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Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at

Arcana Coelestia


Verse 16. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and to a cubit shalt thou finish it from above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lowest, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. By the "window" which was to be finished "to a cubit from above" is signified the intellectual part; by the "door at the side" is signified hearing; by the "lowest, second, and third stories" are signified the things of knowledge, of reason, and of understanding [scientifica, rationalia, et intellectualia].


That the "window" signifies the intellectual part, and the "door" hearing, and thus that in this verse the intellectual part of man is treated of, is evident from what has been stated before: that the man of that church was reformed in this way. There are two lives in man; one is of the will, the other of the understanding. They become two lives when there is no will, but cupidity in place of a will. Then it is the other or intellectual part that can be reformed; and afterwards through this a new will can be given, so that the two may still constitute one life, namely, charity and faith. Because man was now such that he had no will, but mere cupidity in place of it, the part which belongs to the will was closed-as stated at verse 14-and the other or intellectual part was opened; which is the subject treated of in this verse.


The case is this: When a man is being reformed, which is effected by combats and temptations, such evil spirits are associated with him as excite nothing but his things of knowledge and reason [scientifica ejus et rationalia]; and spirits that excite cupidities are kept entirely away from him. For there are two kinds of evil spirits, those who act upon man's reasonings, and those who act upon his cupidities. The evil spirits who excite a man's reasonings bring forth all his falsities, and endeavor to persuade him that they are true, and even turn truths into falsities. A man must fight against these when he is in temptation; but it is really the Lord who fights, through the angels who are adjoined to the man. As soon as the falsities are separated, and as it were dispersed, by these combats, the man is prepared to receive the truths of faith. For so long as falsities prevail, a man never can receive the truths of faith, because the principles of falsity stand in the way. When he has thus been prepared to receive the truths of faith, then for the first time can celestial seeds be implanted in him, which are the seeds of charity. The seeds of charity can never be implanted in ground where falsities reign, but only where truths reign. Thus is it with the reformation or regeneration of the spiritual man, and so it was with the man of this church which is called "Noah." Hence it is that here the "window" and "door" of the ark are spoken of, and its "lowest, second, and third stories" which all pertain to the spiritual or intellectual man.


This agrees with what is at this day known in the churches: that faith comes by hearing. But faith is by no means the knowledge [cognitio] of the things that are of faith, or that are to be believed. This is only memory-knowledge [scientia]; whereas faith is acknowledgment. There can however be no acknowledgment with anyone unless the principal of faith is in him, which is charity, that is, love toward the neighbor and mercy. When there is charity, then there is acknowledgment, or faith. He who apprehends otherwise is as far away from a knowledge of faith as earth is from heaven. When charity is present, which is the goodness of faith, then acknowledgment is present, which is the truth of faith. When therefore a man is being regenerated according to the things of knowledge, of reason, and of understanding, it is to the end that the ground may be prepared-that is, his mind-for receiving charity; from which, or from the life of which, he thereafter thinks and acts. Then he is reformed or regenerated, and not before.


