Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 8054

Previous Number Next Number Next Translation See Latin 

8054. 'And it shall be when Jehovah brings you into the land of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite' means into the region of heaven occupied by those steeped in evil and falsity. This is clear from the meaning of 'the land of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite' as heaven, at this point the region of heaven occupied by those steeped in evil and falsity. 'The land of Canaan' is the Lord's kingdom in heaven, and His kingdom on earth, which is the Church, see 1413, 1437, 1585, 1607, 1866, 3038, 3481, 3686, 3705, 4116, 4240, 4447, 4454, 4516, 4517, 5136, 5757, 6516. Evils and falsities are meant by the nations mentioned here, evil begotten by falsity that springs from evil being meant by 'the Canaanite,, 4818; falsity from which evil arises by 'the Hittite', 2913; evil and consequent falsity by 'the Amorite', 1857, 6306; that which is idolatrous but has some kind of goodness in it by 'the Hivite', 6860; and that which is idolatrous but has some kind of truth in it by 'the Jebusite', 6860. The region of heaven into which those belonging to the spiritual Church were to come was occupied by evils and falsities before the Lord's Coming, see above in 6858.

[2] To pursue this matter further, it should be recognized that before the Lord's Coming heaven was not divided into three separate heavens - the inmost or third, the middle or second, and the lowest or first - as it was after the Lord's Coming, but was a single heaven. The spiritual heaven did not yet exist. The region where the spiritual heaven was going to exist was occupied by those who were ruled by falsity and evil, yet could be kept in a state in which they felt encouraged by external means to adhere to some truth and good, especially by ideas of holding important positions and rank. It was just like what happens in the world. Here those ruled by evil, and by falsity, are nevertheless obliged by external means - by rank and position and by monetary gain - to look as if they are thinking and speaking things that are true, and willing and doing those that are good. The reason why that region of heaven was at that time occupied by such spirits was that there was a lack of good people, and those who belonged to the spiritual Church had not yet been made ready; yet every part of heaven needed to be filled with spirits to provide a continuous chain from the Lord at one end to mankind at the other. For had the chain been broken mankind would have perished. At the present day too there are some regions of heaven which are occupied by such spirits; but those who are in them are withheld by great force from doing evil. Directly overhead there are spirits who use innocence to deceive others and lead them astray; but above those spirits there are celestial ones belonging to the Most Ancient Church, who restrain them so forcibly that they cannot possibly inflict harm on anyone. At the back of the head there is also at the present day a region which was once part of heaven but is now occupied by evil spirits, as well as another region in front, over on the left.

[3] The evil also constantly endeavour to take over the places where the good are, and do in actual fact take them over as soon as they cease to be filled with the good. I have often been made aware of their endeavour. Those regions are occupied when the number of wicked people in the world increases and that of the good diminishes; for then evil spirits come nearer mankind and good spirits move away. And the more the good spirits move away, the more the regions nearest mankind come to be occupied by evil spirits. When this becomes the situation generally, the inhabitants of those regions are changed completely. The change takes place when the Church is near its end since evil and falsity reign then. But around the end of the Church those who have taken over are expelled, and the regions once occupied by them are given to the good, who have in the meantime been made ready for heaven. This is the meaning of the following words in John,

War took place in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought, and his angels, but they did not prevail, nor was their place found any longer in heaven. Rev 12:7, 8.

This state of heaven was represented by the land of Canaan, in that the nations occupied it, and by the children of Israel, in that they expelled the nations from there. For the land of Canaan means the Lord's kingdom, thus heaven and the Church, as may be seen from the places enumerated above

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

© 2000-2001 The Academy of the New Church