Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 4444

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4444. .'When they heard; and the men were grieved and blazing with anger' means that they were under the influence of evil that was directed against the truth of the Church among the Ancients. This is clear from the meaning of 'being grieved and blazing with anger' here as being under the influence of evil. Its direction against the truth of the Church among the Ancients follows because the anger was against Shechem the son of Hamor, who means the truth known to the Ancients, as stated above in 4430, 4431. Their being under the influence of evil is evident from details given further on, namely that they spoke deceitfully, verse 13, and then after Shechem and Hamor had submitted to their demands they killed them, verses 26-29. Consequently 'being grieved' here and 'blazing with anger' mean that they were under the influence of evil. Their action looks like zeal aroused in them because he had lain with their sister, to judge by the words which immediately follow 'because he had done something disgraceful in Israel by lying with Jacob's daughter, a thing that ought not to be done' - and by those at the end of the chapter 'They said, Is he going to treat our sister like a prostitute?' verse 31. But it was not zeal, for zeal cannot possibly exist with someone who is under the influence of evil, only with one governed by good; for zeal has good within it, 4164.

[2] The semblance of religion which existed among their descendants did indeed have good within it, in that all its details, each one, represented the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom. But in the case of those with whom it existed it did not hold anything good at all since they were confined solely to external things devoid of internal, as shown above. It is the same with the semblance of religion possessed by that nation among whom it exists even at the present day. They acknowledge Moses and the Prophets, and so the Word. In itself this is holy but in their case it is not holy, for within every detail there they see themselves and so that which is worldly. Indeed they turn the Word into something earthly, for they do not know or even care about anything heavenly within it. If the state of a people is like this, no good can exist in them when their own semblance of religion holds sway over them. Instead evil is present, for nothing heavenly enters into them because they will annihilate it.

[3] There was a law, also known in the Ancient Church, according to which anyone who ravished a virgin had to provide her with a dowry and take her to be his wife, as the following words in Moses laid down,

If a man persuades a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall endow her with a dowry to be his wife; if her father utterly refuses to give her to him he shall weigh silver according to the dowry of virgins. Exod 22:16, 17.

And elsewhere,

If a man finds a young woman, a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are discovered, the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman's father fifty pieces of silver, and she shall become his wife, because he ravished her; and he will not be able to divorce her all his days. Deut. 22:28, 29.

The fact that this same law was known to the Ancients is quite evident from Shechem's words to the young woman's father and brothers,

Shechem said to her father and to her brothers, Let me find grace in your eyes, and I will give that which you tell me. Increase the dowry and gift to any size and I will give you whatever you tell me, and give me the young woman for a wife. Verses 11, 12.

Also, because Shechem was willing to fulfill this law and Dinah's brothers gave their consent provided he became as they themselves were, by circumcising every male, according to the words that follow

Only on this [condition] will we consent to you: If you will be as we are, by circumcising every male among you, then we will give our daughters to you, and your daughters we will take to ourselves, and we will dwell with you, and we wit be one people. Verses 15, 16

- it is therefore evident that they did not act in conformity with the law, thus were not motivated by good, but acted contrary to the law, and consequently were motivated by evil.

[4] The law forbade them, it is true, to enter into marriages with the gentile nations, as laid down in Moses,

Lest you take their daughters for your sons, and their daughters go whoring after their gods, and they cause your sons to go whoring after their gods. Exod 34:16.

And elsewhere,

You shall not establish a marriage relationship with the nations; you shall not give your daughter to his son, and you shall not take his daughter for your son, for he will turn your son from following Me, to serve other gods. Deut. 7:3, 4.

But this law referred to idolatrous nations. It was laid down to prevent their turning away, through such marriages, from truly representative worship to idolatrous worship; for once they became idolaters they were no longer able to represent the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom, only their opposites, namely the things of hell. In fact, once they were idolaters, they summoned from hell a certain devil whom they worshipped and to whom they applied Divine representatives. This accounts for its being said that they were not to go whoring after their gods. That law was also laid down for the further reason that 'the rations' means evils and falsities with which the goods and truths which they represented were not to be mingled, and therefore devilish and hellish things were not to be mingled with celestial and spiritual ones, 3024 (end).

[5] But they were in no way forbidden to contract marriages with nations who willingly adopted their worship and who, after being circumcised, acknowledged Jehovah. These they called sojourners sojourning with them, of whom the following is said in Moses,

If a sojourner sojourns with you and wishes to keep the Passover to Jehovah, every male he has shall be circumcised, and then he shall come near and keep it; and he will be as an inhabitant of the land. There shall be one law for the inhabitant and for the sojourner who sojourns in the midst of you. Exod 12:48, 49.

And elsewhere,

When the sojourner has sojourned with you, he shall keep the Passover to Jehovah according to the statute for the Passover, and according to the regulationsa for it. There shall be one statute for you, both for the sojourner and for the native of the land. Num 9:14.

The reason why they were called sojourners sojourning in the midst of them and with them was that 'sojourning' meant receiving instruction, and so 'a sojourner' those who allowed themselves to receive instruction in statutes and matters of doctrine, see 1463, 2025, 3672. In the same author,

If a sojourner should sojourn with you who would make a fire-offering of an odour of rest to Jehovah, he shall do as you do. As for the assembly, one statute shall there be for you and for the sojourner who sojourns, an eternal statute throughout your generations. As you are, so shall the sojourner be before Jehovah. There shall be one law and one judgement for you and for the sojourner sojourning with you. Num 15:14-16.

And elsewhere,

As the native among you shall the sojourner sojourning with you be to you. Lev 19:34.
One judgement shall there be for you; it shall be for the sojourner as for the native. Lev 24:22.

[6] The fact that this statute was known not only to Jacob and his sons but also to Shechem and Hamor is evident from the words spoken by them. For the statutes, judgements, and laws which were given to the Israelite and Jewish nation were not new but such as existed previously in the Ancient Church and in the second Ancient Church which, from Eber, was called the Hebrew, as has been shown in various places. The consequent knowledge of this law is evident from the words of Jacob's sons,

Jacob's sons said to Hamor and Shechem, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to a man who has a foreskin; for that would be a reproach to us. Only on this [condition] will we consent to you: If you will be as we are, by circumcising every male among you, then we will give our daughters to you, and your daughters we will take to ourselves, and we will dwell with you, and we will be one people. Verses 14-16.

That knowledge is also evident from Hamor and Shechem's words, in that they not only consented but also did cause themselves and every male of their city to be circumcised, verses 18-24.

[7] This shows that Shechem became a sojourner such as is referred to in the Law, and so could take Jacob's daughter as a wife; and that their killing them was accordingly an unmentionable deed, as Jacob also bore witness before his death, Gen 49:5-7. The fact that not only Judah but also Moses, as well as the kings of the Jews and Israelites, and many of the people too, married wives from gentile nations is clear from the historical sections of the Word; and one should not doubt that those wives accepted their statutes, judgements, and laws and were acknowledged as sojourners.


a lit. statutes

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