The Sixth Commandment
Two women, the daughters of one mother, committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth.... One played the harlot when she was Mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbors.... She bestowed her whoredoms on them.... Neither did she leave her whoredoms brought from Egypt. The other corrupted her love more than the former, and her whoredoms more than the whoredoms of her sister.... She increased her whoredoms.... She loved the Chaldeans.... The Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom.
Life 79:2. These words relate to the Israelitish and Jewish Church, which are here called the daughters of one mother. By their whoredoms are meant adulterations and falsifications of the Word. And as in the Word, by Egypt is meant knowledge, by Assyria reasoning, by Chaldea the profanation of truth, and by Babylon the profanation of good, therefore it is said that they committed whoredom with those nations.
AE 983:2. That marriage is heaven and that adultery is hell is best seen from their origin. The origin of love truly conjugial is the Lord’s love for the church, and this is why the Lord is called in the Word the “Bridegroom” and “Husband,” and the church the “bride” and “wife.” It is from this marriage that the church is the church in general and in particular. The church in particular is a man1 in whom the church is. From this it is clear that the Lord’s conjunction with a man of the church is the very origin of love truly conjugial; and how that conjunction can be the origin shall be told.
The Lord’s conjunction with a man of the church is a conjunction of good and truth. Good is from the Lord, and truth is with man, and from this is the conjunction that is called the heavenly marriage. From that marriage, love truly conjugial exists between two partners who are in such conjunction with the Lord. From this it is now evident that love truly conjugial is from the Lord alone, and exists with those who are in the conjunction of good and truth from the Lord. As this conjunction is reciprocal, it is said by the Lord that:
They are in Him, and He in them (John 14:20).
AE 983:3. This conjunction or this marriage was thus established from creation. The man2 was created to be the understanding of truth, and the woman to be the affection of good, and thus the man to be truth and the woman good. When the understanding of truth that is with the man makes one with the affection of good that is with the woman, there is a conjunction of the two minds into one. This conjunction is the spiritual marriage from which conjugial love descends. For when two minds are so conjoined as to be one mind there is love between them; and when this love, which is the love of spiritual marriage, descends into the body it becomes the love of natural marriage. That this is so anyone can clearly perceive if he wants to. A married pair who interiorly or as to their minds love each other mutually and reciprocally also love each other mutually and reciprocally as to their bodies. It is known that all love descends into the body from an affection of the mind, and that apart from such an origin no love exists.
AE 983:4. Since then the origin of conjugial love is the marriage of good and truth, and this marriage in its essence is heaven, it is clear that the origin of the love of adultery is the marriage of evil and falsity, which in its essence is hell. Heaven is a marriage because all who are in the heavens are in the marriage of good and truth; and hell is adultery because all who are in the hells are in the marriage of evil and falsity. From this it follows that marriage and adultery are as opposite as heaven and hell are. AE 995:2. True conjugial love is from the Lord alone. It is from the Lord alone because it descends from the Lord’s love for heaven and the church, and thus from the love of good and truth.... And from this it follows that true conjugial love in its first essence is love to the Lord....
1 Here “man” is a translation of the Latin homo. It means a human being, male or female, and especially a husband and wife together.
2 In this passage, “man” translates the Latin vir, which refers to a male.
Questions and Thoughts for Reflection
- An example of falsifying and adulterating the Word, represented by the two women in the prophecy of Ezekiel, is the interpretation of the Lord’s saying to Peter that He would give him the keys of heaven, to bind or loose on earth and in heaven (Matt. 16:13–23). Some people took this as giving the pope, as the successor to Peter, Divine authority to sentence people to hell or raise them to heaven. (They ignore v. 23, just 4 verses later, where Jesus calls Peter “Satan,” and many other teachings.) The power of opening and closing heaven actually belongs to the Divine Truth that Peter had just stated, namely, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
- Does it fit with your experience that “man is created to be the understanding of truth, and woman the affection of good” (AE 983:3)? Are there other ways in which you see that men (from Mars) and women (from Venus) complete each other?