Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 4847

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4847. 'In case he also dies, like his brothers' means fear lest it should perish, that is to say, that the representative of the Church among those descended from Jacob, specifically among those descended from Jacob through Judah, should perish. This is clear from the meaning of 'in case he dies' as fear lest it may perish. As regards the perishing of the representative of the Church among those descended from Jacob if the internal things of a genuine representative Church were linked to it, this implies that among those descended from Jacob a representative Church was to have been established like that which had existed with the ancients. But the disposition of that nation was such that its only wish was to worship and adore external things; it had no wish to know anything at all about internal ones, since it was immersed in desires belonging to self-love and love of the world, and in falsities that resulted from these. It believed, more than gentiles did, that a number of gods existed, but that Jehovah was greater than the rest because He could perform greater miracles. This was why as soon as the miracles ended, or when - because they were of frequent and common occurrence - little importance was placed on them, that nation instantly turned to other gods, as one can see quite clearly from the historical and prophetical parts of the Word.

[2] Such being the nature of that nation, a representative Church like that which had existed among the ancients could not be established among it, only that which was a representative of the Church. Also, the Lord made provision so that through that representative of the Church some degree of communication with heaven might be established; for what is representative can exist even in people who are evil because one does not look at the person who represents, only at the reality represented by him. From this it is evident that in the case of that nation worship was nothing else than idolatrous, 4825, even though the representatives held holy and Divine realities within them. To that kind of worship - to idolatrous worship - what was internal could not be joined; for if what was internal had been linked to it, that is, if they had acknowledged internal things, they would have rendered holy things unholy. For a holy internal, if joined to an idolatrous external, is rendered unholy.

This explains why internal things were not disclosed to that nation, for if these had been disclosed to it, it would have perished.

[3] The inability of that nation to receive and acknowledge internal things, however fully these might have been revealed to them, is quite evident from members of it at the present day. At the present day they do, it is true, have a knowledge of internal things since they live among Christians; yet they reject these things and also deride them. Even the majority of those who have been converted do nothing else in their hearts. From these considerations it is clear that a Church representative of spiritual and celestial things did not exist among that nation, only a representative of the Church, that is, an external without an internal, which in itself is idolatrous. From them it may also be seen how mistaken is the thinking of those Christians who believe that when the Church reaches its end the Jewish nation will be converted, and will at that time be chosen in preference to Christians. Even more mistaken is the thinking of those who believe that at that time the Messiah or Lord is going to appear to them, when by means of a great prophet and great miracles He is going to lead them back into the land of Canaan. These are the errors that people fall into who take 'Judah', 'Israel', and 'the land of Canaan' in the prophetical parts of the Word to mean Judah, Israel, and the land of Canaan, and who consequently believe the literal sense alone and have no interest in any internal sense

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