of life. But when the land of Canaan was possessed by idolatrous nations, the signification of the places and cities in that land was changed into the contrary, and consequently Jericho then signified the profanation of good and truth. From these things it follows that the city itself signified the doctrine of falsity and evil, which had perverted the truths and goods of the Church, and had profaned them; that its 'wall' signified the falsities of evil protecting that doctrine; and that its inhabitants signified things profane; and as all that is profane is from infernal love after the acknowledgment of truth and good, that city was burnt with fire, its inhabitants were given to the curse, and its wall fell." (AE 700.)
96. The Phoenicians, inhabiting the narrow strip of coast- land at the foot of the Lebanon range, were as thoroughly Canaanitish as any of the other Hamitic tribes of the land. Whether of Sidon or Tyre or Carthage, they always called themselves simply "Canaanites," the term "Phoenicians" having been bestowed upon them by the Greeks on account of their dusky complexion, (from "phoinos" = dark red). These were the only ones of the original Canaanites who played a prominent part in universal history, not, indeed, on account of greater moral or intellectual characteristics, or of greater national cohesion, (for the Phoenician cities were ever fighting one against another), but on account of an extraordinary lust for money, which caused them to develop and master—for two thousand years—the trade of the entire civilized world. They were fully as depraved, and certainly more besotted with avarice than the rest of the Canaanites, and yet Sidon and Tyre signify the "cognitions" of good and truth. The reason for this paradoxical signification is to be sought in the fact that these ancient cities were centers of civilization and commerce long before the Canaanites took possession of them in the waning days of the Ancient Church, and that the conquerors mingled with the conquered, (Hittites and other pre-Hamitic people), learning from them these "cognitions," or knowledges of the spiritual things of the Church, which lingered with some in Syria even until the time of the Coming of the Lord.
Sidon being the firstborn of Canaan, signifies that "merely external worship begat the exterior cognitions of spiritual things, which are the first things of such external worship," (AC 1199); while Tyre, which afterwards arose to supremacy in the Phoenician confederation, signifies the "interior cognitions" of such worship. (AC 1201.) A third class of cognitions,— those which apply more directly to life,—are represented by the Syrian Hittites and Hivites. Aside from the organic historical reason mentioned just above, Sidon and Tyre represented these cognitions because of their situation by the Great Sea, (AR 238); because of their being neighbors of the Philistines, (AC 1201); because of their great knowledge of natural arts and sciences, (such as alphabetic writing, manufacture of glass and dye-stuffs, arithmetic, navigation, geography, etc.), which correspond to interior cognitions; and, finally, because of their enormous wealth in silver and gold, which made them the bankers of the ancient world, and which corresponds to spiritual wealth. Originally, from a great zeal for the dissemination of their doctrinal cognitions and rituals, they were excellent missionaries to the gentile world, carrying with them, at the same time, the rudiments of letters and civilization. This is the inner meaning of the legend of Jupiter carrying off the Phoenician princess, Europa, to Greece, (= the first planting of a colony of the Ancient Church in Europe), and of the tradition of her brother, Cadmus, who is said to have brought the knowledge of letters to Greece. Later on, as the Ancient Church declined, the missionary zeal became corrupted by the love of natural gain, and trade flourished at the expense of the gentile converts, as has been the case also among Christian missionaries. First the evangelist and the Bible; then the trader and the fire-water; finally the gun, the "concessions," and the "hinterland!" But the gentiles of Greece and Italy, having appropriated the cognitions and scientifics of their Phoenician mentors, one day turned on their oppressive teachers, and behold, Tyre and Carthage were no more!
97. The Amorites. Besides the specific Canaanites, directly descended from the original stock, a great number of other tribes are included under the general term of "Canaanites." They were probably side-lines, more or less mixed with remnants of the Aborigines. Of these tribes the most powerful were the Amorites, who first appeared on the western shore of the Dead Sea, in the neighborhood of Engeddi, but later on took possession of the eastern bank of the Jordan, founding there the kingdoms of Heshbon and Bashan, some centuries before the time of Moses.
The name of this people was derived from the root amar, to show, declare, say, to boast, to be lofty, and it was given to them either on account of their proud and arrogant character, or because of their lofty stature,—perhaps for both reasons. The prophet Amos says of them that "their height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oak." (2:9) Very likely they derived this gigantic size, as well as their evil tendencies, from intermarriages with the remnant of the Rephaim who preceded them in the land of Gilead and Bashan.
At any rate, when the Israelites were about to invade the land of Canaan, we find two giant kings, both of the stock of the Rephaim, reigning over the Amorites: Sihon, king of Heshbon, and Og, king of Bashan, and these two were the most formidable of all the chieftains who opposed the children of Israel. But Sihon was beaten at Jahaz, and Og at Edrei. Afterwards, when the remnant of the Amorites saw that the cities of Jericho and Ai had been taken by Israel, five of their "kings" united in a last stand to oppose the invaders with an army of three hundred thousand men, (probably purely representative figures). These, also, were overthrown by Israel, first at Gibeon, and finally at Merom. A remnant of the tribe survived in some mountain fastnesses near Mt. Hermon, where they existed even in the time of Solomon.
In the Word the Amorites sometimes stand for the Canaanites in general, (as in Genesis 15:16, Joshua 24:18, Judges 6:10), and this agrees with the fact that Palestine is first mentioned in the Assyrian inscriptions under the name of Mat Awurru, the land of the Amorites. Hence this people signified "evil in general, because the land of Canaan was called the land of the Amorites signifying all the nations of the land of Canaan, by which are signified evils and falses specifically. Hence by the Amorites are signified all evils in general." (A. C. 1857.)
More specifically the Amorites "signify evils originating not so much from falsities of doctrine as from the lusts of the loves of self and the world." (AC 6859) But the five kings of the Amorites, (because kings signify leading principles of truth or falsity), "represent those who are in the falses of evil, and who will destroy the truths of good in the Church; wherefore they were slain by hailstones from heaven; which signifies that they were destroyed and perished by their own falses of evil." (AE 503.) As they lived chiefly beyond the Jordan, the Amorites signify relatively external evil, opposed to the external good signified by the tribes of Gad and Manasseh, to whom the land of the Amorites was given after the conquest.
98. The Jebusites were a tribe dwelling to the west of the Jordan, between the Hittites and the Amorites, where they had founded the city of Jebus. This is supposed to be identical with the city of Salem, of which Melchizedek was the king in the time of Abraham. The full name of this city is thought to have been "Jebusalem," (the peace of Jebus), which after the Israelitish conquest was changed to "Jerusalem," (the vision of peace). However this may be, it is certain that Jerusalem was originally inhabited by Jebusites, who, in the time of Joshua, were governed by King Adonizedek. The latter united with the five kings of the Amorites in opposing the Israelites and was slain at Makkedah. After the death of Joshua the tribe of Judah captured Jerusalem and set it on fire, but the citadel itself remained in the hands of the Jebusites until it was taken by David, (2 Sam. 5:7). Some of the original inhabitants, however, remained unmolested in the city, and it was from one of these, Araunah, that David purchased the threshing-floor upon which the temple of Jerusalem was afterwards raised. (2 Sam. 24:20-25.) The courtesy and generosity of this Jebusite in the transaction present a very pleasing feature of ancient charity. The Jebusites were suffered to remain as tributaries in the city under the reign of Solomon, and continued there even until the return of the Jews from Babylon. (Ezra 9.) "That by the Jebusites are represented those who were in idolatry, but in which there is something of truth, is evident from the fact that they were long tolerated in Jerusalem, and were not driven out of it." (AC 6860.)
99. The Perizzites were a scattered tribe of people dwelling in the forest hill-country of Judah and Ephraim. Their name is supposed to have been derived from a root, paraz, signifying to be scattered about, removed, separated. They are continually mentioned in the lists of Canaanitish tribes, (except in the original genealogy of the sons of Canaan in Genesis 10), but hardly any particulars are recorded of them. The Writings inform us that the Perizzites signify falsity, when the other Canaanites signify evils, (AC 1868), and this falsity such as originates in the evil of the lusts of the loves of self and the world. (AC 6859.)
100. The Kenites were another somewhat obscure tribe of nomads. In the time of Abraham they possessed part of the land of Canaan itself, but in the time of Moses they pastured their flocks in the neighborhood of Mt. Sinai. Jethro, the father- in-law of Moses, was a Kenite, though he is also spoken of as a priest of the Hebrew Midianites. A portion of this tribe insisted upon joining the Israelites upon their wanderings in the wilderness, and they afterwards received dwellings on the southern border of Judah. (Judges 1:16.) Later on we find some of them in northern Palestine, in the region of Napthali, where Jael, wife of Heber, the Kenite, treacherously slew Sisera, the Syrian captain, in her tent. They always appear to have cultivated friendly relations with the Israelites.
101. The Girgashites are mentioned together with the Jebusites, but their special territory is unknown. The Kenizzites, the Arkites, the Arvadites, the Eadmonites, the Sinites, and the Zemarites, were all of them small tribes inhabiting the Phoenician seaboard, at the foot of Mt. Lebanon, and represented in general "falsities which are to be expelled from the kingdom of the Lord." (AC 1867.) The Hamathites, are mentioned last among the descendants of Canaan. They had established quite a powerful kingdom in Coele-Syria with their capital at the city of Hamath on the Orontes.
102. The Philistines. We come now to a small but important people which, though not Canaanites by direct descent, yet must be classed with them, not only because of their location within Palestine, but more especially because of their religion, national character, and internal signification. Throughout the greater part of the history of Israel the Philistines figure as the most dangerous and the most persistent of all the enemies of the Church, and for this reason it is necessary to gain a very clear and definite idea of their representation in the Scriptures.
The land of the Philistines included the whole of the southern coast of Canaan, extending from Joppa to the desert of Shur, a region noted in ancient times for the extreme richness of its soil. The standing corn of the Philistines, their vineyards, olive groves, and wealth, are frequently mentioned in the Word. And besides its natural products, the land was at the same time of great commercial and political importance, commanding as it did the only highway between Egypt and Canaan. Through this region the whole over-land trade between the two countries had to pass, as must also the armies of Egypt, Syria, Assyria, and Babylonia in all their military expeditions.
Their natural situation, as well as their ruling loves, thus made of the Philistines a nation of fighters as well as agriculturists and merchants, able to hold their own against apparently overwhelming odds. And this ability is all the more remarkable from the fact that they never constituted one consolidated monarchy, but always remained a confederation of independent little states, each with its own capital and prince. There were five of these Philistine states, Gaza, Ashdod, Askelon, Gath, and Ekron, of which Gaza was the most powerful. Besides agriculture and commerce the Philistines seemed to have attained a considerable degree of external civilization, deriving their arts and sciences from Egypt, while their religion was distinctly influenced by the Phoenicians.
The Egyptian monuments, with their skilful and characteristic representations of all kinds of peoples and tribes, have preserved carefully drawn pictures also of the Pulasatu or Philistines,— tall, formidable men, with fierce countenances, strongly curved noses, and cruel eyes and mouths. On their head they wore a crown of feathers, almost like the head-dress of the American Indians. Cruelty, treacherous cunning, unrelenting hatred, and unbreakable obstinacy are portrayed in these pictures, and these qualities also stand forth as their chief national characteristics in the Old Testament history.
The origin of the Philistines is regarded by modern archeologists as shrouded in impenetrable mystery. The genealogical table of Gen., chap. 10, tells us, indeed, that Ham begat Mizraim (or Egypt), and that "Mizraim begat Ludim and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtukim, and Pathrusim, and Cashluhim, out of whom came Philistim, and Caphtorim."
It is the words "out of whom came" that have thrown doubt upon the Egyptian origin of the Philistines and have opened the door for all kinds of learned conjectures and theories. Some have "proved" that they were Pelasgians, others that they were Cretans, or a remnant of the Hyksos, etc. The Writings of the New Church, however, inform us that all the sons of Mizraim were so many nations, and that the Philistim were "a nation which was thence," (gentem quae inde, AC 1196), and we need therefore have no doubt as to their actual Egyptian origin.
The words "out of whom came" are, however, carefully noted and explained in the Writings as an unusual' expression. "They are not said to have been begotten by those who were from Egypt, but that they came forth, because they were not such as reason from natural sciences concerning spiritual and celestial things, and thus make doctrinals for themselves, as ' did those concerning whom above, but they, [the Philistines], learn the cognitions of faith from another source. ... Thus the science of the cognitions of faith is distinct from the science of natural things, so that they hardly communicate, wherefore they are not said to have been begotten of them, but that they came forth." (AC 1198.) This "other source," from which the Philistines learned the cognitions of faith was Phoenicia, which most especially signifies such cognitions. Because of their Egyptian blood they signify science, but because of their Canaanitish teachers in religion they signify the science of cognitions. The reason for their divergence from the purely Egyptian genius may be found in the fact that they intermingled with remnants of the Nephilim, such as the Avim who preceded them in the land, and the Anakim who were driven out of Hebron, and from whom came Goliath of Gath and his fearsome relations. The name "Philistine" means literally "wanderers," "immigrants," pointing at once to their foreign origin and to their erroneous tenets in the things of religion.