That the "window" which was to be "made perfect to a cubit from above" signifies the intellectual part, anyone may see from what has now been said; and also from the fact that when the construction of the ark is being treated of, and by the "ark" is signified the man of the church, the intellectual part cannot be otherwise compared than to a "window from above." And so in other parts of the Word: the intellectual part of man, that is, his internal sight, whether it be reason, or mere reasoning, is called a "window." Thus in Isaiah: O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest and not comforted, I will make thy suns (windows) of rubies, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy border of pleasant stones (Isa. 54:11-12). Here "suns" are put for "windows" from the light that is admitted, or transmitted. The "suns" or "windows" in this passage are intellectual things that come from charity, and therefore they are likened to a "ruby;" the "gates" are rational things thence derived; and the "border" is that which is of knowledge and the senses [scientificum et sensuale]. The Lord's church is here treated of. [2] All the windows of the temple at Jerusalem represented the same: the highest of them the intellectual things; the middle, rational things; and the lowest, the things of knowledge and the senses; for there were three stories (1 Kings 6:4, 6, 8). Likewise the windows of the new Jerusalem in Ezekiel (40:16, 22, 25, 33, 36). In Jeremiah: Death is come up into our windows, it is entered into our palaces; to cut off the little child from the street, the young men from the streets [vicis] (Jer. 9:21). Windows of the middle story are here meant, which are rational things, it being meant that they are extinguished; the "little child in the street" is truth beginning. [3] Because "windows" signify things intellectual and rational that are of truth, they signify also reasonings that are of falsity. Thus in the same Prophet: Woe unto him that buildeth his house in what is not righteousness, and his chambers in what is not judgment; who saith, I will build me a house of measures, and spacious chambers, and he cutteth him out windows, and it is floored with cedar, and painted with vermilion (Jer. 22:13-14). Here "windows" denote principles of falsity. In Zephaniah: Droves of beasts shall lie down in the midst of her, every wild animal of his kind [gentis], both the cormorant and the bittern [chippod] shall lodge in the pomegranates thereof; a voice shall sing in the window; wasting shall be upon the threshold (Zeph. 2:14). This is said of Asshur and Nineveh; "Asshur" denotes the understanding, here vastated; a "voice singing in the windows" reasonings from phantasies.


That by the "door at the side" is signified hearing is now therefore evident, and there is no need that it should be confirmed by similar examples from the Word. For the ear is to the internal organs of sense as a door at the side is to a window above; or what is the same, the hearing which is of the ear, is so to the intellectual part which is of the internal sensory.


That by the "lowest, second, and third stories" are signified things of knowledge, of reason, and of understanding [scientifica, rationalia, et intellectualia] follows also from what has been shown. There are three degrees of things intellectual in man; the lowest is that of knowledge [scientificum]; the middle is the rational; the highest, the intellectual. These are so distinct from each other that they should never be confounded. But man is not aware of this, for the reason that he makes life consist in what is of sense and knowledge only; and while he cleaves to this, he cannot even know that his rational part is distinct from that which is concerned with knowing [scientificum]; and still less that his intellectual part is so. And yet the truth is that the Lord flows through man's intellectual into his rational, and through his rational into the knowledge of the memory, whence comes the life of the senses of sight and of hearing. This is the true influx, and this is the true interaction of the soul with the body. Without influx of the Lord's life into the things of the understanding in man-or rather into things of the will and through these into those of understanding-and through things of understanding into things rational, and through things rational into his knowledges which are of the memory, life would be impossible to man. And even though a man is in falsities and evils, yet there is an influx of the Lord's life through the things of the will and of the understanding; but the things that flow in are received in the rational part according to its form; and this influx gives man the ability to reason, to reflect, and to understand what truth and good are. But concerning these things, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter; and also how the case is with the life that pertains to brutes.


These three degrees, which in general are called those of man's intellectual things, namely, understanding, reason, and memory-knowledge, are likewise signified, as before said, by the windows of the three stories of the temple at Jerusalem (1 Kings 6:4, 6, 8), and also as above by the rivers which went forth out of the Garden of Eden in the east. The "east" there signifies the Lord; "Eden" love, which is of the will; the "garden" intelligence thence derived; the "rivers" wisdom, reason, and memory-knowledge (concerning which see what was said before, Gen. 2:10-14).


Verse 17. And I, behold I do bring the flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh wherein is the breath of lives from under the heavens; everything that is on the earth shall expire. By the "flood" is signified an inundation of evil and falsity; "to destroy all flesh wherein is the breath of lives from under the heavens" signifies that the whole posterity of the Most Ancient Church would destroy themselves; "everything that is in the earth shall expire" signifies those who were of that church and had become such.


