Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 4911

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4911. 'And Judah acknowledged them' means that because these were theirs they affirmed that they were. This is clear from the meaning of 'acknowledging' as affirming, in this case because he acknowledged from the pledges that the child she was carrying was his own. Described here is that nation's predisposition, which is such that although it rejects any internal truth of the Church as a falsity, that nation nevertheless accepts and affirms such truth on receiving an intimation that this does belong to it. People who are governed, as this nation is, by loves that are filthy- that is, by avarice and by self-love accompanying this - are unable to raise their minds to a level where truth is seen from a viewpoint other than themselves. Therefore when a truth is attributed to them they affirm it. For example, if they are told that the Word is inwardly Divine and contains the arcana of heaven and also the kind of arcana that only angels comprehend, they affirm this truth because they regard the Word to be their own since it came to them, exists with them, and in the letter has to do with them. But if the actual arcana - spiritual truths - are disclosed to them they reject them.

[2] If they are told that every one of the ritual observances of their Church are inwardly holy, they affirm this truth because they regard those observances to be their own. But if they are told that such holiness dwells within, yet is separate from those observances, they refuse to accept this. If they are told that the Jewish Church was celestial and the Israelitish Church spiritual, and if they are given an explanation of what the celestial is, and what the spiritual is, they affirm that also. But if they were told that these two Churches are called celestial and spiritual from the fact that all the particular aspects of them were representative of celestial and spiritual things, and that representatives have regard to the reality represented, not to the one who represents it, they refuse to accept it. If they are told that Moses' rod had power from Jehovah, and so had Divine power within it, they affirm this and call it the truth. But if they are told that this power did not lie in the rod, only in the Divine command, they refuse to accept it and call it a falsity.

[3] If they are told that the bronze serpent lifted up by Moses healed those who were bitten by the serpents and that this object was for that reason miraculous, they affirm it. But if they are told that no healing or miraculous power lay within it but these came from the Lord whom that object represented, they refuse to accept this and call it a falsity. (Compare what has been narrated and stated about that serpent in Num 21:7-9; 2 Kings 18:4; John 3:14, 15.) They react in the same way to everything else they are told. These are the kinds of things that are meant by 'Judah acknowledged them' and which on the part of the nation meant by him were joined to that internal aspect of the Church represented by 'Tamar'. Also, such being the nature of those things, Judah did not go in to her as a near kinsman going in to a dead husband's wife but as a fornicator going in to a prostitute.

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