But little is known of the history of the Philistines outside of the references in the Old Testament. They were settled in the land even in the time of Abraham and Isaac, both of whom sojourned among them for many days. At the time of the Exodus they were a strong and formidable people, too powerful to be permanently dislodged by Joshua at the time of the Conquest. During the entire period of the Judges they remained a constant thorn in the side of Israel; the helpless pastoral people being continually infested by the guerilla warfare of the Philistines, who again and again overwhelmed and cruelly oppressed them. Great deliverers, such as Shamgar and Samson, were raised up to save the people, but renewed disobedience to the will of Jehovah continually brought upon them renewed oppression and even the ark was captured. Saul himself was slain by the Philistines at Mt. Gilboa, and no permanent deliverance was effected until David effectually crushed the ancient enemy. After the division of the kingdom into Israel and Judah, the Philistines again raised their heads and began to infest the weakened monarchies, but not as in the time of the Judges, for they now had to fight against the incoming tide of Assyrians, Persians, and finally the Greeks. Gaza held out until the time of Alexander the Great, when, after an obstinate defence of two months, the city was taken and destroyed in the year 332 B. C. Henceforth the Philistines appear no more in history.
The religion of the Philistines was of distinctly Phoenician or Canaanitish character, defiled by the same horrible idols and monstrous practices, such as human sacrifice, etc. Their chief god, Dagon, was only a modification of the old Babylonian fish-god, Dagan or Nin. His female counterpart, the mermaid, Atergatis or Derceto, was the Philistine form of Ashteroth or Ishtar. Beelzebub or Baalzebul was simply a local Baal. Magical practices were greatly in vogue, and ridiculous amulets such as golden mice and "emerods" were venerated. It was a religion degenerated and devastated to the last degree.
103. The Science of Cognitions. Originally, however, the religion of the Philistines had its proper place in the Theology of the Ancient Church, as did the religions of Egypt and Phoenicia. It was shown above, (n. 46), that in the spiritual economy of the Silver Age Egypt represented and filled the place of Science, the knowledge of natural things, while Phoenicia and Syria represented cognitions or the knowledge of spiritual things. And so, also, Philistia, intermediate between the two, represented the science of cognitions "the science of the cognitions of faith and charity" (AC 1197), "the science of doctrinal things" (AC 3365), "the science of the interior things of faith," (AC 9340), —in other words, the knowledge of the doctrinals of the Church, reduced to a systematic science, and regarded from a purely scientific point of view,—in short, systematic Theology.
Now, there is nothing essentially wrong in the love of the science of cognitions, or of systematic Theology On the contrary, it is of the utmost importance, inasmuch as there is no way of entering into the Church from 'the Egypt of Science, or from the Sea of literal conceptions, except by the land of the Philistines, (where Joppa affords the only harbor on the coast), that is, except by systematically studying the coherent doctrines of the Church. Originally, the Philistines were a respectable and necessary people of the Ancient Church, (AC 1238, 9340). It is absolutely necessary for one who is to become an interior member of the Church to "sojourn" for a time in the land of the Philistines, to acquire a systematic knowledge of the Heavenly Doctrine, as an exact and coherent science, in the natural memory. It was on this account that Abraham, "who represented the celestial things of faith, sojourned there, and made a covenant with them; similarly Isaac, by whom were represented the spiritual things of faith; but not Jacob, for by him were represented the external things of the Church," (AC 1197). And David, also, in his days of trouble, found a refuge among the Philistines, in order to represent, prophetically, the supreme fact that the Lord Himself, in His process of glorification, "adjoined to the doctrine of faith very many things from the science of human cognitions." (A. C. 2726). The Philistines, therefore, had a good representation as well as an evil one, and in the good sense they signify those "who are solely in the doctrinals of faith, and as to life are in good, but in the good of truth." (AC 3463.) That is, those who are in the affection of truth for the sake of knowing it, but not yet equally interested in the application of this knowledge to the good of life. Such an affection is unavoidable in the first states of regeneration.
But in the process of time, as the Philistines confirmed themselves in this love, and refused to conjoin the good of charity to their faith, they became a scandal to their brethren in the Ancient Church, and the name of "Philistine" now began to be applied to "all those who studied life but little, and doctrine much, and who spoke much about faith, and that salvation is in faith, and yet had no life of faith." (AC 1197). Thus Philistinism came to be the generic term for faith alone, for the state of those "who believe that the mere interior sight of the natural man is the same as faith, and that men are saved by this sight, denying that the good of charity effects anything," (AE 386).
The inevitable result of such a persuasion was the cessation of all spiritual life and growth, the Philistines remaining merely natural men, excusing their filthy lusts and evil life as mere "weakness of the flesh." which would not condemn a true and orthodox believer. And thus they became known as "uncircumcised" Philistines, because the foreskin of self-love was never removed. In correspondence with this internal state they actually rejected the rite of circumcision which was practiced by their Egyptian ancestors.
Having separated charity from their faith, the latter now became the opposite of faith, perverting all their truths of doctrine into malignant and monstrous falsities. They now set themselves to the work of hatching out a Theology of false doctrines, (still systematic), by which to defend their persuasion of Faith alone, exactly in the manner in which the Protestant theologians hatched out the doctrines of the Unfree Will, the Vicarious Atonement, the Imputation of the Merit of Christ, and finally Predestination, in defending their primary proposition of Salvation by Faith alone. This is what is meant by the words of Isaiah: "Rejoice not thou whole Philistia, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken; for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent." (Is. 14:29.)
Thus, by a gradual process of degeneration, the Philistines became the open, persistent, and implacable enemies of genuine religion. They did not want to know the interior truths which demanded the shunning of evils and the works of charity, and therefore they "could not but deny that there is an internal sense of the Word." (AC 3427.) They loved to "fill up the wells of Abraham with dust," by choking up all interior understanding of the Word by merely literal and scientific interpretations, even as they put out the eyes of Samson, (the truth of the sense of the letter). But they took up kindly with the "giants of the race of Anak," the remnant of the direful race of Antediluvians who, like the giants of modern science, believed that Man is the only god in existence and that God is the "noblest production of man." We find a similar alliance at this day between false Theology and monstrous scientific persuasions.
As the Philistines remained for ages the most persistent oppressors of Israel, so the corresponding spirits of faith alone are most persistently infesting every regenerating man of the Church. The very possession of interior truth is continually used by them to suggest the idea of salvation by faith alone, and generally the fight against them is no better than the struggles of Israel against the Philistines. The combat is the fight of a life-time, and no mere man can conquer them. But the Divine Truth, in the letter and in the spirit, will be too strong for them in the end. They may cut off the hair of Samson, put out his eyes, and compel him to grind in their prison house, bound in unbreakable chains. They may pervert the true meaning of the literal sense, destroy its genuine understanding, and make it confirm their false dogmas. But the day of Judgment has come upon them. The hair of Samson has begun to grow again, and his power to return to his mighty arms. The truth of the letter has been restored, and by this very letter even the simple can now overthrow the two main pillars of the temple of the Philistines,—the doctrines of Faith alone and the Vicarious Atonement. For the Divine David, the Lord in His Second Coming, has now come to deliver His people, and though the Giants may laugh at the very idea of an internal sense in the Word, they are ultimately doomed to destruction by a sling-shot in their forehead from a smooth stone out of the Brook of the new Divine Revelation.
104. The Semitic Race. A third race of people now makes its appearance on the soil of Canaan, different alike from the Aborigines and from the Hamitic Canaanites, a race which in seven branches completely encircled the land, with Israel enthroned in their midst. These seven branches, the Amalekites, the Ishmaelites, the Midianites, the Edomites, the Moabites, the Ammonites, and the Aramceans, were all of the race of Shem, the eldest son of Noah, known as "eldest" because representing the most genuine part of the Ancient Church. By Shem is signified Charity, and he was called Shem (or "name"), because "name" stands for "quality," and Charity was the very essential quality of the Ancient or Spiritual Church. The Semites, also, longer than the rest of the Ancient Church, remained in the worship of the one true God, whom they knew under the name of Jehovah; and though this race also in the course of time fell into idolatry, yet there lingered with some of the an hereditary disposition towards Monotheism, which sprang into life again and again. This tendency re-appeared first in Eber and his descendants of the Hebrew Church and then in Israel and his posterity, culminating, finally, in Jesus Christ our Lord, who, through His Semitic mother, was "an Hebrew of the Hebrews." And when the Christian Church fell into the worship of three gods instead of the One, the Lord in His Mercy permitted the Arabs,—a Semitic and Hebrew nation—to establish far and wide on the ruins of the Ancient and the Christian Churches in the Orient, the worship of One, albeit invisible, God.
Ages ago, perhaps four thousand years B. C., the race of Shem made its first appearance in History. Whence they came is not perfectly known, but it seems to us that they must have come from over the mountains of Elam, since Elam is mentioned in the tenth chapter of Genesis as the "first born" son of Shem. From hence they descended upon the corrupt civilization of Ham in Chaldea, subduing or driving away the original inhabitants who, in successive streams of emigration, settled in various parts of the world. These are known as the "sons of Ham," of whom Mizraim took possession of Egypt, Cush of Ethiopia and eastern Asia, Phut of Libya, and Canaan of the Holy Land. The Semitic conquerors having firmly established their dominion in Babylonia, now sent forth colonizing expeditions which, as "sons of Shem," gave the name of Asshur to Assyria, Arphaxad to Mesopotamia, Lud to Lydia, and Aram to Syria. But, together with great worldly dominion, an internal decline now set in amongst the Semites. The corrupt priesthood of the ancient Chaldeans, having submitted to the conquerors, managed to seduce the latter into an acceptance of the magical and idolatrous practices of the older religion, even as the Roman Catholic priesthood converted the conquering Goths and Franks and Northmen in the beginning of the Dark Ages. Idolatry became universal in the Ancient Church, but the knowledge of the purer doctrines remained with Arphaxad in Mesopotamia, (AC 1329), and from this stock there arose in time a great reformer,—the first actual person mentioned in Genesis,—by the name of Eber.
105. Eber and the Hebrew Church. The name Eber literally means "passing over," and he was so named because he was to be the means by which the doctrines and worship of the Ancient Church passed over to the Israelitish Church. When the knowledge of Jehovah had been forgotten everywhere else, Eber revived His worship and at the same time established a new and reformed cultus or Church, the chief ritual of which was the sacrifice of animals. This rite did not exist in the Ancient Church itself, but it was now permitted in order to divert the fallen Church from the horrible practice of human sacrifice. This new Church is known to us as the Hebrew or Second Ancient Church.
The rite of animal sacrifice was quickly adopted by all the nations descended from the Ancient Church; it spread all over the world even though the worship of Jehovah and the doctrines of the Hebrew Church were not generally accepted. The reformatory movement of Eber proved to be but a temporary check upon the downward rush of the Silver Age to its final consummation and judgment. In this it was similar to the reformatory movement of Enoch before the Flood, of Ezra and Nehemiah before the dispersion of the Jews, and of Luther and Calvin before the Last Judgment.
The historical and spiritual significance of Eber, as revealed in the Writings of the New Church, finds interesting confirmation from the traditions of the Jews. It is known to them that it is from him they are called "Hebrews," (Ebrim), and that he was so great a man as to reflect glory upon his ancestor, Shem, who is designated "the father of all the children of Eber," (Gen. 10:21). They know also that while there were many other Hebrew nations in ancient times, the Jews are Hebrews par excellence, "because they they regard themselves as the only ones of the descendants of Eber who have retained his faith (see Ibn Ezra's Comment ad Jon. I:9).
106. The Hebrews. The reformatory movement instituted by Eber was not only of relatively small influence but also of short duration, lasting but four or five generations. Of his two sons the elder was named Peleg ("division"), "because in his days was the earth divided," i.e., the true worshippers in the Church were separated from the idolaters. (AC 1240.) By him, also, is represented "the internal worship" of the Hebrew Church, while by his younger brother, Joktan, ("little one"), is signified its external worship. The latter had thirteen sons, who became ancestors or chieftains of so many Syrian and Arabic tribes, and it is possible that some of these are identical with the mysterious Hyksos or "Shepherd Kings," who conquered and retained possession of Egypt for five hundred years, and who forced upon the Egyptians the rite of animal sacrifices. This fact seems to indicate that the Hyksos were Hebrews; they also introduced into Egypt the worship of the gods Set and Aten, which are the same as the Hebrew divinities Shaddai and Adonai.
Even in the time of Peleg a decline seems to have commenced in the Hebrew Church, for while in the tenth chapter of Genesis Peleg signifies "internal worship," in the next chapter, after the account of the Tower of Babel, he is again mentioned and now he stands for external worship. (AC 1345.) His son, Reu, represents "worship still more external;" Reu's son, Serug, signifies "worship in externals;" Serug's son, Nahor, "worship verging towards idolatry;" and Nahor's son, Terah., signifies actual "idolatrous worship." (AC 1346-1353.) This steady decline is consummated in the next generation: Terah dwelt in "Ur of the Chaldees," which stands for idolatry in general, and here he had three sons, of whom Abram signifies "idolatry from the love of self," Nahor, "idolatry from the love of the world," and Haran, "idolatry from the love of pleasures." (AC 1 357) The beginning of a new and better state, in preparation for a new Church, is indicated by the return of Terah with his family to the ancestral seats in Mesopotamia,—i. e., a return to the worship of their fathers and "the instruction of these idolaters in the celestial and spiritual things of faith, in order that a Representative Church might thence come into existence." (AC 1373.)
We need not dwell at length upon the well-known story of Abraham. Having been previously reduced to a complete state of gentilism, he and his family were "better fitted to receive the seeds of truth than others in Syria, with whom the knowledge of Jehovah still remained," (even until the time of Balaam, the prophet, AC 1366). But though they were no longer in clanger of profaning the new revelation about to be given to them, yet even to Abraham the name of Jehovah was concealed, for the Lord God introduced Himself to Abraham under the name of Shaddai, who was the special family God of Terah. The new Covenant as a matter of fact had but little influence upon the faith and life of Abraham and his immediate descendants. The "father of a multitude" had small regard for truthfulness and decency: and it is evident that he still inclined to infant sacrifices, as is shown by his attempt to offer up the child Isaac upon the altar of his god. Shaddai, and all the nations which descended from him remained in idolatory, with the sole exception of the Israelites who several hundred years afterwards for the first time heard the name Jehovah as revealed to Moses. The other Hebrew nations not only accepted the false persuasions and evil practices of the neighboring Canaanites, but were in general bitterly hostile to Jehovah and those who worshipped Him. As blood-relations of the Israelites these nations sometimes represent collateral goods and truths, the states of the "simple good" among the Gentiles, but as enemies of Jehovah and His chosen people they more generally stand for evils and falses of a more interior and deadly character than those represented by the Hamitic Canaanites. These Hebrew nations figure very largely in the sacred history, and it is therefore of great importance to gain a well defined idea of the character and significance of each and all.
