Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 10632

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10632. 'And He said, Behold, I am making a covenant' means the chief things through which the joining of the Lord to the human race by means of the Word is brought about. This is clear from the meaning of 'a covenant' as a joining together, dealt with in 665, 666, 1023, 1038, 1864, 1996, 2003, 2021, 6804, 8767, 8778, at this point the joining of Jehovah, that is, of the Lord, to the human race by means of the Word; for this joining together is the subject in what immediately follows. The fact that this is the meaning is also clear from the train of thought in the internal sense. For the subject in what went before was the Law which was laid down and declared from Mount Sinai. That Law serves in a broad sense to mean the Word, 6752, 7463; but also it was the beginning of the Word, for the Word was declared afterwards, first by Moses, then by all the others. The subject in what came next was the Israelite nation, who were not by nature such that the Word could be written among them as it could have been in other circumstances. This was because no Church could be established among them, and where the Church is, so is the Word. See what has been stated and shown on these matters in Chapters 32 and 33, and up to here in the present chapter.

[2] But because Moses insisted on the people's behalf that Jehovah should be in their midst and that they should be accepted as an inheritance, and should accordingly be led into the land of Canaan - all of which means in the internal sense that the Church was to be established among that people, and thus that the Word was to be written there - and because these demands were accepted on account of Moses' insistence, the subject now is the chief commandments which had to be kept fully in order that those demands might be met. These commandments required them to worship the Lord alone and no other, and to acknowledge that He was the Source of everything good and true, besides a number of other commandments that form the subject in what immediately follows.

[3] When it is said that these form the subject in what immediately follows it should be recognized that those commandments are contained in the internal sense, whereas the kinds of things that represent them, thus that serve to mean them, are what the external or literal sense contains, as will be clear from the explanation of the things stated next in this chapter of Exodus. But since this covenant which Jehovah made with Moses is said to mean the joining of the Lord to the human race by means of the Word, something must be stated here regarding the nature of such a joining together. In most ancient times members of the Church possessed no Word, only direct revelation; and through this revelation a joining together was accomplished. For when direct revelation exists heaven is joined to those in the world; and the joining of heaven to those in the world constitutes a joining of the Lord to them since that which is Divine and the Lord's among the angels constitutes heaven.

[4] When this direct revelation came to an end, which happened when people turned aside from the good which had governed them, another kind of revelation took its place. This was accomplished by means of representative signs, through which members of the Church at that time knew what was true and good; consequently this Church was called the representative Church. In that Church a Word also existed, but it served that Church alone. When however this Church too was laid waste, which happened when they began to venerate in idolatrous ways those representative signs through which the Church in those times was joined to heaven, and in many lands when they began to use them for magic, the Lord provided for a Word to be written that would be Divine in every single part, even each syllable. It would consist of pure correspondences and so would be suited to the perception of angels in all the heavens, and at the same time to people in the world. And this Word was provided to the end that through it the Lord might be joined to the human race; for unless He had been joined to them through such a Word heaven would have completely departed from mankind, who as a consequence would have ceased to exist.

[5] The subject in what follows therefore is that joining together by means of the Word; and the chief commandments which ought to be kept by a person in order that this joining by means of the Word may exist in him are opened up.

The most ancients possessed direct revelation, see 2895, 3432. Regarding the representative Church which subsequently took its place, and its Word, 2686, 2897, 3432, 10355. The Word is the means by which the Lord is joined to the human race, in the places referred to in 10375 and 10452.

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