Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead) n. 141

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141. To eat idol-sacrifices and to commit whoredom, signifies that they may be imbued with evils and with falsities therefrom. This is evident from the signification of "eating," as being to appropriate to themselves, and to be consociated with (see Arcana Coelestia, n. 2187, 2343, 3168, 3513, 5643, 8001); so also to be imbued with; and from the signification of "idol-sacrifices," which are things consecrated to idols, as being evils of every kind (of which more in what follows); and from the signification of "committing whoredom," as being to falsify truths (of which also more presently). That Balaam counseled Balak to invite the sons of Israel to the sacrifices of his gods appears from what was shown in the preceding article, and from these words of Moses:

Israel abode in Shittim, where the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab; for he called* the people unto the sacrifices of their gods; and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. Especially did the people join themselves to Baal-peor; therefore the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel. And those that were slain were four and twenty thousand (Num. 25:1-3, 9). It was among the statutes where sacrifices were instituted that some part of the sacrifices, especially of the thank-offerings, should be burnt from the altar, and some part eaten in the holy place. The "sacrifices" themselves signified worship from love and faith, and the "eating" of them signified appropriation of the good thereof. (That "sacrifices" signified all things of worship from the good of love and faith, see Arcana Coelestia, n. 923, 6905, 8680, 8936, 10042; and "eating" the appropriation of goods, n. 10109.) As the eating of things sanctified to Jehovah signified the appropriation of good, so the eating of the sacrifices offered to the gods of the nations, and which were called "idol-sacrifices," signified the appropriation of evil. [2] That to "commit whoredom," in the spiritual sense, signifies to become imbued with falsities, so also to falsify truths, can be seen from many passages in the Word. The same was signified by the whoredoms of the sons of Israel with the daughters of Moab; for all historical parts of the Word involve spiritual things and signify them (as can be seen from the explanations of Genesis and Exodus, called Arcana Coelestia). And as the eating of idol-sacrifices by the sons of Israel and their whoredoms with the daughters of Moab involved such things (for what things signify they involve), therefore it was commanded that the heads of the people should be hung up to Jehovah before the sun; and for the same reason Phinehas the son of Eleazar thrust through a man of Israel and a Midianitish woman in the place of their lust, and for doing that he also was blessed; and for the same reason there were slain of Israel twenty and four thousand (as may be seen, Num. 25:1 to the end). Such punishments and such plagues merely because of the eating of idol-sacrifices, and committing whoredom with the women of another nation, would never have been commanded to be done, unless they had involved heinous offenses against heaven and the church, which do not appear in the literal sense of the Word, but only in its spiritual sense. The heinous offenses involved were the profanation at once of the goods and of the truths of the church, and this, as has been said above, was the appropriation of evil and falsity. [3] That adulteries and whoredoms involve such things is evident from numerous passages in the Word, where they are recounted, which show clearly that they signify the adulterations of good and the falsifications of truth, as in the following. In Ezekiel:

Jerusalem, thou hast trusted in thy beauty, and hast committed whoredom because of thy renown, so that thou hast poured out thy whoredoms on everyone that passed by. Thou has committed whoredom with the sons of Egypt thy neighbors, great of flesh, and hast multiplied thy whoredom. Thou hast committed whoredom with the sons of Asshur, when there was no satiety to thee, with whom thou committedst whoredom. Thou hast multiplied thy whoredom even to Chaldea, the land of traffic. An adulterous woman receiveth strangers instead of her husband. All give reward to their harlots,** but thou hast given reward to all thy lovers, and hast rewarded them that they may come unto thee on every side in thy whoredoms. Wherefore, O harlot! hear the word of Jehovah (Ezek. 16:15, 26, 28-29, 32-33, 35 seq.). Who cannot see that by "whoredoms" here are not meant whoredoms in the usual natural sense? For the church in which all the truths of the Word have been falsified is treated of; this is what is meant by "whoredoms;" for "whoredoms" in the spiritual sense, or spiritual whoredoms, are no other than falsifications of truth. "Jerusalem" here is the church; the "sons of Egypt," with whom she committed whoredom, are scientifics and knowledges of every kind, perversely applied to confirm falsities; the "sons of Asshur" are reasonings from falsities; "Chaldea," the land of traffic, is the profanation of truth; the "rewards" that she gave to her lovers are the vendings of falsities; and because of the adulteration of good by the falsifications of truth, that church is called a "woman adulterous while subject to her husband." [4] In the same:

Two women, the daughters of one mother, committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth. One committed whoredom while subject to me, and chose for lovers the Assyrians her neighbors; she bestowed her whoredoms upon them yet she hath not left her whoredoms in Egypt. The other hath corrupted her love more than she, and her whoredoms above the whoredoms of her sister; she increased her whoredoms, she loved the Chaldeans; the sons of Babel came to her to the bed of loves, and they defiled her with their whoredom (Ezek. 23:2-3, 5-8, 11, 14, 16-17 seq.). Here also by "whoredoms" are in like manner meant spiritual whoredoms, as is evident from every particular. "Two women, the daughters of one mother, are the two churches, the Israelitish and the Jewish; "whoredoms" with "the Egyptians," "the Assyrians," "the Chaldeans," signify the like as above; "the bed of loves with the sons of Babel" is the profanation of good. [5] In Jeremiah:

Thou hast committed whoredoms with many companions, thou hast profaned the land with thy whoredoms, and with thine evil. Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? She hath gone away upon every high mountain, and under every green tree, and there committeth whoredom. Perfidious Judah also hath gone away and committed whoredom, so that by the voice of her whoredom she hath profaned the land; she hath committed adultery with stone and with wood (Jer. 3:1-2, 6, 8-9). "Israel" is the church that is in truth, "Judah" the church that is in good, for they represented these two churches. The falsifications of truth are signified by the "whoredoms of Israel," and the adulterations of good by "the whoredoms of Judah." "To go away upon every high mountain and under every green tree and to commit whoredom" is to seek after all the knowledges of good and truth, even from the Word, and to falsify them; "to commit adultery with stone and wood" is to pervert and profane all truth and good; "stone" signifying truth, and "wood" signifying good. [6] In the same:

Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man [vir], if there be any doing judgment, seeking truth. When I fed them to the full they committed whoredom and came by troops to the house of the harlot (Jer. 5:1, 7). To "run to and fro through the streets, and to seek in the broad places of Jerusalem," is to see and explore the doctrinals of that church; for "Jerusalem" is the church, and "streets" and "broad places" are doctrinals. "If ye have found a man, if there be any doing judgment, seeking truth," means whether there be any truth in the church. "When I fed them to the full they committed whoredom," means that when truths were revealed to them they falsified them. Such a church, in respect to doctrine, is the "house of the harlot," into which they "came by troops." [7] In the same:

Thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, thine abominations on the hills in the field have I seen. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! thou wilt not be made clean (Jer. 13:27). "Neighings" are profanations of truth, because a "horse" signifies the intellectual where there is truth; "the hills in the field" are goods of truth in the church, which have been perverted. [8] In the same:

In the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible stubbornness in adulterating and in walking in a lie (Jer. 23:14). They have wrought folly in Israel, and have committed adultery with their companions' wives, and have spoken My*** word in My name falsely (Jer. 29:23). To "adulterate" and to "commit adultery" here clearly mean to pervert truths; "the prophets" signifying those who teach truths from the Word; for it is said "in adulterating and walking in a lie," and "they have spoken My word falsely." A "lie" in the Word signifies falsity. [9] In Moses:

Your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and shall bear your**** whoredoms even till their carcasses are consumed in the wilderness (Num. 14:33). The sons of Israel did not bear whoredoms and were not for that reason consumed in the wilderness, but because they spurned heavenly truths, as is evident from this, that it was so said to them because they wished not to enter into the land of Canaan, but to return to Egypt; "the land of Canaan" signifies heaven and the church, with the truths thereof; and "Egypt" signifies the same falsified and turned into magic. [10] In Micah:

All her graven images shall be beaten to pieces, and all the rewards of whoredom shall be burned up with fire; and all her idols will I lay waste, for she hath gathered them from the hire of an harlot, therefore even to the hire of an harlot shall they return (Micah 1:7). "Graven images" and "idols" signify falsities that are from self-intelligence; "the rewards of whoredom" are the knowledges of truth and good that they have applied to falsities and evils and have thus perverted. [11] In Hosea:

Jehovah said to the prophet, Take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms, for whoring the land doth commit whoredom in departing from Jehovah (Hosea 1:2). By this was represented what the quality of the church was, namely, that it was wholly in falsities. [12] In the same:

They sinned against Me; I will change their glory into disgrace. They committed whoredom; because they have forsaken Jehovah. Whoredom, wine, and new wine, have occupied the heart. Your daughters commit whoredom, and your daughters-in-law commit adultery (Hosea 4:7, 10-11, 13). "Whoredom, wine, and new wine," are falsified truths; "whoredom" falsification itself; "wine" interior falsity; "new wine" exterior falsity; "daughters who commit whoredom" are the goods of truth perverted; "daughters-in-law who commit adultery" are evils conjoined with falsities therefrom. [13] In Isaiah:

It shall come to pass after the end of seventy years that Jehovah will visit Tyre, that she may return to her meretricious hire, and commit whoredom with all the kingdoms of the earth upon the faces of the world; at length her merchandise [and her meretricious hire] shall be holiness to Jehovah (Isa. 23:17, 18). "Tyre," in the Word, is the church in respect to the knowledges of truth and good; "meretricious hire" the same knowledges applied, by perverting them, to evils and falsities; "her merchandise" the vending of these. "To commit whoredom with all the kingdoms of the earth," is with all and every truth of the church. "Her merchandise and her meretricious hire shall be holiness to Jehovah" because these signify the knowledges of truth and good applied by them to falsities and evils; and by means of the knowledges themselves regarded in themselves, a man can gain wisdom; for knowledges are means of becoming wise, and they are also means of becoming insane. They are the means of becoming insane when they are falsified by being applied to evils and falsities. The like is signified where it is said that:

They should make to themselves friends of the unrighteous mammon (Luke 16:9);

and where it is commanded that:

They should borrow from the Egyptians gold, silver, and raiment, and take them away from them (Exod. 3:22; 12:35-36). By the "Egyptians" are signified scientifics of every kind which they used to falsify truths. [14] In Moses:

I will cut off the soul that looketh unto them that have familiar spirits and unto wizards, to go a-whoring after them (Lev. 20:5, 6). In Isaiah:

He entereth into peace, he walketh in uprightness. But draw ye near, ye sons of the enchantress, the seed of the adulterer and the harlot (Isa. 57:2-3). In Nahum:

Woe to the city of bloods, all in a lie, the horseman ascendeth, and the flaming of the sword, and the flashing of the spear, a multitude of the slain; for the multitude of the whoredoms of the harlot, of the mistress of sorceries, selling the nations through her whoredoms (Nahum 3:1, 3-4). In Moses:

A covenant must not be made with the inhabitants of the land, lest the sons and daughters go a-whoring after their gods (Exod. 34:15-16). In the same:

That ye may remember all the commandments of Jehovah, and do them; and that ye spy not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye are wont to go a-whoring (Num. 15:39). In Revelation:

Babylon hath made all nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her whoredom (Rev. 14:8);

The angel said, I will show thee the judgment of the great harlot that sitteth upon many waters; with whom the kings of the earth have committed whoredom (Rev. 17:1-2);

Babylon hath made all nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her whoredom, and the kings of the earth have committed whoredom with her (Rev. 18:3);

He hath judged the great harlot, which did corrupt the earth with her whoredom (Rev. 19:2). It is manifest that in these passages by "whoredoms" are meant the falsifications of truth. [15] As such things are signified by "whoredoms" and "adulteries," and as these have the same signification in heaven, therefore in the Israelitish church, which was a representative church, in which all things were significative, the following commands were given:

That there should be no harlot nor whoremonger in Israel (Deut. 23:17);

That the man that committed adultery with the wife of a man, and the man that committed adultery with the wife of his companion should be put to death (Lev. 20:10);

That the hire of a harlot should not be brought into the house of Jehovah for any vow (Deut. 23:18);

That the sons of Aaron should not take a harlot to wife, nor a woman put away by her husband. That the high priest should take a virgin to wife. That the daughter of a priest, if she profaned herself by committing whoredom, should be burned with fire (Lev. 21:7, 9, 13-14). (Besides many other passages.) [16] That "whoredoms" and "adulteries" involve such things has been testified to me from much experience in the other life. The spheres from spirits who have been of such character have made these things evident; from the presence of spirits who have confirmed falsities in themselves, and have applied truths from the sense of the letter of the Word to confirm them, there exhales an abominable sphere of whoredom. Such spheres correspond to all the prohibited degrees (of which, see Lev. 20:11- 21) with a difference according to the application of truths to falsities and the conjunction of falsities with evils, especially with evils that gush out of the love of self (of which more may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell, n. 384-386). * In Hebrew: "they called," as also found in Apocalypse Explained, n. 140, 401; Apocalypse Revealed, n. 114; Arcana Coelestia, n. 10652. ** In Hebrew: "They give reward to all harlots," as also found in Apocalypse Explained, n. 695; Arcana Coelestia, n. 8904. *** In Hebrew: "the word," as also found in Arcana Coelestia, n. 2466, 8904. "My" is found in Apocalypse Revealed, n. 134 and in True Christian Religion, n. 314. **** In Hebrew: "your," as also found in Apocalypse Explained, n. 633; Arcana Coelestia, n. 2466, 8904, but Apocalypse Revealed, n. 134 has "their."

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