107. The Amalekites, (so named from amalak, to "snatch away"), were an ancient and at one time powerful people of nomads, dwelling in the wilderness of Shur and the peninsula of Sinai. As to their purely Hebrew origin there is some doubt, yet they must be classed among the Hebrew nations not only because of the identity of their name with that of Amalek, the grandson of Esau, but also because of their Hebraic language and tribal characteristics.
In the Scriptures the Amalekites are first mentioned in Genesis 14 where it is stated that Chedorlaomer, the king of Elam, "smote all the country of the Amalekites,"—and this at least two centuries before the birth of the Hebrew Amalek. These original Amalekites, according to Arabian historians, were descendants of Aram and Lud, thus of Semitic origin, but they seem to have been mixed also with aboriginal and Canaanitish elements. By them are signified falsities which give birth to evils, not falsities arising from evil, but
false or heretical doctrines which begin from an origin outside of the will, and such as man has imbibed from infancy and then confirmed in adult age. But because they are false they cannot but produce evils of life; as, for instance, a man who believes that he merits salvation by means of works and confirms himself in this belief, with him the merit, the self-justification and the self-confidence, are the evils which result thence. Or, on the other hand, a man who believes there can be no piety of life unless merit be placed in works, with him the evil thence resulting is that he extinguishes with himself all life of piety and gives himself up to lusts and pleasures. (AC 1679.)
Such, then, were the falsities represented by the earlier Amalekites. When they next appear in the sacred history they still represent falsities, but now of a much more direful kind, i. e., "falsities from interior evils." The first false persuasions and heresies have now not only resulted in the inevitable evils of life, but these evils themselves have given birth to a new generation of falsities, falsities from evil, excusing and confirming evils, malignant falsities of the very worst kind, persistently and cunningly striving to destroy the truths and goods of the Church.
In perfect correspondence with this their representation, the Amalekites themselves henceforth stand forth in the Word as a horde of fierce marauders, treacherous and murderous like the modern Tuaregs of Sahara, lying in wait for the travellers in the wilderness, or suddenly descending like devastating locusts upon the country districts of Canaan.
These were the enemies against whom the weak and doubting children of Israel had to contend in the very first battle after their flight from Egypt. They had been murmuring against Jehovah because they could find no water to drink, but Moses had struck the rock in Horeb with his staff, and water had issued forth. Then Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim, and "they smote the hindmost, all' the infirm in thee, when thou wast tired and weary, nor feared he God." (Deut. 25:17.) The battle waged to and fro; as long as Moses could hold his hands lifted up to God, Israel prevailed, but when from weariness he let his hands fall, Amalek prevailed. Finally Aaron and Hur came to support the hands of their brother, even until the setting of the sun, and then Joshua "weakened Amalek and his people at the mouth of the sword." And Moses "wrote this memorial in a book: that blotting out I will blot out the memory of Amalek from under the heavens, and Jehovah shall have war against Amalek from generation to generation." (Exodus 17.)
This memorable battle typically describes the temptation combats of the nascent Church against those infernal genii who are represented by the Amalekites. "These never attack man openly, nor when he is in the vigor of resistance; but when it appears that the man is inclining to yield, then they are suddenly at hand and impel him to fall altogether." (AC 8593.) That Israel "now prevailed, and now Amalek, represented that those who are of the Spiritual Church cannot be in the faith that continually looks to the Lord, but are alternately in a faith that regards self and the world, for they who are of that Church are in obscurity, and thence in weakness as to faith." (8607.) The enemies are of such cunning that "it would be all over with the man of the Church, for they would act most secretly upon the conscience, and would pervert it, and this by the exciting of depraved cupidities." (8593.) Victory over them can be gained only by a supreme combined effort of all that is best in the man in supporting his wavering faith; it is done with difficulty, but it can be done.
As for the Amalekites, those who are in falsity from interior evil, they are doomed to utter destruction in time to come.
Henceforth there was implacable hatred between the Israelites and the Amalekites. Not only did the latter prevent the chosen people from entering Canaan directly from the south; but even after the Conquest, and during the entire period of the Judges, they allied themselves with the enemies of Israel, joining variously the Ammonites and the Midianites in their descents upon the Holy Land.
The Amalekites, indeed, represent "those falsities of evil which continually infest the truths and goods of the Church," (AE 734), and "hence it was that Amalek was not exterminated either by Joshua, or afterwards by the Judges and the Kings." (AC 8607.) Saul was commanded to blot out the hateful marauders, but in spite of a most decisive victory he disobeyed the commands of Samuel and spared Agag, their king. The Amalekites gradually recovered something of their former power, and though David afterwards put the whole nation to the sword, yet four hundred of them "rode upon camels and fled." (1 Sam. 30:17.) It was not until the reign of Hezekiah, near the end of the kingdom of Judah, that a body of warriors from the tribe of Simeon went up to Mt. Seir, and "smote the rest of the Amalekites that had escaped." (1 Chron. 4:43)
108. The Ishmaelites. Of all the Hebrew kinsmen of Israel, none have played so important a role in the history of the world as the Ishmaelites, or, rather, their direct descendants, the Arabs. In Scriptural times, however, they were not yet a great nation, and they are but seldom mentioned in the Word.
As there were Amalekites before Amalek, the grandson of Esau, so it seems there were Ishmaelites before the time of Ishmael, the son of Abraham by Hagar, for we read of Joseph being sold by his brethren to "a company of Ishmaelites coming from Gideon." (Gen. 37:25.) Now while Ishmael had many sons, they would scarcely in the very next generation have been a distinct people and mentioned as if they were utter strangers. The explanation, as in the case of Amalek, seems to be that Ishmael had attained the position of chieftain with some desert tribe which henceforth became known by his name. The Arabs, who all claim Ishmael as their common ancestor, have a legend that Hagar, having been expelled by Sarah, ran about in the desert, vainly seeking for water. Little Ishmael, being left alone, began to kick and cry; thus he struck the ground with his foot, and immediately a spring of water appeared. Soon afterwards a wandering tribe found Hagar with the child by a fountain which had never before been known in the desert; being told of the miracle which had been wrought, the tribe adopted Ishmael who afterwards married the daughter of the chief and founded a royal line from which sprang the tribe of Koreish in Mecca, the tribe to which Mohammed belonged. Ishmael himself lived as a prophet as well as a patriarch amongst them, died at the age of 130 years, and was buried with his mother in the Kaaba in Mecca.
There may be some elements of historic truth in this legend, though it may be doubted if Ishmael ever went as far south as Mecca. From the story in Genesis we learn that he was circumcised by his father at the age of thirteen years, that he was caught "mocking" at the festivities when Isaac was weaned; on this account he and his mother were sent forth into the wilderness where, after the well of water had been discovered, "God was with the lad, and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness of Paran, and became an archer, and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt." (Gen. 21:20.) His relations with Abraham and Isaac seem to have been friendly, and he assisted in the burial of his father.
It was prophecied of Ishmael that he should be "a wild-ass man; his hand shall be against all, and the hand of all against him; and he shall dwell over against the face of all his brethren." (Gen. 16:12.) The wild-ass of the Arabian desert is a peculiarly shy, fleet, pugnacious and untamable beast, and because of these qualities it has become the Biblical symbol for the first youthful degree of the rational with the regenerating man, a state when as yet he thinks from truth only, and not at the same time from good. This state is also signified by Ishmael, and therefore the spiritual Ishmaelite is described as
Such is the first state of every man who from natural is becoming spiritual. It is an inevitable temporary state, and also a most necessary state, because the spiritual can be born only in the rational. If the man persistently remains in this state of truth alone, he becomes a spiritual Bedouin, a fierce and unmerciful marauder of the desert, but if gradually he permits charity to temper his harsh judgment, he becomes a man of the Lord's Spiritual Church, and an Ishmaelite in the good sense. For Ishmael stands also for the Spiritual Church, and the Spiritual Kingdom in the Heavens, and this is what is meant by the prophecy that "I will put him for a great nation." (Gen. 21:18; AC 2699.) In a literal sense, also, this prophecy has been most remarkably fulfilled in the history of Arabia and of Islam.
As a tribe, the Ishmaelites were idolaters; like the other Hebrew nations they adopted the gods of the neighboring Canaanites, but there is evidence in the Arabic traditions that remains of monotheism and true worship lingered amongst them even to the time of Mohammed who so quickly gained a great following. Prophets are said to have been raised up from time to time who rebuked the Arabs for their idolatry and reminded them of the purer worship of their fathers, Ibrahim and Ishmael. The Ancient Word also existed at one time in Arabia, and the science of correspondences was cultivated there. (SS 21, 102.) And that "wisdom flourished in Arabia appears from the coming of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon, and from the three wise men of the East." (Coronis 41.) Hence we may not be surprised that the twelve sons of Ishmael signify "all things which are of the Spiritual Church, especially with the Gentiles," (AC 3268), and that the Ishmaelites as a tribe represent "those who as to life are in simple good, and therefore as to doctrine in natural truth." (3263.)
The sons of Ishmael also stand for so many "lands or nations which are all named from the sons or grandsons of Abraham." (3268.) The eldest son was named Nebaioth, (from a root meaning "to well" or "spring forth," evidently in commemoration of the miraculous springing forth of the well in the story of Ishmael and Hagar). His descendants were the Nabataei, a tribe in the north of Arabia which became an important nation in the time of Alexander the Great, forming the independent kingdom of Nabatene to the south of the land of Edom which they afterward conquered. In the course of time they spread their dominion throughout the whole of Arabia.
The second son, Kedar, ("powerful"), gave his name to Arabia as a whole, in the Hebrew tongue. "Arabia was named from a son of Ishmael," (AC 3268), and Kedar was both powerful and wealthy, for we read frequently in the Word of "the tents of Kedar," "the villages and flocks of Kedar," and "the glory of Kedar." They long controlled the trans-Arabian trade between India and Phoenicia, but in time merged with the Nabatoeans.
The Ishmaelites seem to have been closely connected with the Midianites, and sometimes the names of the two tribes appear to be used synonymously in the Word. Thus the Midianites who were slain by Gideon "had ear-rings of gold, because they were Ishmaelites," Judges 8:24), the ear-rings of gold signifying "the things of simple good," (i. e., obedience, AC 3263). Again, in the story of the betrayal of Joseph by his brethren, the Ishmaelites are curiously associated with the Midianites, for it is first stated that the brethren "beheld a company of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt." (Gen. 37:25.) Judah then proposed to sell Joseph to these Ishmaelites, but in the meantime "there passed by Midianite merchantmen, and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit; and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver, and they brought Joseph into Egypt." The chapter concludes with the statement that "the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar," (v. 36), but in the next verse, (the first of Chap. 38), it is stated that Potiphar "bought him of the hands of the Ishmaelites, which had brought him down thither."
The apparent contradictions in this intricate story disappear in the internal sense. Joseph here represents the Divine Truth, especially this supreme or inmost truth that the Human of the Lord is Divine, (AC 4731), a truth which was especially betrayed by the Christian Church. The Ishmaelites represent those who are in simple good, and the Midianites those who are in the truth of that good, (AC 4747); thus the former stand for the celestial and internal, and the latter for the spiritual and external man. Now, "those who are internal men cannot sell, that is, alienate the Divine Truth represented by Joseph, because they perceive truth from good; hence they are not led away by the fallacies of the senses, consequently neither by scientifics. But they who are external men can sell or alienate, because they do not perceive truth from good, but acquire the knowledge of it only from doctrines and teachers, and if they consult scientifics, they suffer themselves to be easily led away by fallacies, for they have no dictate within. It is for this reason that Joseph was not sold by the Ishmaelites, but by the Midianites." (AC 4788.) "Hence it is evident that it is so said for the sake of the internal sense. Nor are the historicals contradictory to one another; for it is said of the Midianites that they drew Joseph out of the pit; consequently he was by them delivered to the Ishmaelites, by whom he was brought down into Egypt. Thus the Midianites, as they delivered him to the Ishmaelites who were going to Egypt, did sell him to Egypt." (AC 4968.)
109. The Midianites. After the death of Sarah, "Abraham added and took a woman, and her name was Keturah. And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah." (Gen. 25:1, 2.) Abraham and Sarah signify in general the Lord as to the Divine Celestial, but Abraham with his second wife, Keturah, signify the Lord as to the Divine Spiritual. The offspring of this second marriage consequently signify "common lots of the Lord's Spiritual Kingdom in the heavens and on the earths, with their derivations." (AC 3234, 3238.) Of this generation springing from Keturah only the descendants of Midian reached any historical prominence: the latter, however, are mentioned frequently in the Word, and by them are signified, in a good sense, those of the Spiritual Kingdom who are in the truth of simple good, just as their cousins, the Ishmaelites, signify those who are in simple good itself. (AC 4747) Those who are in such truth have no internal perception, and therefore are easily persuaded by fallacies from the senses, and when they are thus persuaded, they no longer represent the truth of simple good, but the falsity of evil, and it is in this latter sense that the Midianites most generally figure in the Word. Whether in a good or evil sense, people of this purely intellectual and spiritual character are argumentative and contentious, and this is expressed in a word by the name Midian, which means "strife" or "contention."
