Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 10362

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10362. 'He who profanes it' means being led by self and one's own loves, and not by the Lord. This is clear from the meaning of 'profaning the sabbath', or doing work on the sabbath day, as being led by self and not by the Lord, thus by one's own loves. That this is what 'profaning the sabbath' means is clear in Isaiah,

If you turn you foot away from the sabbath, so that you do not do your own will on My holy day, and do not do your own ways, and do not find your own desire and speak [your own] words ... Isa 58:13.

'Turning one's foot away from the sabbath' means forsaking such things as belong to the natural man. 'Doing one's own will' means doing that which is favourable to selfish desires and the evils of self-love and love of the world. 'Doing one's own ways' means doing that which is favourable to the falsities of evil. 'Finding one's own desire' means leading a life that accords with the delights that belong to those types of love, and 'speaking [one's own] words' thinking such things. From all this it is evident that 'profaning the sabbath' means being led by self and one's own loves, and not by the Lord, who in the highest sense is the sabbath, as shown just above.

[2] The like is meant by the kinds of work, such as cutting wood, lighting a fire, preparing food then, gathering in the harvest, and many other kinds, which people were prohibited from doing on the sabbath day; all these had a like meaning. 'Cutting wood' meant being led by self to do what was good; 'lighting a fire' meant being inflamed to do it by their own selfish loves; and 'preparing food' meant teaching themselves by means of their own intelligence. No one can know except from the internal sense that these prohibitions which have been mentioned imply such things.

[3] It should in addition be remembered that being led by self and being led by the Lord are two opposites. Someone who is led by self is led by his own loves, and so by hell since the loves that are a person's own originate there; but someone who is led by the Lord is led by heaven's loves, which are love to the Lord and love towards the neighbour. One who is led by these loves is allured away from selfish loves, whereas one who is led by selfish loves is allured away from heaven's loves; for selfish loves agree in no way at all with heaven's loves. A person's life is located either in heaven or in hell; it is impossible for it to be in one and at the same time in the other. This is how the Lord's words in Matthew should be understood,

No one can serve two lords, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will cling to the one and disregard the other. Matt 6:24.

From all this it is evident what 'doing work on the sabbath day' means.

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