Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 1717

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1717. That 'he brought back all the acquisitions' means that the Interior Man brought all things in the External Man back into a state of agreement becomes clear from the meaning of 'bringing back all the acquisitions', the acquisitions here being the things which Chedorlaomer and the kings with him had taken from their enemies, as described in what has gone before. 'Chedorlaomer and the kings with him' meant the goods and truths in the Exterior Man. They did not take from their enemies anything apart from depriving them of the power to do evil and to think falsity, which was meant by 'the wealth of Sodom and Gomorrah' and by all the food they took, dealt with above at verse 11.

[2] This is not a matter that can be explained briefly, yet to gain some notion concerning it, let the following be said. A person who is engaged in the conflicts that constitute temptations, and who overcomes, more and more acquires to himself power over evil spirits, that is, over the devil's crew, till at length they do not dare to tempt him at all. Every time a victory is won, the Lord brings back into a state of order the goods and truths from which the battle was fought, and so they are purified. And to the degree that these are purified, the celestial things of love are implanted in the exterior man, and a correspondence is achieved. This is what is meant by 'bringing back all the acquisitions'.

[3] Anyone who thinks that the external man can be brought back into correspondence without the conflicts brought about by temptations is mistaken; for temptations are the means by which evils and falsities are dispelled, also by which goods and truths are introduced, and by which the things belonging to the external man are brought into obedience so that it may serve the interior or rational man, and through the latter may serve the internal man, that is, the Lord who operates by way of the internal man. That these things are effected by temptations nobody can know except the person who has been regenerated by means of temptations. But how this is accomplished can hardly be described even as to its most general features, for it is accomplished without the person's knowing the origin and manner of its accomplishment, since it is a Divine operation by the Lord.

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