We are told that Abraham "gave all that he had to Isaac," but unto the sons that he had by his concubines he "gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac, his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country." (Gen. 25:5, 6.) In the case of Midian this "east country" included the district to the south and east of Edom, Moab, and Ammon,—now a complete wilderness but in ancient times a fertile region, studded with villages and towns, the ruins of which may still be seen. One branch of the Midianites, known as "Kenites," dwelt in Sinai, near Mt. Horeb; it was among them Moses found refuge during his years of exile, and here he married Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, the priest of Midian. As a distinct tribe the Midianites first appear, together with the Ishmaelites, in the story of the betrayal of Joseph, and they are here introduced as "merchantmen" engaged in trade with Egypt, bringing thither from Gilead the balm, frankincense and myrrh, which the Egyptians required for the embalming of their dead. From this trade, and also from their teeming herds of cattle, together with some agriculture, the Midianites became a rich and powerful people, but, like the rest of the Hebrews round about Canaan, they were idolaters and steeped in the vices of the neighboring Canaanites.
For their Israelitish kinsmen they always entertained a whole-souled hatred. When Moses and the ten tribes wished to pass through the country of the Midianites, the latter opposed them by every means. At first they united with the Moabites in sending for Balaam, the Syrian prophet, to put the curse upon the dangerous invaders, but when the intended curse was turned into a blessing, the Midianites, on the advice of Balaam, (Numbers 31:16), tried to accomplish the destruction of Israel through a most foul method: the women of the Midianites enticed the men of Israel to the lascivious worship of Baal Peor, the lord of the phallus. This infamous fornication, practiced in the name of religion, resulted in a "plague" which would have ruined the chosen people, had it not been checked by the drastic measures of Moses. Terrible was the vengeance visited upon Midian. Phineas, the grandson of Aaron, with a force of 12000 men, penetrated into the heart of the land of Midian, burning their cities and castles, putting to death all the married men, women, and male children within reach, and making slaves of all the young women. The booty taken was enormous, but the figures given are probably fictitious, that is to say, representative.
After this crushing defeat nothing further is heard of the Midianites for some two or three hundred years; a remnant of the people must have escaped into the outlying districts and they gradually recovered something of their former power. In the sixth chapter of the Judges they reappear, now as the head of a great confederation of "all the children of the East." For seven years they oppressed the children of Israel, the latter taking refuge in "the dens which are in the mountains, and caves arid strongholds." At last, in the spring of the seventh year, the Midianites and their Bedouin confederates came up with an enormous army to give the death-blow to Israel. "They came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came up as grasshoppers for multitude; both they and their camels were without number; and they entered into the land to destroy it." (Judg. 6:5.) And now occurred a most dramatic deliverance. Gideon was raised up by Jehovah, and of all the children of Israel who had assembled for a final stand, he chose only the three hundred who "lapped of the water with their tongues, even as a dog lappeth." To each of these he gave a trumpet, and an empty pitcher, and a lamp within the pitcher. And then in the night, having surrounded the hosts of Midian, at a given signal the three hundred blew their trumpets and break their pitchers, crying: "the sword of the Lord and of Gideon." The "sword" was the light which now flashed forth from the surrounding heights of Esdraelon. Panic took possession of the Midianites and the Amalekites and the rest of the children of the East; the sword of every man was set against his fellow, and "all the host ran, and cried and fled." The main body of the Israelites now pursued and exterminated the retreating horde, and the Midianites "lifted up their heads no more." (Judg. 8:28.)
After this defeat the Midianites no longer appear in history.
110. The Edomites. The territory of the Edomites, the descendants of Esau, extended from the southern extremity of the Dead Sea to the eastern arm of the Red Sea, and included the mountain range of Seir together with the northern portion of Arabia Petrsea. To the west of them were the Amalekites, to the south the Ishmaelites, to the east the Midianites, and to the north the Moabites and the districts of Simeon and Judah. Their chief city was the famous city of Sela, (in Greek, Petra), the temples and palaces of which, carved out of the solid rock, are still the wonder of Northern Arabia. Bozrah was another important city. Mt. Seir, so frequently mentioned in the Word, in the supreme sense signifies "the celestial natural good" of the Lord's Divine Human. (AC 4240.) As a mountain it signifies what is celestial, and because of its rough and shaggy appearance, (Seir, "hairy"), it signifies the celestial natural, (3527). This correspondence is also in harmony with the country itself which is called Edom, ("red"), from the red color of the sandstone which forms the greater part of the mountain chain. Though arid and rocky, the soil is by no means unfruitful, but produces rich herbage in the spring, and still supports numerous flocks of sheep. In ancient times there was much wealth in the country, gained from mining, commerce, sheep-raising, and agriculture. Such was the country occupied by Esau, whose name means "hairy," because at his birth he came forth "red all over like a hairy blanket;" and by Esau, as by Mt. Seir and the land of Edom, is signified in general "the Lord as to the Divine Good of the Divine Natural." (AC 3322.)
That such is the correspondence of Edom is self-evident from the sublime words of Isaiah: "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in His apparel, travelling in the greatness of His strength? I that speak in justice, mighty to save. Wherefore art Thou red in Thine apparel, and Thy garments like Him that treadeth in the wine-press? I have trodden the wine-press alone, and of the peoples there was no man with Me.... I looked, but there was none to help, I was amazed that there was none to uphold: therefore Mine own arm brought salvation unto Me." (Is. 63:1-5)
The story of the great Hebrew patriarchs is the story of the Glorification of the Lord in His Human. Abraham signifies the Divine Celestial, Ishmael and Isaac the Divine Spiritual, and Esau and Jacob the Divine Natural. The brotherhood of Esau and Jacob signifies the brotherhood of good and truth in the Divine Natural of the Lord's Human, as in the natural of every regenerating man. Of the two, good is actually prior in the beginning even as it will be at the end, but for a time it is necessary that truth should appear to be prior, in order that the understanding of truth may be led in freedom to the final acknowledgment that good of the will is the greater of the two. Good cares nothing for the show of superiority, and therefore Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a red pottage, ("therefore was his name called Edom"), but its ultimate victory was foretold in the blessing of Isaac upon Esau: "By thy sword thou shalt live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck." (Gen. 27:40.)
This prophecy was literally fulfilled in the life-time of Esau, (and also, as we shall see, in the history .of the Edomites in their relations with the Jews). Esau, cheated and supplanted by the cunning deceit of his mother and brother, withdrew to Mt. Seir in the land of Edom, where he grew to be a man of great power and wealth. When Jacob was returning from Laban in Paddan Aram, he heard that Esau was approaching him with a troop of four hundred men. "Greatly afraid and distressed," Jacob now sent tribute and humbly submitted himself to Esau who, on this occasion, proved himself a vastly superior character, forgiving, affectionate, and generous. Running to meet his brother, he "embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept." He also showed keen interest in Jacob's wives and children, and graciously declined the "gifts," saying, "I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself." (Gen. 33:9)
Esau was called Edom, and the two names have "almost the same signification," with this difference, however, that "Esau" signifies the good of the natural as at first conceived, before the doctrinal things of truth have been so fully conjoined with that good; while "Edom" signifies the good of the natural, to which are conjoined the doctrinal things of truth, (the latter being represented by the red pottage. AC 3320.) Edom is also frequently mentioned, together with Moab, but in this connection, again, "Edom signifies the good of the natural to which the doctrinal things of truth are adjoined, while Moab signifies natural good, such as there is with those in whom they are not conjoined." In the opposite sense, however, (and this is the most frequent), Edom and the Edomites signify "those who turn aside from good by utterly despising, rejecting and vilifying truth, being unwilling that anything of the truth of faith should be adjoined." (Ibid.)
That Esau did not give his name to the land of Edom is evident from the fact that the Egyptian papyri, five centuries before Esau, speak of Edom and Edomites. Esau, by his prowess as a man of the sword, managed to establish himself in Mt. Seir, married daughters of the land, raised an army of Bedouins by which he exterminated the aboriginal, cave-dwelling Horites, and thus gained supreme control of the land of Edom. Here he raised a" large family, each son becoming an aluph or "duke" of a distinct clan of Edomites, the northern branches of whom long preserved the tribal or patriarchal organization, while a southern branch established a kingdom known in history as the kingdom of Gebalene. Like the rest of their Hebrew cousins, the Edomites always treated the Israelites with persistent hostility and rancor. When the weary wanderers in the wilderness arrived at the borders of Edom, Moses appealed to the memory of their common patriarchal ancestors, courteously asking permission to pass through the land, with promises to do no damage, and offering to pay even for the water they would drink. But the Edomites not only refused permission, but also assumed a threatening attitude, and so the Israelites were forced to take to the wilderness again, making a long detour to the south and then to the north, around the land of Edom. (Num. 20:15-21; 21:4.) Edom here represents the evil of the love of self, refusing to admit the truths of faith. (AC 3322.)
After Israel had established itself in Canaan, the Edomites continued to manifest their hostility, until subdued by David who put garrisons throughout the land. (2 Sam. 8:14.) Solomon successfully maintained his dominion over them, and utilized their harbors on the Red Sea for the first and only merchant fleet of Israel. (1 Kings 9:26.) After the division of the kingdom, Edom continued as a dependency of Judah until the time of Joram, (B. C. 885), when the Edomites again secured their independence. Amaziah undertook a victorious expedition against them, and captured their capital, Sela, and Uzziah again reduced them to subjection; but during the reign of Ahaz the Edomites again broke away, and remained independent until forced to submit to the all-conquering power of Assyria and, subsequently, Babylonia. At the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, Edom made common cause with all the other enemies of Israel, and is in consequence most severely denounced by the prophets, especially by Obadiah. After the return of the Jews from Babylon, and throughout the rule of the Graeco- Syrian Empire, Edom, or Idumaea, as it was now called, continued to manifest the ancient ill will, until in the reign of the Maccabaean king, John Hyrcanus, (B. C. 129), the Idumaeans were wholly subjugated, and by a compulsory circumcision were merged in the Jewish state.
Thus was fulfilled in the history of the two brother nations the first part of the prophecy of Isaac concerning Esau: "Thou shalt serve thy brother." Soon, however, there was to be fulfilled, in one way at least, the latter part of the prophecy: "And it shall come to pass when thou shalt have dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck." The Edomites, indeed, as a people, never again regained their independent national existence, but an Idumaean general, known by the Greek name Antipater, during the reign of the last Maccabaean kings, managed by ingratiating himself with the Romans to usurp supreme power over the Jews, and prepared the way for his son, Herod, who assumed the royal title. An Edomite, descended from Esau, reigned at last over the descendants of Jacob, and founded the last royal dynasty of the Jewish kingdom. But it was no longer a contest between good and truth; it was a kingdom of falsity ruled by evil.
111. The Moabites. Of all the Hebrew kinsmen of Israel, none figure more prominently in the Word than the descendants of Moab and Amnion, the children of Lot. In order to understand the character and representation of these two nations, it is necessary to review briefly the story of Lot, the son of Haran, and nephew of Abraham. Haran, the father of Lot, signifies "idolatry from the love of pleasures," and his son, Lot, signifies an "idolatrous cult thence derived." (AC 1359.) Lot, however, attached himself to Abraham and followed him into the land of Canaan, by which is represented a departure from idolatry and an approach to the true worship of the one God. As long as Lot remained in the company of Abraham he retained a good representation, though even then he always stands for what is most external, derived from the delights and pleasures of the senses. Abraham, as a representative of the coming Lord, signifies the Divine of the assumed human, during its period of childhood: and Lot then represents "the Lord's sensuous and corporeal man, such as it was in His state of childhood, and not as it was when united to the Divine." (AC 1428.) Lot, therefore, signifies "sensuous truth, thus the first which was insinuated into the Lord when a child," (AC 1434); and by this is meant "the external man and his pleasures, which are of sensuous things, thus which are most external, and which are apt to captivate a man in his childhood and draw him away from goods." (AC 1547.) On this account it was necessary that Lot should be separated from Abraham, soon after their arrival in the land of Canaan, in order to represent "the separation of those pleasures and delights imbibed in childhood, which cannot agree with celestial goods." (AC 1563.) And then, having been separated from Abraham, Lot puts on another representation; he no longer represents some thing of the Lord Himself, but "those who are with the Lord, viz., the external man of the Church, that is, those who are in the good of charity, but in external worship," (2324), thus good in obscurity. (AC 2422.) In the Hebrew the name Lot signifies what is veiled, concealed, obscure.
The story of Lot is the story of the decline and fall of such an external church. The beginning of the decline is described in the statement that Lot "journeyed from the East," (Gen. 13:11), by which is signified that he receded from celestial love; and he "pitched his tent towards Sodom," that is, "he looked towards the lusts of external things." (AC 1593.)