That by the "flood" is signified an inundation of evil and falsity, is evident from what has been stated before concerning the posterity of the Most Ancient Church: that they were possessed with foul cupidities, and that they immersed the doctrinal things of faith in them, and in consequence had persuasions of falsity which extinguished all truth and good, and at the same time closed up the way for remains, so that they could not operate; and therefore it could not be otherwise than that they would destroy themselves. When the way for remains is closed, the man is no longer man, because he can no longer be protected by angels, but is totally possessed by evil spirits, whose sole study and desire it is to extinguish man. Hence came the death of the antediluvians, which is described by a flood, or total inundation. The influx of phantasies and cupidities from evil spirits is not unlike a kind of flood; and therefore it is called a "flood" or inundation in various places in the Word, as of the Lord's Divine mercy will be seen in what is premised to the following chapter.


To destroy all flesh wherein is the breath of lives from under the heavens. That this signifies that the whole posterity of the Most Ancient Church would destroy themselves, is evident from what is said above, and from the description of them given before: that they derived by inheritance from their parents in succession such a genius that they more than others were imbued with direful persuasions; and especially for the reason that they immersed the doctrinal things of faith that they possessed in their cupidities. It is otherwise with those who have no doctrinal things of faith, but live entirely in ignorance; these cannot so act, and therefore cannot profane holy things, and thereby close up the way for remains; and consequently they cannot drive away from themselves the angels of the Lord. [2] Remains, as has been said, are all things of innocence, all things of charity, all things of mercy, and all things of the truth of faith, which from his infancy a man has had from the Lord, and has learned. Each and all of these things are treasured up; and if a man had them not, there could be nothing of innocence, of charity, and of mercy, and therefore nothing of good and truth in his thought and actions, so that he would be worse than the savage wild beasts. And it would be the same if he had had the remains of such things and had closed up the way by foul cupidities and direful persuasions of falsity, so that they could not operate. Such were the antediluvians who destroyed themselves, and who are meant by "all flesh wherein is the breath of lives, under the heavens." [3] "Flesh" as before shown, signifies every man in general, and the corporeal man in particular. The "breath of lives" signifies all life in general, but properly the life of those who have been regenerated, consequently in the present case the last posterity of the Most Ancient Church. Although there was no life of faith remaining among them, yet as they derived from their parents something of seed therefrom which they stifled, it is here called the "breath of lives" or (as in Gen. 7:22) "in whose nostrils was the breathing of the breath of lives." "Flesh under the heavens" signifies what is merely corporeal; the "heavens" are the things of the understanding that are of truth and the things of the will that are of good, on the separation of which from the corporeal a man can no longer live. What sustains man is his conjunction with heaven, that is, through heaven with the Lord.


Everything that is in the earth shall expire. This signifies those who were of that church and had become of this quality. It has been shown before that the "earth" does not mean the whole world, but only those who were of the church. Thus no deluge was meant here, still less a universal deluge, but the expiring or suffocation of those who existed there, when they were separated from remains, and thereby from the things of the understanding that are of truth and the things of the will that are of good, and therefore from the heavens. That the "earth" signifies the region where the church is, and therefore those who live there, may be confirmed by the following passages from the Word, in addition to those already cited. In Jeremiah: Thus hath said Jehovah, The whole earth shall be desolate; yet will I not make a consummation. For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above shall be black (Jer. 4:27-28). Here the "earth" denotes those who dwell where the church is that is vastated. In Isaiah: I will move the heavens, and the earth shall be shaken out of her place (Isa. 13:13). The "earth" denotes the man who is to be vastated, where the church is. In Jeremiah: The slain of Jehovah shall be at that day from the end of the earth even unto the end of the earth (Jer. 25:33).Here the "end of the earth" does not signify the whole world, but only the region where the church was, and consequently the men who were of the church. Again: I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth; a tumult shall come even to the end of the earth; for Jehovah hath a controversy with the nations (Jer. 25:29, 31). In this passage, in like manner, the whole world is not meant, but only the region where the church is, and therefore the inhabitant or man of the church; the "nations" here denote falsities. In Isaiah: Behold, Jehovah cometh forth out of His place to visit the iniquity of the inhabitant of the earth (Isa. 26:21). Here the meaning is the same. Again: Have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood the foundations of the earth (Isa. 40:21)? Again: Jehovah, that createth the heavens, God Himself that formeth the earth and maketh it, He establisheth it (Isa. 45:18). The "earth" denotes the man of the church. In Zechariah: The saying of Jehovah, who stretcheth out the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man in the midst of him (Zech. 12:1), where the "earth" manifestly denotes the man of the church. The "earth" is distinguished from the "ground" as are the man of the church and the church itself, or as are love and faith.


