Ancient Churches Lexicon Entry:


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In the times of the Most Ancient Church and the Ancient Church, people were distinguished into houses, families, and nations. A house included the husband, the wife, their children, and some of their family who served. A family was made up of some number of houses living not far apart, yet not together. And a nation consisted of a larger or smaller number of families (AC 470).

In most ancient times, there was a correspondence between families on the earth and societies in heaven (AE 988). Because of this, the people of the Most Ancient Church had laws concerning such things as marriage and inheritance to ensure that their families would continue to represent heaven in this way. For example, marriages were contracted within their own houses and families so that genera and species of perception might be established and derived from parents as innate dispositions (AC 483). Also, it was a law that inheritance was not to pass from one nation to another (AC 3703). Today, people who lived in most ancient times live in heaven arranged by houses, families, and nations, in much the same way they had lived on earth (CL 205).

In the time of the Most Ancient Church, people lived independently, thatis, each within his own family, celebrating holy worship in his own tent (AC 414). Their lives were confined to their own households and family groups (AC 230). Nations, families and houses lived separately and not under governments. After those times, however, when the love of ruling gradually crept in, enmity and hostility arose against those who would not submit to be ruled. Out of necessity, nations, families, and houses banded together into communities or cities protected by towers, earthworks, and walls. They also set someone over themselves whom they at first called a judge, and afterwards a prince, and finally a king or emperor (DP 215). In the Ancient Church, a city was not merely a collection of individuals as it is today. Instead, a city was made up of separate families living side by side, all descended from the same forefather. One example of this is the city of Nahor, where all the descendants of Nahor lived (AC 2943).

Also, as the Ancient Church declined, they began to worship as many gods as there had been names for the One Only God. This practice eventually became so prevalent that every family had its own god, which they distinguished from the other gods worshipped by other families (AC 5628).

See also:

Cities, Correspondences, Houses, Marriage, Monarchs, Names of the Lord, Nations, Perception, Polytheism, Posterities, Tents and Tabernacles

Passages relating to Families and the Ancient Churches:

AC 230; AC 414; AC 470; AC 483; AC 1159; AC 1238; AC 1246; AC 1258; AC 1259; AC 1416; AC 1992; AC 2739; AC 2943; AC 3665; AC 3667; AC 4478; AC 5628; AC 6003; AC 8118; AC 10160; AE 175; AE 799; AE 988; CL 205; DP 215; EU 49; SE 521; SE 4071; SE 5546
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