This external Church, however, in the beginning of the decline was still to some degree in the good of love, and in acknowledgment of the Lord, as is evident from the hospitable manner hi which Lot received the two angels who had come to save him from the destruction of Sodom. They urged him to hasten his departure from the doomed city, but Lot nevertheless "lingered;" and though the angels finally took him and his family by the hand and led them out of the city, yet Lot was not willing to "escape to the mountains," but demurred, saying, "Oh. not so, my lord," and persisted in his determination to tarry in the "little city" of Zoar. This decline of the external Church may be illustrated by what may take place even with men of the New Church. As long as the Newchurchman remains close to Abraham,—the Lord in His Divine Revelation,—he is safe, but the decline sets in when, influenced by the fear and love of the world, he begins to "journey from the East" in order to pitch his tent in the shadow of the Old Church. Still the Lord does not forsake him, but sends to him two angels, two fundamental truths, which may save him from the judgment that must inevitably come upon the consummated Church; these two fundamental truths are the teaching concerning the Lord in His New Revelation, and the teaching concerning the judgment upon the Dead Church. (AC 2317.) These teachings are received at first with pleasure, but after a while they are looked upon with a certain degree of doubt. Though the man may be persuaded to leave the Old Church, he leaves with regret, and is not willing to "flee to the mountains," to look to the Heavenly Doctrines for instruction and salvation, but takes refuge at some half-way station, some man-made doctrine of compromise, some dogmas and declarations made by conventions of men. In the meantime, Lot's wife "looks back from behind him" and—is turned into a pillar of salt. The affection, which had been a certain affection of truth, looks back upon the beloved Old Church in order to see if it is not after all being permeated by an influx from the New Heaven. And surely enough, there is an influx, but, coming within the atmosphere of Sodom, it is turned into a rain of sulphur and fire, a desolating descent of falsity and evil. The doubting affection, however, can no longer recognize the nature of the spiritual cataclysm, for in turning back it has become blind and dead,—a pillar of salt,—an affection of falsity. Lot himself now makes his home in a cavern where, drunk with wine, he commits incest with his own two daughters in the night. The faith of the Church, drunk with the wine of the permeation insanity, commits incest with its own derivative affections,—the love of its own spurious goo i and spurious truth, and from this profane conjunction there is conceived and born a new "kind of a Church," (AC 2313), consisting of apparent but adulterated good, (Moab), and of apparent but adulterated truth, (Ammon).
It is a remarkable fact that the children of Lot should have commemorated their infamous origin in their very names. Moab means literally "water of a father," while Ammon or Ben-ammi means "son of my mother." These names, so horribly suggestive, were proudly retained by two whole nations throughout their history. The Old Testament is silent as to the personal story of the two sons of Lot, but they evidently repeated the story of the founders of the other Hebrew nations, becoming chieftains among disorganized remnants of an earlier population and founding royal dynasties who imposed their family names upon the subject tribes. The descendants of Moab within a few generations took possession of the country formerly inhabited by the Emim, ("terrible ones"), a branch of the aboriginal Nephilim, even as their cousins, the descendants of Ammon, took possession of the country formerly occupied by the Zuzim and Zamzummim. The slaughter of these ancient giant races by Chedorlaomer and his allies no doubt cleared the way for the children of Lot.
The Moabites found homes in the rich and well protected plateau to the east of the Dead Sea, extending from the land of Edom in the south to the land of Gilead in the north, while the Ammonites established themselves in the land of Gilead. Both became great and powerful clans or nations, but the Ammonites always preferred the roving life of Bedouin marauders, while Moab retained a more peaceful disposition, developing into a settled, well organized and prosperous nation, the chief characteristics of which were wealth and moral corruption.
The prosperity and riches of Moab are vividly portrayed in the Word. In the cities of this land there was "a great multitude of people," living on the "glory" and "fat of the land," possessing "great treasure," and crowding the temples of Chemosh and Baal Peor, where infants were sacrificed, and virgins prostituted in the name of religion. Outside of the towns were the "plentiful fields," the vineyards and gardens of "summer fruit," the meadows where hundreds of thousands of sheep and cattle were browsing. Peace and prosperity reign everywhere; the people are fat and self-satisfied, but of the worship of the true God there is not a trace.
Small wonder that such a nation should view with alarm the approach of a great horde of desert wanderers, asking permission to pass through the land on their way to Canaan. They came as Hebrew kinsmen, worshipping an ancient but generally forsaken deity named Jehovah. Balak, the king of the Moabites, now bethought himself of a Syrian wizard, Balaam, who was know: to prophecy in the name of Jehovah and who was wont to dispense his blessings or cursings for filthy lucre. If a prophet of Jehovah were to curse the children of Israel, the latter would surely be put to confusion. He, therefore, sent for the complaisant prophet, but great was his disgust when the magician was forced by his God to turn the intended curse into a blessing, the power and beauty of which are almost without equal in Hebrew literature. Dismayed, Balak now allied himself with the Midianites in an effort to destroy Israel by the seductions of harlots in the lascivious rites of Baal Peor, but again his scheme was frustrated, and he was glad to escape the frightful punishment meted out to the Midianites, who had been the most active in the plot.
The subsequent relations of Moab with Israel were of a somewhat mixed character, sometimes friendly, as is evident from the story of Ruth, the Moabitish ancestress of David, but more generally hostile. Not long after the Israelitish conquest, Eglon, king of Moab, by the assistance of Ammon and Amalek, "smote Israel and possessed himself of the city of palm trees," (Jericho), The children of Israel now "served Eglon for eighteen years" (Judges 3:13), until they were delivered by Ehud. The Moabites, however, continued to harass the chosen people on various occasions, and were not subdued until David put to the sword two- thirds of the population, the remainder becoming bondsmen and subjected to a regular tribute, (2 Sam. 8:2; 23:20), thus literally fulfilling Balaam's prophecy: "Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion and shall destroy him that remaineth of Ar," (i. e., Moab). After the division of Solomon's kingdom, Moab seems to have remained tributary to the kingdom of Israel, and in the time of Ahab paid an annual tribute of 100000 rams,—an indication of the almost fabulous wealth of so small a nation.
After the death of Ahab the Moabites revolted and joined the Ammonites in an attack upon the kingdom of Judah. The allies, however, fell to fighting one another; and Judah, Israel and Edom now joined in a war against Moab; the latter fell into an ambush and were slaughtered; the land of Moab was swept clean by the besom of destruction; the cities were beaten down and their stones scattered over the fields where at this very day they may be seen lying about in wild confusion; the wells of water were filled up, and all the trees of the land were cut down. The king of Moab, with his family and a small remnant of the army, took refuge in Kir-haraseth where, in the extremity of despair, and in full sight of the besiegers, "he took his eldest son, that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall." (2 Kings 3:27.) The besieging army, struck with horror at this sight, now withdrew to their own lands. After this awful event, nothing further is known of the history of Moab for a long period, but it appears that Moab gradually recovered all of its former prosperity, and in addition took possession of the territory of Reuben, after this tribe had been carried away by the Assyrians. At the time of the Babylonian invasion, Moab submitted to Nebuchadnezzar, and after the return of the Jews from the captivity the Moabites took the lead in annoying those who were rebuilding Jerusalem. Even at the time of the last Jewish war the Moabites, according to Josephus, was still "a very great nation," but two hundred years afterwards they were exterminated or absorbed by a great invasion of "the children of the East."
Moab in general represents the natural good which is merely natural and which is quite distinct from "the genuine good of the natural." (AC 3518.) The character of those who are in such merely natural good is described as follows :
The man of the Spiritual Church, in the earlier stages of regeneration, is often deceived by the hypocritical show of such natural good which is almost the only good left in the Christian world, and thus again and again he falls under the yoke of Moab. The king of Moab appears "a very fat man," full of goodness, helpfulness, altruism and loving kindness. "Charity" abounds in the Christian world in greater wealth than ever before, filling the world with churches, hospitals, libraries, universities, etc. The money of the founders is not seldom "tainted," but what matter when it is ultimately turned into such good uses! Yet all this good contributes nothing to the salvation of man or of the world as a whole, for it is meritorious good, full of self-complacency and conceit, doing good with one hand and evil with the other, and utterly indifferent to that spiritual good which consists chiefly in shunning evils as sins against God. But when those who sigh under the oppression of this spurious good, are willing to turn to the Revelation given to the New Church, and learn what the Lord there teaches concerning the actual internal state of the Christian world, the Divine Truth will deliver them from the bondage, as Israel was delivered by Ehud, the left-handed hero, who girded his sword on his right thigh. Drawing it with his left hand, he thrust it into the belly of Eglon, the fat king of Moab, and—"the dirt came out." (Judges 3:22.) It is not a pretty story in the letter,—a story of treachery and murder,—but nevertheless it represents what the man of the true Church must do spiritually to the false persuasions prevailing in regard to the good which is merely natural. The right side signifies the will of good,.the left the truth of the understanding. The spurious good must be exposed unmercifully by the true understanding of revealed Doctrine, but the sword is drawn from the right thigh,—from the sincere love of the good that is genuine because spiritual. When the "belly," i. e., the interior of merely natural good, is thus probed by the sword of truth, its inward rottenness will be laid bare, and the Church will be delivered from the Moabitish oppression.
112. The Ammonites. The origin of this nation has been described above, in the history of their brother nation, the Moabites, with whom they are almost identical as to spiritual signification. As Moab signifies good merely natural, or spurious and adulterated natural good, so Ammon signifies truth merely natural, or spurious and adulterated natural truth. In harmony with this their correspondence, the Ammonites were of a far more warlike disposition than the settled and wealthy Moabites. Like the latter they were thoroughly corrupt in morals, and given over to the revolting and cruel idolatry of the Canaanites, but in addition they were thieves and robbers like the Amalekites, and implacable in their hatred of Israel. We find them first in the land of Gilead, between the rivers Ammon and Jabbok, in the region formerly occupied by the Zamzummim and the Zuzim, and they dwelt here until they were driven into the eastern desert by the tribes of Gad and Reuben. These tribes henceforth had to bear the brunt of the continued attack of the Ammonites, whose cruelties are horribly depicted in the Word. It was their delight to thrust out the right eye of every man, woman and child in the cities which they captured, (1 Sam. 11:2), and rip up the pregnant women, (Amos 1:3). But the cruelties practiced by them upon the children of Israel, were returned with interest by David who, after taking their chief city, Rabbah, "brought forth the people- that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick kiln; and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon." (2 Sam. 12:31.) A remnant escaped, however, and their descendants recovered the land of Gilead after the Assyrians had carried away the tribe of Gad. Like the Moabites, they continually harassed the Jews after their return from the captivity, and carried on war against them even in the time of the Maccabean kings. They disappeared from history at the same time with Moab, and probably from the same cause.
113. The History of Israel. Hebrews of the Hebrews, by virtue of the primogeniture of direct descent from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the people of Israel now enter upon the stage as the last representatives in the sacred drama of the "Correspondences of Canaan."
A wicked and adulterous brood, the history of whose two thousand years is an almost unbroken record of vice and crime, it nevertheless represents, as no other nation in the annals of mankind, everything good as well as evil of the actual spiritual Church which was to be established by the Lord in His human, and re-established at His Second Coming. The one qualification for this their representative role was their extraordinary conceit and obstinate insistence upon being "the chosen people," together with their one occasional virtue of blind obedience to the letter of the Divine Command. Internally worse than all their wicked neighbors, yet this insistence and this unreasoning conservatism formed a most ultimate plane upon which the Lord could build—not a true Church, indeed, but the purely histrionic representative of a real Church.
The first conception of this representative of a Church took place when Jehovah revealed Himself to Abraham, and afterwards to Isaac and Jacob, but these patriarchs never knew Him by His true name, nor possessed His Law; the covenant made with them was but the promise of things to come. The descent of Israel and his sons into Egypt represented the preparation for a spiritual Church by means of a preliminary education in the scientifics of the sensual mind. The oppression by the Egyptians signified the dominion of the sensual before regeneration had begun. The actual beginning of a Church by means of a new Divine Revelation and its reception, resulting in separation from the Old Church, instruction, temptation and reformation, was represented by the appearance of Jehovah before Moses, the call of the people, the Exodus, the Revelation on Sinai, and the forty years of wandering in the wilderness.
Then followed the Conquest of Canaan, representing the victorious establishment of an Internal Church by the expulsion of interior evils and falses, and the orderly arrangement of all goods and truths in the rational mind. The theocracy under the Judges stood for the highest and relatively celestial state of the triumphant Church under the immediate government of the Divine Truth. The beginning of a decline into a celestial- spiritual, and then into a merely spiritual state, is represented by the government of the people first by priest-judges and then by kings. The separation of charity and faith in the declining Church is signified by the separation of the nation into the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The kingdom of Israel, representing the perverted spiritual Church, was destroyed by Assyria,—the false reasonings of the love of the world; whereas the kingdom of Judah, representing the perverted celestial Church, was carried away captive by Babylon, the love of self and of dominion. Compare the history of the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches!
The seventy years of captivity in Babylon represented the complete vastation of all internal things of the Church. After the return to Jerusalem, the Jewish worship was indeed restored, and the Jews were more orthodox than ever. But the nation now represented nothing but the dead shell of a Church, for the voice of prophecy was no longer heard therein, until the time when John appeared and was beheaded, and the Lord Himself preached and was crucified. The new Divine Revelation was wholly rejected except by a small remnant who formed the nucleus of a new Church, which for a short time remained a genuine Church in which the mere types were abolished by the open truths. The Jews themselves, however, still continued as a representative nation,—representative now of the Christian Church such as it would become in its last days of consummation. The tragic siege and destruction of Jerusalem, and the final dispersion of the people, are indeed a most dramatic representation of the Last Judgment upon the dead Christian Church.
114. The Tribes of Israel. In the following rapid survey of the sons of Jacob in their spiritual signification, we shall follow the order of their birth, confining our exposition as much as possible to the representative meaning of the geographical position of the tribes descended from them, as illustrating in a most striking manner the wonderful exactness of the Science of Correspondences. To each tribe there was allotted, after the Conquest, a portion or "inheritance" of the land, which, as to physical conditions and intertribal situation, was in complete harmony with the spiritual representation of the tribe possessing it. If we can obtain a clear bird's-eye view of the spiritual geography of the Twelve Tribes in Canaan, we shall gain at the same time a correct chart of all the general goods and truths and conditions of the Church in their mutual inter-relation.
