The Third Commandment
For in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Wherefore Jehovah blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
AC 8891. For in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth and the sea. That this signifies the regeneration and making alive of those things which are in the internal and in the external man, is evident from the signification of "six days," as being states of combat... And when “six days” are said of Jehovah, that is, the Lord, they signify His labor with man before he is regenerated... And... "heaven and earth" [mean] the church or kingdom of the Lord in man, "heaven" in the internal man and "earth" in the external man... thus the regenerate man, that is, one who has found new life and has thus been made alive. And... "the sea" [means] the sensuous [mind] of man sticking to his bodily aspect... They who do not think beyond the sense of the letter cannot believe otherwise than that the creation which is described in the first and second chapters of Genesis is the creation of the universe, and that there were six days within which the heaven, the earth, the sea and all things which are in them were created, and finally man in the likeness of God. But who that takes into consideration the particulars of the description cannot see that the creation of the universe is not meant there? For such things are there described as may be known from common sense not to have been so, as that there were days before the sun and the moon, as well as light and darkness, and that herbage and trees sprang up...
AC 8891:3. ...Nevertheless be it known that each and all things in that history, down to the smallest iota, are Divine, and contain within them arcana which before the angels in the heavens are plain as in clear day. The reason of this is that the angels do not see the sense of the Word according to the letter, but according to what is within, namely, what is spiritual and celestial, and within these, things Divine...
AC 8892. And all that is in them. That this signifies the vivification [or making alive] of all things in them, is evident without explanation.
AC 8893. And rested on the seventh day... That by "rest on the seventh day" is signified peace and the good of love, is because before a man is regenerated, or created anew, he is in an untranquil and restless state, for his natural life then fights with his spiritual life and wishes to rule over it. Consequently at this time the Lord has labor, for He fights for man against the hells which assault. But as soon as the good of love has been implanted, the combat ceases, and rest follows, for the man is then introduced into heaven, and is led by the Lord according to the laws of order there, thus in peace. These things are signified by "the rest of Jehovah in the seventh day."
AC 8894. Wherefore Jehovah blessed the Sabbath* day. That this signifies that then is the heavenly marriage from the Lord, is evident from the signification of being "blessed," as being to be disposed into heavenly order, and to be gifted with the good of love... and from the signification of "the Sabbath* day," as being a state of heavenly love... thus the heavenly marriage. For the heavenly marriage is the conjunction of good and truth, and this is heaven in man...
AC 8895. And hallowed it. That this signifies that it cannot in any way be violated, is evident from the signification of "to be hallowed," when the heavenly marriage in the regenerate man is treated of, as being to be inviolable... For the holiness of the Lord with man is inviolable. Thus neither can the person who receives what holy from the Lord be violated, that is, one who is in the good of love, consequently who is in heaven.
* The Latin has septimo, the seventh.
Questions and Thoughts for Reflection
- Do you have an idea of what AC 8893 is talking about, in relation to the restless state when our natural life is trying to overpower our spiritual life, versus the state of peace when the Lord is leading us to act from good loves?
- AC 1798:2–3 says, “If you are willing, just examine all doctrinal things, and see what they are and what they are like. Don’t they all pertain to charity, and consequently to the faith that is from charity?  Take only the Precepts of the Decalogue. The first of these is to worship the Lord God. He who has the life of love or of charity worships the Lord God, because this is his life. Another precept is to keep the Sabbath. He who is in the life of love, or in charity, keeps the Sabbath holy, for nothing is more sweet to him than to worship the Lord, and to glorify Him every day.”
- In what ways might we find it sweet to glorify the Lord every day, not in a super-pious way but in ways that are useful and true?
- Since heaven is a perpetual Sabbath, and angels are fully engaged in the kingdom of uses, it would seem that the Sabbath is not so much a day set apart as the epitome of every day. Every day should be a day of love toward the neighbor, guided by the instruction we receive from the Lord. When we live this way, we "rest in the Lord" every day, taking no merit for the good we do. As for remembering every seventh day, that's when we remember what we're supposed to do every day.