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Psalm III

This was a Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom his son. Inquiry therefore must first be made concerning the spiritual meaning of Absalom, before whom his father David fled ; and as David represented and signified the Lord, his fleeing before Absalom his son signifies the Divine Truth in a state of humiliation. Absalom his son therefore represents a perverted state of the church, before which the Divine Truth is said to flee, because it is rejected. Solomon, on the contrary, as a son, who never rebelled against his father, represents the spiritual church, and, as a king, the Divine Truth ruling in the spiritual man. The various circumstances connected with the fate of Absalom ; his being caught by the hair in the branches of a tree, and his being afterwards pierced with a sword and slain, represent the condition of the church when brought to its close and destroyed by the falsification of truth and the adulteration of goodness. His being suspended by the hair in the branches of an oak, represents a merely sensual state, both of the will and of the intellect; his long hair denoting a merely sensual state of the will, and the branches of the oak, a scientific and sensual state of the understanding, and these together are the means by which the perverted church is destroyed. The sword of Joab, by which Absalom was slain, signifies the utter falsification of truth by the natural man, and its piercing his heart, the adulteration of all goodness. This is spiritual death.

As David represents, in the supreme sense, Divine Truth, by which the Divine Goodness is manifested to man, therefore, in a subordinate sense, he represents the church which is receptive of Divine Truth. But before it can be fully received, or before its dominion can be established in the human mind, many internal combats must be waged and rebellions subdued, which have been excited by those of our own spiritual household and blood. In states of straitness and despair, when David flees before Absalom, he calls upon God for assistance and protection, and he is assisted and protected in proportion to his confidence in the Divine power. In a condition like this, when he feels and is sensible of his own misery, the Lord becomes not only a shield to him, but "his glory, and the lifter up of his head." But for the Lord to protect him, man must himself wear the shield, that is, spiritually, he must make the truth, which the Lord gives him for his protection, his own, by loving and confiding in it. Though for a time Absalom, or the falsehood which is the offspring of evil, may seem to prevail over David, or the spiritual man, yet, whenever the latter flees from the former, which, in the internal sense, signifies the separation from it and the rejection of it; then the Lord hears man "from His holy hill," or is conjoined to him by charity and faith in his internal man, and then too " he lies down and sleeps," that is, the external or natural man, both in his will and his understanding, is brought into a state of tranquillity and rest, for he feels secure in the Divine protection. Thus secure, he is " not afraid of ten thousands of people that have set themselves against him round about," that is, the multitude of falsities, which spring from evil, have no power to make him loose his hold, that they might lead him from th

e path of duty.

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