The reason for this signification is to be found first of all in the meaning of the number, Twelve, which signifies what is complete and full, both of good and of truth, and this in a specially all-inclusive sense. For this number is the multiple of Three and Four; and Three signifies the all of truth, and Four, the all of good.
This signification of the number Twelve is impressed upon the very ultimates of Nature,—the moon causing the twelve months of the year, and the sun the twelve hours of the day. The moon and the sun are the universal symbols of Faith and Charity, and the months and the hours therefore signify all the general and particular states of truth and of good in the life of man.
From the Rook of Nature this correspondence of the number Twelve was transferred to the written Word. Twelve were the sons of Israel, the ancestors of the twelve tribes which composed the Israelitish Church, and the names of these were inscribed on the twelve stones of the Urim and Thumim, one name on each precious stone. The same representative number was transferred by the Lord to the Christian Church, when He chose His twelve Apostles to represent all the goods and truths of the Church, each Apostle assuming the signification of a corresponding Tribe of Israel. And the same number is especially prominent in the Revelation of John, where it is prophetically transferred to the Church of the New Jerusalem, the crown and fulfillment of all the previous Churches.
Thus we read there that there would be twelve thousand "sealed" of each of the twelve tribes of Israel; that the Woman clothed with the Sun would have upon her head a crown with twelve stars; that the holy city, New Jerusalem, had a wall of twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb. The City itself lieth four-square, the measure thereof twelve thousand furlongs; the wall measures a hundred and forty-four cubits, "the measure of a man, that is, of an angel." And the foundations of the wall are twelve precious stones, and the twelve gates are twelve precious pearls. And finally, in the midst of the street of the City, and on each side of the river of water of life, is the tree of life, bearing twelve fruits, and yielding its fruit every month. All these things represent, with an infinite variety of application, the same cardinal and fundamental principles of Heaven and the Church that are represented by the twelve Tribes of Israel.
115. A general view of their significance. Before entering upon the special representation of each tribe, it will be useful to obtain a general view of the signification of the twelve sons of Israel, in the order of their birth. It should be observed, to begin with, that the twelve sons are to be divided into three classes or series; the first four sons,—Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,—represent the four general successive states of the regenerate life; the next four,—Dan. Naphtali, Gad, and Asher,— represent the general media of regeneration; while the last four, —Issachar, Zebulon, Joseph, and Benjamin,—represent the states of the resulting conjunction of the external and internal man. (AC 3902, 3941.)
1) Reuben, so named from "seeing," is the first general state of faith in the understanding, resulting from the first sight of spiritual truth.
2) Simeon, named from "hearing," is the next general state, when man, through obedience to the truth, begins to receive it also in the will.
3) Levi, named from "adhering," is the subsequent state of conjunction of will and understanding in the life of charity.
4) Judah, named from "confession," is the final and crowning state, when, from the perfection of charity, the regenerating man comes into the love of the Lord.
Then follows the description of the successive media through which man is initiated into the successive states of regeneration.
5) Dan, named from "judging," is the first medium through which the gateway is opened into the Church, i. e., the affirmative acknowledgment of the Divine Truth, on the one hand, and of the necessity of repentance on the other.
6) Naphtali, named from "struggling," represents the next medium of temptation, which immediately follows when man, through acknowledgment, has entered upon the life of regeneration.
7) Gad, named from "a troop," represents the multitude of good works and uses in the natural man, upon which he enters after each successful combat in temptation.
8) Asher, named from "blessedness," is the medium of heavenly delight, which blesses a life of uses and opens the way for more internal progress.
9) Issachar, named from "reward," represents the interior conjunction of good and truth, and the consequent mutual love which is the reward of those who delight in the performance of uses for the sake of the neighbor.
10) Zebulon, named from "cohabitation," is the conjugial itself, external as well as internal, which is the noblest fruit of mutual love.
11) Joseph, named from "adding,'" represents the perfected state of will and understanding with the spiritual man,—a state when, through the heavenly marriage within him, there descends from within a new intelligence and a new will. These are represented by the two sons of Joseph:
a) Ephraim, named from "fruitfulness," representing the new intellectual, prolific in an abundance of spiritual ideas, and
b) Manasseh, named from "forgetfulness," representing the state of the new voluntary, through which there is a forgetfulness, i. e., removal of evils, both actual and hereditary, in the external man.
12) And, finally, Benjamin, the "son of the right hand," is the truth of good, the spiritual of the celestial, the interior Perception from the new-born will; in other words, the light proceeding from true charity and love of the Lord, through which all the things of the external man, (all the rest of the brethren), are at last brought into harmony with the will of the Lord in the internal man.
We may now consider each of the tribes in particular.
116. Reuben. The first-born son of Jacob represents the first state in the life of regeneration, when the seed of Divine Truth is received in the understanding of the external man. Hence Reuben was named from sight, for at his birth his mother said: "Behold, a son (reu-ben), for she said, Jehovah hath seen my affliction," (rau-beonyi). The sight or understanding of truth is always the first step in. the new birth, even as the sense of sight is the first of the particular senses to be opened with a newborn child. For there is no approach to the Father except through the Son. There is no way of gaining what is good except through the knowledge and understanding of what is true. "Faith in the understanding always precedes faith in the will: for when anything is unknown, as heavenly good is, man must first learn to know that it exists, and understand its nature, before he can will it." (AC 3863.)
As Cain was born before Abel, as Jacob received the primogeniture before Esau, as Reuben was the firstborn of Jacob, and as Peter was the first of the Apostles, so faith in the understanding must always, in point of time, and as to the appearance, precede charity in the will. But as Abel was preferred above Cain; as Esau was the first-born by right; as Judah received the primogeniture in the last blessing of Jacob upon his sons; and as John was the best beloved of the disciples, so good or charity possesses the actual primogeniture as to the end involved, which is that of salvation.
To the tribe of Reuben, at the time of the Conquest, there was given a tract of land on the eastern side of the Jordan and the Dead Sea, bounded by the land of Moab in the south and the land of Ammon in the north. This region included Mt. Nebo, whence Moses obtained his first and last view of the land of Promise, and it was from this land the Israelites made their passage across the Jordan when entering the land. The trans-Jordan district represents the external Church, corresponding to the external and introductory state of those who as yet have gained only the first sight of the Divine Truth. While a man remains in this state he is continually threatened by two great evils. On the one hand lurk the fierce and cruel Ammonites, spirits who are in natural truth falsified, and who seek to snatch away spiritual truth from man by inspiring conceit of knowledge and contempt of others, thus faith alone. And on the other hand the Moabites, corrupt but wealthy and self-satisfied, revelling in what is merely natural good opposed to spiritual good, seeking to seduce faith by suggesting that it does not matter what you believe, so long as you "do good." Skepticism and Sentimentalism are two brothers, equally hostile to rational faith.
117. Simeon. The second son of Jacob represents the second universal means of regeneration and the consequent second general state of spiritual life, i. e., the state when the man who has received the Divine Truth in his understanding, compels himself to obey it in act. In order to represent this state Simeon was named from "hearing," which corresponds to Obedience. ("Shimeon," from shania, to hear.) At his birth Leah said: "For Jehovah hath heard that I was hated, and hath given me this also." For Leah, the weak-eyed external affection of truth, is hated and despised by the natural man, until by self-compelled obedience to the Truth he begins to realize the good to which it leads. A new will, the will of good, is then conceived in the new understanding, but at first it is only an external voluntary from an external faith,—a willingness which is largely induced from without by means of various hinds of fear, and discretely distinct from genuine charity, (Levi), and still more from the love of the Lord, (Judah).
In this series it is evident that Reuben represents the state of those who are in the spiritual-natural heaven, while Simeon represents the state of those in the celestial-natural heaven. The one stands for genuine natural truth, and the other for genuine natural good, which is the good of obedience. Levi, in the same series, stands for the spiritual heaven, or the good of spiritual charity, while Judah represents the celestial heaven, or the good of love to the Lord.
It is not surprising, therefore, to find the tribe of Simeon, or the celestial-natural, constantly associated in the Sacred History with the tribe of Judah, or the celestial itself, the two together constituting the Lord's Celestial Kingdom. On this account, after the Conquest of Canaan, there was given to the tribe of Simeon a large but rather sterile region, (the Negeb or south country), to the south of the tribe of Judah, and bordering upon the districts inhabited by the Edomites and Ishmaelites. For the good of obedience is associated on the one hand with love to the Lord, and on the other with the simple good of the Gentiles.
Like Reuben, the tribe of Simeon figures but little in the history of Israel, since both represent introductory and external states. As a tribe it disappeared before long, being amalgamated with the tribe of Judah.
118. Levi. As by continued obedience to the truth the regenerating man grows accustomed and habituated to the life of faith, this life gradually becomes delightful to him, and he begins to become affected by the truth on account of the evident blessings which it bestows. He begins to live it because he sees in it the hope of eternal salvation for himself and for mankind, and this love of the Lord's Truth on account of salvation gives birth to the third state of regeneration, which is that of spiritual Charity.
This charity is what is represented by Levi, and this not only because of the order of his birth but also because of the meaning of his name, which signifies "conjunction," from a root meaning "to twine, to adhere, to cleave to any one." And Leah said: "Now this time my man will cleave unto me, because I have borne to him three sons; therefore she called his name Levi." From the natural idea of cleaving to another, or joining oneself to another, there is but a step to the spiritual idea of mutual love or charity and from this we advance to the celestial idea of the Lord's own Divine Love, which is charity in the supreme and infinite degree, the Divine desire to join all His human creatures unto Himself and to one another, and to bless them with the supreme good of eternal salvation.
Within all genuine human charity the Divine Love of saving human souls burns as an inmost and holiest flame, a love which because it is supreme stands before every other love and therefore is called the priestly love. For the word "priest," (from prae-stare), means "one who stands before," i. e., in front of the altar and in front of the congregation.—one who from a supreme love of serving the Lord and the neighbor in the highest use of charity, acts as a leader in the worship and life of the Church. It is this priestly charity that is especially represented by Levi, and on this account the office of the priesthood in the Israelitish Church was adjoined to the tribe of Levi.
The fact that no special part of the land of Canaan was given as an inheritance to Levi, but that this tribe was distributed among all the tribes and received its support from the tithes of all the people,—"the Lord Himself being their inheritance,"— involves the fact that the priestly love and the priestly use must be universal throughout every genuine Church. Every man of the Church must be a priest within his own family, and every form of Charity within the Church must be inspired inmostly by the love of the eternal salvation of men, which is the sole reason for the existence of the Church on the earth. And for the Clergy as a distinct office it involves the lesson of supreme trust in the Divine Providence of the Lord, whose immediate servants they are, and the necessity for complete and exclusive devotion to their one heavenly use, which in itself is the greatest of all blessings, the richest, most delightful and most glorious inheritance that can possibly be given to immortal man.
119. Judah. As Reuben represents the first sight or understanding of the Divine Truth; Simeon the consequent obedience; Levi the will of truth resulting in good-will or charity towards the neighbor; so Judah, the fourth and last of the first group, represents the crown and fruition of all the preceding states,— the regenerate.state itself, the new-born will of good, which is the same as the love of the Lord. It was in order to represent this state that Leah said, at the birth of her fourth son: "This time I shall confess Jehovah; therefore she called his name Jehudah."
The name "Judah" or "Jehudah'' means literally "Confession of Jehovah," and it is an unquestioned historical fact that the posterity of this son of Israel, alone among all the tribes and nations of this world, remained to the end most persistently in the confession of Jehovah as the one and only God of heaven and earth. While it is true that their confession was almost wholly mere lip-worship, external, formal, selfish, and dead: and while it is equally true that this tribe was morally the most atrociously wicked among all the tribes of the worst nation on earth; yet the fact remains that this confession of Jehovah distinguished them for nearly two thousand years, in the midst of universal polytheism and idolatry, as the only remaining monotheists in the world. This persistent confession of Jehovah afforded a sufficient basis for the representation of Judah as the worship and love of the Lord.
The Jewish confession of the invisible Jehovah became, in the Christian Church, the confession and love of the crucified Savior, the Son of God who in His human had made manifest the Father, the Lamb of God who had taken the sins of the world away. To the early Christians the love of the Lord meant the love of the Divine Man, Jesus Christ; it was a simple, child-like, personal love, natural yet pure and exalted. This love has survived as the chief redeeming love with the remnant of simple-hearted Christians of all ages, but in the Christian Church as a whole it perished when the theologians divided the Godhead into three Divine persons, each one of whom is to be equally loved. The love of the Lord, thus divided, was love no more.
In the New Christian Church this lost love was restored, together with the restoration of the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ as the one and only Person in whom dwelleth the fulness of the Godhead bodily. But in this New and Crowning Church this love of the Lord is not to remain a merely personal and therefore natural love. It is to become the love of the Lord in His Second Advent, the love of the Heavenly Doctrine through which He has appeared in His opened Word. For this Church will understand and love this teaching of the Lord Himself: "If ye love Me, ye will keep My commandments; he that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me." (John 14:15)
Representing thus the greatest, supreme and inmost of all affections and loves in the Church, the tribe of Judah received as its inheritance the largest and most important portion in the inmost and highest region of the land of Canaan,—a mountainous district, yet rich and fertile in ancient times, when every mountain side was carefully terraced and covered with flourishing vineyards and olive groves. It was thus able to support a teeming population and a greater number of important cities and towns, than could be found in any other part of Palestine. Here was Hebron, the most ancient capital of the country, and Jerusalem with Zion and the Temple, representing the heart and lungs of the nation, the inmost of both the celestial and spiritual, of the life and the worship of the Church.
