Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 4720

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4720. 'And the man said, They have travelled on from here, for I heard them saying, Let us go to Dothan' means that they moved on from the general aspects to the specific details of doctrine. This is clear from the meaning of 'travelled on' as moving on; from the meaning of 'from Shechem', to which 'from here' refers here, as from the general aspects of doctrine, 4707, 4716; and from the meaning of 'Dothan' as the specific details of doctrine. This meaning of 'Dothan' - the specific details of doctrine - cannot be easily demonstrated from other places in the Word because no other mention is made of it apart from that in 2 Kings 6:13, where the narrative states that the king of Syria sent chariots and horsemen and a large army to Dothan to seize Elisha, and that they were struck with blindness and were led by Elisha to Samaria.

[2] Since all historical details in the Word are representative of the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom, so too are these. 'The king of Syria' represents people who possess cognitions of truth, 1232, 1234, 3249, 3664, 3680, 4112, though at this point in the contrary sense he represents those who possess cognitions which have no connection with truth. 'Elisha' represents the Word of the Lord, 2762. 'Dothan' means matters of doctrine drawn from the Word. 'Chariots and horsemen and the large army which the king of Syria sent' means falsities of doctrine. 'The mountain full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha that were seen by his servant' means goods and truths taught by doctrine drawn from the Word, 2762. 'The blindness' with which those were struck whom the king of Syria sent there means utter falsities, 2383. 'Their being led by Elisha to Samaria', where their eyes were opened, means instruction given through the Word. These are the kinds of things implied in the historical narrative here, 'Dothan', where Elisha was, meaning matters of doctrine drawn from the Word concerning goodness and truth. The historical details here in Genesis are much the same in meaning, for specific details of doctrine are not anything different. Yet at this particular point the specific details of false assumptions are meant, for the subject is a Church which begins with faith and so right from the start separates it from charity. Matters of doctrine which are formulated after that all smack of the general assumption made initially, and so of faith devoid of charity Consequently those matters of doctrine are falsities which are the specific details belonging to false assumptions.

[3] When it first begins every Church knows only the general aspects of doctrine, for at that time it is in a state of simplicity and so to speak in childhood. With the passage of time it adds particular aspects, which in part are confirmations of general aspects, in part are additions which do not however conflict with what is general, and also explanations which resolve manifest contradictions but do not in any way offend the dictates of common sense. But in the present instance all the specific details belong to false assumptions, for all aspects of any kind of doctrine are interrelated like members within a community, and are linked to one another as in blood relationships and relationships by marriage, acknowledging a general assumption made initially as their father. From this it is evident that everything smacks of falsity when the general assumption made initially is false.

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