Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 1366

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1366. That 'Haran died in the presencea of Terah his father, in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans' means that interior worship was erased and became wholly idolatrous is clear from the meaning of 'Haran', 'Terah', 'birth', and 'Ur of the Chaldeans', and also from the statement that 'he died in the presence' of Terah his father'. As regards interior worship being erased and made non-existent, the Church cannot arise anew with any nation until it has been so vastated that no trace of evil or falsity remains in its internal worship. As long as evil is present in internal worship, those goods and truths which constitute its internal worship are obstructed. For as long as evils and falsities are there, goods and truths cannot be received. This becomes clear from the fact that people who have been born into any heresy and who have so confirmed themselves in its falsities as to be entirely persuaded about it can be led only with difficulty, if at all, to receive the truths which are contrary to their falsities. It is different however in the case of gentiles who do not know what the truth of faith is and yet lead charitable lives. This was the reason why the Lord's Church could not be restored among the Jews but could among gentiles who possessed no cognitions of faith. By means of falsities the Jews darken the light of truth altogether, and in so doing extinguish it. This is less true of gentiles, for they do not know what the truth of faith is, and what people do not know they cannot darken and extinguish.

[2] As a new Church had now to be established, people were selected with whom the goods and truths of faith might be implanted. All knowledge of the good and truth of faith had been wiped out with them, and they had become external idolaters like the gentiles. In reference to Terah and Abram it has been shown above that they were such, that is to say, they worshipped other gods, and did not know Jehovah or consequently what the good and truth of faith were. They had thus become more fitted to receive the seed of truth than other people in Syria with whom cognitions still remained. The fact that cognitions remained with some is clear from Balaam, who came from Syria. He not only worshipped Jehovah but also offered sacrifices and at the same time was a prophet. These considerations then are what this verse contains, that is to say, that interior worship was erased and became wholly idolatrous.


a lit. before the faces

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