Here, then, throned the "lion of Judah" on his mountains, surrounded by Dan in the west and Reuben in the east; by Simeon to the south and Benjamin to the north. For Dan signifies the acknowledgment of the Lord, the affirmative disposition which is a celestial disposition. And Reuben signifies faith in the Lord, which in itself is a celestial Faith. Simeon signifies obedience to the Lord, which is the basis of all celestial virtues. And Benjamin signifies perception from the love of the Lord; and perception is the same as celestial intelligence.
120. Dan. The successive births of the first four sons of Jacob describe "the state of the Church, or of the man who is becoming a Church, as to the ascent from the truth which is of faith to the good which is of love." The next four sons of Jacob represent "the conjunction of natural truth with spiritual good by means of media, and this in the order in which it is effected with the man who is being regenerated." (AC 3902.) The first of these media, in the order of time, is the acknowledgment of truth, represented by Dan.
The name Dan in the Hebrew means a "judge," and he represents in the supreme sense the Divine Judge, the Lord as to His Divine Truth, and in a general sense the acknowledgment of the Divine Truth by the man who is to become an individual church of the Lord, for it is this acknowledgment which judges, i. e., discriminates between truth and falsity and thus separates the things which are of the Church from those which are not of the Church. Before there is such acknowledgment the man has not even entered upon the threshold of the Lord's kingdom, but the moment that he admits and affirms that the Doctrines of the Church are the Lord's own teaching and therefore Divinely true, he has entered the gate of the Kingdom. It was on this account that the judges in ancient times sat at the gates of the cities and towns, and from this custom it is that the Turkish government calls itself to this day "the supreme Port." For there are gates in the world of spirits leading into heaven, but no one can enter in who does not acknowledge the Divine authority of the Lord in His Word. Acknowledgment, therefore, is the first means or medium of entrance, and thus of communication and conjunction with all things of the Church and of Heaven.
In harmony with this representation there was given to the tribe of Dan a tract of land in the extreme west, along the Mediterranean Sea, to the north of the land of the Philistines, including the city of Joppa, which was then, as now, the only sea-port of the land of Canaan. The sea and the west signify the obscure state of those outside the Church who are as yet only in literal and sensuous appearances of truth, and for these there is no way of entering into the interior things of the regenerate life except by the humble acknowledgment that the spiritual things of the Lord's revelation are superior to the lumen of the natural man. The only gateway is through Joppa in the country of Dan.
When man is in this introductory state he is more or less in a state of truth alone, bordering upon the Philistine state of faith alone. He differs from the Philistines, however, by possessing an affirmative affection of interior truth, which needs but time and experience to blossom into the affection of good. But though he will make progress into the interiors of the land, he will not leave the gate unguarded, but will descend from the mountains of Judah in times of war to give battle to the Philistines. Michael, the celestial man, discriminates more than any other angel between truth and falsity, and fights especially against that greatest of all heresies, the faith alone which is a living denial of the Lord.
In order still further to represent acknowledgment as the gateway into the Church, a colony of Danites were permitted to take possession of the city of Laish, at the extreme northern boundary of Canaan, and to re-name it Dan. Hence, "from Dan to Beersheba" came to mean the whole extent of the land from north to south. And thus Dan became, in a twofold sense, the gate of entrance into the Holy Land, for the only natural approach from the north was through the Lebanon valley of Coeli-Syria through northern Dan into the valley of the Jordan. The north signifies a state of ignorance; Syria, the knowledges of doctrine; and Lebanon, the natural rational. The investigator, on his way to the heavenly Canaan, is at first in a state of ignorance: then he acquires an external knowledge of the Doctrines, which he examines in the light of natural reason, but he cannot enter the Church itself until he has passed through Dan,—until he has acknowledged that the Doctrine is Divine.
121. Naphtali. Jacob's second son by Bilhah, the handmaid of Rachel, was named from the "wrestlings" of Rachel with her sister, that is, the struggles of the interior affection of truth with the exterior affection to become the mistress of the regenerating mind. Naphtali, therefore, signifies that spiritual wrestling which is called temptation, and which is the second general medium of regeneration.
That such is the signification of Naphtali is evident not only from the meaning of his name, but also from everything that is known of the history and location of this tribe. Inhabiting the mountainous region of northern Canaan, through which the highway leads from Syria into the Holy Land, the tribe of Naphtali always had to bear the brunt of attacks from invading Syrians, Ammonites, and Assyrians, and hence, of necessity, it became a warlike tribe. It was Barak, the hero of Naphtali, who with his own tribe and that of Zebulon, defeated the hosts of Sisera, in that battle by the river Kishon when "the stars in their courses fought against Sisera." (Judges 5:20.) Naphtali bears the same signification in the New Testament, when, after the Lord had endured the forty clays of temptation in the wilderness, "He came and dwelt in the borders of Zebulon and Nephtalim." (Matth. 4:13.) For Naphtali represents not only the temptations themselves, but also the happy state that follows after a successful struggle against evil.
We are taught that the love of self and the world "cannot be dissipated by any other medium than the affirmation and acknowledgment of the holy of faith and of the good of love. This is Dan. And then through temptation, which is the second medium, and is signified by Naphtali, for this medium follows the other." (A. C. 3228.) As soon as the pilgrim to Canaan has passed through the gateway of Dan, he finds himself in the rugged mountain district of Naphtali. Here are lofty peaks, with great forests and deep, dark ravines. The highland gradually slopes down on all sides: on the west towards the coast where dwelt the tribe of Asher; on the east towards the Jordan valley, on the other side of which dwelt the northern half of the tribe of Manasseh; and on the south towards the fertile region inhabited by the tribes of Zebulon and Issachar. Asher, in general, signifies delight; Eastern Manasseh, genuine good works; Zebulon and Issachar, the conjugial; and Naphtali in the midst of them, and introductory to them all, signifies the perception, and the joy of perceiving, the opening of all these heavenly blessings, after the regenerating man has been victorious in the dark struggles of temptation.
As surely as the region of Naphtali follows upon the gateway of Dan, so surely do temptations follow upon the affirmative acknowledgment that the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem is Divine. Doubts immediately begin to assail, for there are many appearances contradicting the new acknowledgment. The newborn faith must be tried in the crucible in order to become pure metal. The new wine must undergo the foul and turbulent process of fermentation in order to become a clear, noble and generous spirit. But the storm and stress will not last forever, for after each six days of labor there comes a day of rest. There are forests and ravines in Naphtali, but also mountain peaks with beautiful vistas of comfort and consolation after each bitter struggle. The "blessedness of Asher" then smiles upon the wanderer,—the delight of fellowship with the angels and with brethren in' the Church, refreshing the strength and the courage by the sphere of a new, spiritual, and therefore genuine charity. The plains of Bashan, where Manasseh dwells, roll forth their riches with perception of good works and uses for the eternal salvation of man. And, sweetest of all consolation, there is the prospect of Zebulon and Issachar, the conjunction of good with truth, the conjugial of an eternal "cohabitation" with the partner of the soul.
122. Gad. From the perception of uses which follows upon victory in temptations, the regenerating man now enters upon the third means or medium of regeneration, that is, the performance of these uses themselves, or the good works which are represented by Gad. These works are manifold: on every side a host of them appear to the perception; Leah said, "A troop cometh; and she called his name, Gad." In the Hebrew the word Gad means "a troop."
There are in general three kinds of good works. The first is the works done by those who are in natural good but despise spiritual truth; these are represented by the Moabites and Ammonites. The second kind of good works is done by those who are as yet in external faith, "works done from truth and not yet from good." (AC 6404); "works without judgment, for they who do works from truth and not yet from good, have an obscure understanding, whereas they who do works from good have an enlightened understanding because good enlightens," (AC 6405); the former are represented by Gad. The third kind is done by those who do genuine good works from a spiritual good-will towards the neighbor; these are represented by the eastern half of the tribe of Manasseh, who inhabited the plain of Bashan, to the north of Gad.
The good works represented by Gad are therefore the works of the beginner in the Church, the works of the new convert, whether born in the Church or not, who in his early zeal is going to "do something" for the beloved cause. Having learned a few initiatory and general truths, such persons have been known to declare that they now have enough of truth for some time to come, and they are now to do good. They burn to be "helpful" to the thirsting and hungering multitudes without, and so they are apt to rush headlong into hasty, ill-considered, indiscriminate work, which, once ultimated in action, they adore as their work, and are unwilling to be corrected and improved by a more internal study of the Heavenly Doctrine.
In itself this state is not an evil one, but a state of mixed good, initiatory good, in which there is something of good intention and of innocence in the midst of ignorance and conceit. If a man confirms himself in this state, and obstinately refuses to enter into more internal good, he surrenders to the Ammonite spirits who formerly inhabited his land, and he becomes a source of evil instead of good to the Church. But if the state be but transitory, it is a delightful, beautiful and useful state of good, the happy though external good of youthfulness, the good of the honeymoon state of regeneration.
In correspondence with this good there was given to the tribe of Gad the beautiful land of Gilead, on the outer side of the Jordan, representing the external Church, with Reuben to the south and Manasseh to the north. This land was famous for its beauty and fertility and balsamic spices, all of which signified "the first good, which is that of the sensuous things of the body, for it is the good or pleasure of these things into which the regenerating man is first initiated." (AC 4117.)
The land of Gilead was the first possession of the Israelites when entering the Promised Land after their forty years of trial and temptation in the wilderness, and hence this region ever afterwards represented the first delight of rest and comfort, with promises of greater blessings yet to come. There is holiness and there is healing in this state, the holiness and innocence of childhood and youth. There is in its early enthusiasm something to look back to for comfort and consolation in the weary struggles and temptations of subsequent more internal states, even as there is a fountain of strength and promise to the conjugial life in the memory of the honey-moon bliss of the youthful husband and wife. Thus there is ever "balm in Gilead for the healing of the people."
123. Asher. The eighth "son of Jacob was named from "blessedness." This is a state of the affections, and on this account Leah said at his birth: "In my blessedness, because the daughters will make me blessed. And she called his name Asher." (Gen. 30:13.)
There are many kinds and degrees of blessedness or, what is the same, delight, and Asher stands for any of these degrees, according to the connection in which he is mentioned in the Word. In the external and most general sense he signifies the delight which a regenerating man perceives more or less obscurely in this world from the affections of love and charity in the doing of the good works signified by Gad. In the internal sense he signifies the eternal blessedness of these affections, which is almost imperceptible in this life, but which is nevertheless hidden within the general sensation of delight and comes to full flower and fruition in the life to come. Still more interiorly, Asher signifies eternal life itself, and, in the supreme sense, he signifies the One who alone is and bestows eternal life, heavenly blessedness, and natural delight and pleasure. (AC 4609; AR 353.) When the regenerating man begins to perceive the delight arising from the ability to be of service to the neighbor,—a delight which corresponds to the eternal blessedness of heaven,—then his external man begins to be conjoined with his internal man, or his earth begins to be conjoined with his heaven, for it is delight which opens the way for this conjunction and thus leads into the next state,—Issachar, who signifies this conjunction itself.
To the tribe of Asher there was given a region of Canaan fully corresponding to its spiritual signification. It consisted of a long and narrow strip of land along the sea-board, south of Phoenicia, and flanked on the east by the territories of northern Dan, Naphtali, Zebulon, and Issachar, with Manasseh to the south. It was one of the richest and loveliest regions in Palestine and included the fruitful plain of Accho, or Acre, beautiful Mt. Carmel with its thousand vineyards, and the northern part of the flowery plain of Sharon. This highly favored district well fulfilled the promise involved in the name of "Asher," and the "blessings" pronounced upon him by Jacob and Moses. Here were to be found in abundance the oil in which "Asher" was to "dip his foot," the "bread," which was to be "fat," and the "royal dainties" in which he was to revel. Here, also, in the metallic manufactures of the neighboring Phoenicians, were to be found the "iron and brass for his shoes." Protected from the north-wind by the Lebanon range, from the blistering south-wind by Mt. Carmel, and from the destructive breath of the eastern desert by the mountains of Naphtali, this delightful garden land was cooled by the zephyrs of the Great Sea which was in view from every point of the territory of Asher. For delight accompanies all the stages of the pilgrim's progress into the Promised Land. There is delight in acquiring the Phoenician knowledges concerning the Church: there is delight in entering into the acknowledgment of Dan ; delight follows upon victories in the temptations of Naphtali; the greatest of all delights is the conjugial, external and internal, signified by Zebulon and Issachar, leading into the heavenly joy of the new will of good, signified by Manasseh. And from every state there is the delight of contemplating the great infinite ocean of eternity, into whose bosom will be gathered finally all the little brooks and rivulets of individual existence.
124. Issachar and Zebulon. The birth of these two brothers introduces a new series among the sons of Israel. As has been stated above, the first series, consisting of Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah, represents the four most general states or stages of the process of regeneration. The next series, consisting of Dan, Naphtali, Gad and Asher, represents the four most general means or media by which the external man is conjoined with the internal man. And the final series, consisting of Issachar, Zebulon, Joseph and Benjamin, represents the four most general states of the regenerate life itself, resulting from this conjunction of the external with the internal man, that is, of truth with good, or of the spiritual with the celestial. On this account this final series is introduced by the incident of the dudaim, (mandrakes, or "love-apples"), which Reqben found in the field, the mandrakes signifying the conjugial of good and truth., (AC 3941.)
Both Issachar and Zebulon represent this interior marriage of good and truth, or the heavenly conjugial, (AC 3952), and hence these two tribes were always intimately associated. But while Issachar represents the interior conjugial itself, as ultimated in a life of mutual love, Zebulon represents the further ultimation of this conjunction in a life of actual conjugial love between husband and wife, for this also is one of the fundamental and universal things of heaven and the church.
The name Issachar, (Yissaskar), signifies literally "there is a reward," or "hire." To the external thought the connection of "hire" or "reward" with the idea of the interior conjugial and mutual love would seem somewhat remote, yet in the internal sense the connection of ideas is easily seen. For "reward is of service as a means of conjunction to those who are not yet initiated," such as children and young people. (A. C. 3816.) By rewards there is established a mutuality or reciprocation between children and parents, between pupils and teachers, and between servants and masters, and thus a complete circle of action and reaction, resulting in mutual love.
As long as a man remains in the desire for reward, he remains in a persuasion of his own merit, a conceit of self-preeminence, with which there is associated a more or less conscious contempt of others in comparison with himself. (AC 3956.) But if he advances in the life of regeneration his ideas of reward gradually become less gross; he begins to look for heavenly, instead of earthly rewards, and, finally, the desire for reward vanishes altogether in the joy of serving the Lord and the neighbor for the sake of the use itself. And thus he comes into the reward itself, the onlv reward which remains to eternity, —the bliss of being able and allowed to perform uses and of seeing that these uses are accepted. This is that inmost delight which those enjoy who are in the affection of mutual love.
When the man has reached this state then there is within him a full conjunction of his faith with his charity, of his understanding with his will, i. e., that heavenly and internal marriage of truth with good, which finds its spontaneous expression in a life of mutual love. And this interior love will, in the Lord's own good time,—in this world or in the next—find one most special object, one closest neighbor and eternal counterpart, upon whom mutual love will be concentrated in the intensest measure and resulting in the intensest joys,—in that holiest of all loves which is "the jewel of human life," that sweetest and best of all rewards which is called "love truly conjugial." This is Zebulon, so named from "cohabitation."
To the tribe of Issachar there was given in the land of Canaan a territory which included almost the whole of the famous plain of Jezreel or Esdraelon, extending from Mt. Carmel in the west to the Jordan in the east, and from Mt. Gilboa in the south to Mt. Tabor in the north. This territory was and still is the richest and most fruitful of all regions in Palestine, as is indicated, indeed, by the original name, Jezreel, meaning "the seed-plot of God." For the internal conjugial of good and truth is verily the "seed-plot of God," whence come all spiritual prolification in the regenerate life, and all natural potency and fruitfulness in marriage.
Situated in the plain of Jezreel, midway in the land, the territory of Issachar served as the great highway of communication from north to south, and from east to west in the land, even as the interior of the natural rational, (which is the seat of the marriage of good and truth in the conscious mind), is the highway of communication and conjunction between the spiritual mind and the natural. Here also, as for ages on the plain of Esdraelon, is that great spiritual field of battle where the great decisive combats must be fought out by the regenerating man against the foreign enemies invading through his proprium.
It is significant that Issachar, though born before Zebulon, received an inheritance to the south of the latter, or interior to it. The reason appears to be that the interior conjugial, or some beginning of it, must have been born within each individual, before an orderly external marriage is to take place. Actual conjugial love, while it is the home of all heavenly loves, is at the same time an ultimate love. To Zebulon, therefore, was assigned a territory to the north of Issachar, a beautiful wooded and hilly district extending from Mt. Carmel to the Sea of Galilee, and from Nazareth in the south to Cana in the north,— the very region, indeed, where the Lord in His Human was to spend the greater part of His life on earth, His labors and victories effecting the heavenly marriage between Himself and His Church, and the infinite Union of the Divine and the Human.
125. Joseph. "In the preceding series, by the sons of Jacob from Leah and the handmaidens, it has treated of the reception and acknowledgement of general truths, and finally of their conjunction with the interior man; thus of the regeneration of man even until he becomes spiritual. Joseph is this spiritual man." (AC 3971.) At his birth Rachel said, "God hath taken away my reproach; and she called his name Joseph, saying, Let Jehovah add to me another son." (Gen. 30:23, 24.) The Hebrew text suggests a two-fold signification of the name Joseph,—one who "takes away," (from asaph), and one who adds or causes increase, (from yasaph),—involving a prophecy, perhaps, of the two sons of Joseph: Manasseh. whose name means "forgetfulness," and Ephraim, which means "fruitfulness."
Joseph, the tempted and persecuted youth who finally became ruler over the whole land of Egypt, represented in general the crowning state of the natural man who by the labors of temptation has at length become a spiritual man, a man who by obedience to spiritual truth has gained genuine spiritual good. This good, therefore, is called the good of truth, or the celestial of the spiritual,—not the celestial itself, represented by Judah, who has arrived to his supreme heights by a shorter and quicker route,—but the celestial of the spiritual, which is the inmost of the Lord's Spiritual Kingdom. (AR 355; AE 448; AC 6417.)
Within this regenerated spiritual man there are now born two new and spiritual faculties of life, a new voluntary and a new intellectual, to take the place of the old will and the old understanding of the natural man. It was in order to represent this new duality that the house of Joseph was divided into the two tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, and also in order to retain the significant number of "twelve" in the tribal districts in Canaan, since the tribe of Levi did not receive any geographical allottment in the land. Historically, no doubt, the double portion thus given to the house of Joseph was bestowed in recognition of the eminent services of Joseph to his father and brethren, and of the pre-eminent social position and influence of his descendants. Reuben and Simeon, at the deathbed of Israel, were cursed rather than blessed, (on account of the heinous crimes which they had committed in their youth), and Ephraim, or the new intellectual, was accepted as the first-born in place of Reuben, or mere faith,—and Manasseh, or the new voluntary, in place of Simeon, or blind obedience. (AC 5354.) On the same occasion, also, Israel bestowed the primogeniture upon Ephraim, the younger son of Joseph, instead of Manasseh, who was aerially the first-born, just as Jacob himself had long before stolen the birthright from Esau. The significance of the transfer is the same in each case, for to the natural man, even though regenerated to the spiritual degree, the appearance remains that truth and things intellectual, because they take precedence in point of time, are of primary importance, and that good and the things of affection and love are secondary, because they seem to be the fruits of faith. (AC 5354, 6269.)
126. Ephraim. At the birth of his second son Joseph said, "For God hath made me fruitful in the land of my affliction; and he called his name Ephraim," by which is signified the propagation of good and the multiplication of truth indefinitely after a life of victorious combats of temptation." (AC 5355, 5356.) Literally, the name Ephraim is a dual form, meaning "two-fold fruitfulness," i. e., both of good and of truth, in and from the new intellectual with the regenerated man.
To the tribe of Ephraim, as the possessor of the primogeniture of Joseph, there was given a superb region of Canaan, in the very center of the land, extending from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, and bordered by Benjamin and Dan in the south, and by Manasseh in the north. It was a rich and beautiful hill country, (in heaven the spiritual angels dwell on hills, while the celestial dwell on mountains); it was well watered and richlywooded, abounding in corn fields and orchards, and secure from attacks of foreign foes. This district, which included the greater part of the region afterwards called Samaria, contained numerous important towns and cities, among these, Shiloh, where the ark and the tabernacle were deposited for several hundred years, making this the religious center of the nation during the entire period of the Judges and the early monarchy; Shechem, between Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerezim, once occupied by the ancient Hittites and later on venerated as the burial place of Jacob; and, finally, Samaria, which throughout the history of the separate kingdom of Israel remained the capital of the northern kingdom.
In the kingdom of Israel the predominance of the tribe of Ephraim was so complete as to cause the entire realm to be called Ephraim, instead of Israel, in many places in the Old Testament, especially in the Prophets. From the beginning Ephraim was a militant and heroic tribe, domineering, haughty, and jealous. Joshua, the conqueror of Canaan, was of the tribe of Ephraim, and this tribe retained the hegemony until in the time of David the ark and the capital of the nation were transferred to Jerusalem and the tribe of Judah. Proud Ephraim now began to alienate itself from the united monarchy, and after the oppressive reign of Solomon it eagerly seized upon the first opportunity to establish its independence. Ephraim, the intellectual of the Spiritual Church, then became the leader of Israel, or the Spiritual Kingdom, but, being hostile to Judah, or the Celestial Church, it now represented a Church of faith alone, like the Protestant Church, and, like it, doomed to destruction by the Assyrian cohorts of false reasonings.
127. Manasseh. The name of the first-born son of Joseph means literally “one who causes to forget,” and to forget means to remove from the memory. At his birth Joseph said, “Because God hath made me forget all my labors and all my father’s house,” by which is signified not only the removal of the memory of the bitter labors of temptation in the struggle for regeneration, but also “the removal of the evils themselves, both actual and hereditary, [’all my father’s house’] for when these have been removed, there rises up a new voluntary.” (AC 5351, 5353)
This "new voluntary" consists of a genuine will towards the neighbor, a willingness to serve and be of use, forgetful of all considerations of self-interest. And Manasseh represents not only the willingness to serve, but also the act of serving, thus good works from a genuine good will, for the will is the conatus or endeavor of every act, and where there is this endeavor, there also it is ultimated in act, whenever possible. (AR 355.) In order, therefore, to represent this duality of will and act, a double inheritance was given to the tribe of Manasseh in the land of Canaan. The main body of the tribe dwelt in the interior of the land, to the north of Ephraim and south of Asher and Issachar, in a region extending from the Mediterranean to the Jordan, and including the beautiful plain of Sharon and the southern parts of the plains of Megiddo and Esdraelon. This part of the tribe represented the new voluntary itself within the spiritual man. The other part of the tribe, generally known as Eastern Manasseh, dwelt on the farther side of the Jordan, where they enjoyed the possession of nearly the whole of the land of Bashan, than whicl1 there was no richer region in the whole of Canaan. This half of the tribe represented the willingness to serve in the act o f serving, and it is this ultimation of good will that reaps t h e most bountiful harvests and the richest increase. Eastern Manasseh, like Gad, thus represents good works, but while the latter stands for "works from truth," or early works from mixed motives, the former stands for "works from good," or genuine good works. Like Gad, this half-tribe of Manasseh dwelt On the farther side of the Jordan, to represent the fact that these good works, though genuine, still, as acts, belong to the external of the Church. (AE 440.)
128. Benjamin. The twelfth and last son of Jacob was born near Bethlehem; by his father he was named Benjamin, which means a "son of the right hand." A "son" always signifies truth; the "right," good; and "hand," power. Hence Benjamin signifies the saving power of that spiritual truth which flows from celestial good. (A. C. 4592.)
Joseph stands for the regenerated or spiritual man in general, but more especially for the good of this spiritual man, or the celestial of the spiritual, which is as distinct from the celestial itself, signified by Judah, as the spiritual love of the neighbor is distinct from the celestial love of the Lord. Benjamin, who followed Joseph in the order of birth, signifies the truth that flows from this spiritual good, the spiritual of this celestial, the faculty of perception which is the greatest and final gift to the regenerated man of the spiritual genius. This significance of Benjamin may be illustrated by the growth of a plant. The earlier sons of Jacob may be compared to the stem, branches and green leaves, through which the sap or natural love is strained and purified, producing finally the flowers or spiritual conjunctions of good and truth, represented by Issachar and Zebulon. Then, from the further purification of the sap in the tender petals, there is formed the sweet, ripe fruit which corresponds to spiritual good, the celestial of the spiritual, or Joseph. And, finally, inmostly within the fruit, there is formed the seed, corresponding to the new truth, the truth from good, the spiritual of the celestial, or Benjamin.
Truth from good, with man, is the same as the perception of truth from the love of good, a new and instantaneous vision from which a new light is shed upon all the things which formerly were viewed from the outside only, an affirmative wisdom which reconciles all the lower truths and goods which formerly appeared conflicting, even as Benjamin was the medium of reconciliation between Joseph and his brethren. When the regenerating man has attained unto this perception, he no longer is becoming a church, but is a church, for in this new truth alone there is life from good. (AC 5806.) Hence Benjamin was the last-born of Israel.
This perception of truth mediates not only between the natural and the spiritual, causing the man to view all natural things from a spiritual point of view, but it mediates also more interiorly between the celestial and the spiritual, enabling the former to inflow with life and affection into the latter. In order to represent this close association of the truth of good with the celestial itself, on the one hand, and with the spiritual itself, on the other, "the inheritance of the tribe of Benjamin was between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph." (AE 449.) The region thus given to Benjamin was a small but high plateau, extending from Bethlehem and Jerusalem in the south to Bethel in the north, and commanding all the means of communication between Judah and Ephraim, and between Dan in the west and Gad in the east on the other side of the Jordan.
Within this district there were very many places of great prominence in sacred history. Here was the eminence of Ramah, an ancient sanctuary famous as the residence of Samuel; the "watch-tower" of Mizpeh where the great assemblies of all Israel were held in the time of the Judges; Bethel, "the house of God," where Jacob beheld heaven opened; Gibeon, "the great high place;" and Gilboa, the birth-place and residence of Saul. Closely bordering upon Benjamin was the city of Bethlehem, which, like Benjamin, who was, born there, signifies the truth of good, or the spiritual of the celestial, for beth, or house, signifies truth, and lechem, or bread, signifies good. This was the reason why the Lord in His human was born in Bethlehem, for He alone of all men was born a spiritual-celestial man. With Him alone the natural was from the beginning eager for good and filled with longing for truth. (AC 4594; AE 449.)
Jerusalem, finally, was partly within the border of Benjamin, that is to say, the upper and fortified part originally occupied by the Jebusites, where Zion was afterwards built; the lower part of the city, with Mt. Moriah and the Temple, had come into the possession of Judah. Jerusalem, as a city, signifies the Church as to Doctrine, and all the Doctrine of the Church is in itself spiritual-celestial, being the Divine truth of the Divine Good of the Lord,—Benjamin in the supreme sense. (AE 449: AR 361; AC 4592.)