Verse 18. And I will set up My covenant with thee; and thou shalt enter into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. To "set up a covenant" signifies that he would be regenerated; that "he, and his sons, and his sons' wives" should "come into the ark" signifies that he would be saved. "Sons" are truths; "wives" are goods.


In the preceding verse those who destroyed themselves were treated of, but here those who were to be regenerated and thus saved, who are called "Noah."


That to "set up a covenant" signifies that he would be regenerated, is very evident from the fact that there can be no covenant between the Lord and man other than conjunction by love and faith, and therefore a "covenant" signifies conjunction. For it is the heavenly marriage that is the veriest covenant; and the heavenly marriage, or conjunction, does not exist except with those who are being regenerated; so that in the widest sense regeneration itself is signified by a "covenant." The Lord enters into a covenant with man when He regenerates him; and therefore among the ancients a covenant represented nothing else. Nothing can be gathered from the sense of the letter but that the covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and so many times with their descendants, was concerned with them personally, whereas they were such that they could not be regenerated; for they made worship consist in external things, and supposed the externals of worship to be holy, without internal things being adjoined to them. And therefore the covenants made with them were only representatives of regeneration. It was the same with their rites, and with Abraham himself, and with Isaac, and Jacob, who represented the things of love and faith. Likewise the high priests and priests, whatever their character, even those that were wicked, could represent the heavenly and most holy priesthood. In representatives the person is not regarded, but the thing that is represented. Thus all the kings of Israel and of Judah, even the worst, represented the royalty of the Lord; and even Pharaoh too, who set Joseph over the land of Egypt. From these and many other considerations-concerning which, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter-it is evident that the covenants so often entered into with the sons of Jacob were only religious rites that were representative.


That a "covenant" signifies nothing else than regeneration and the things pertaining to regeneration, is evident from various passages in the Word where the Lord Himself is called the "Covenant" because it is He alone who regenerates, and who is looked to by the regenerate man, and is the all in all of love and faith. That the Lord is the Covenant itself is evident in Isaiah: I Jehovah have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thy hand, and will keep thee, and will give thee for a covenant to the people, for a light of the nations (Isa. 42:6), where a "covenant" denotes the Lord "a light of the nations" is faith. So in chapter 49:6, 8. In Malachi: Behold I send Mine angel, and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Angel of the covenant whom ye desire; behold He cometh; who may abide the day of His coming? (Mal. 3:1, 2), where the Lord is called the "Angel of the Covenant." The sabbath is called a "perpetual covenant" (Exod. 31:16), because it signifies the Lord Himself, and the celestial man regenerated by Him. [2] Since the Lord is the very covenant itself, it is evident that all that which conjoins man with the Lord is of the covenant as love and faith, and whatever is of love and faith-for these are of the Lord, and the Lord is in them; and so the covenant itself is in them, where they are received. These have no existence except with a regenerated man, with whom whatever is of the Regenerator or of the Lord is of the covenant, oil is the covenant. As in Isaiah: My mercy shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed away (Isa. 54:10), where "mercy" and the "covenant of peace" denote the Lord and what belongs to Him. Again: Incline your ear and come unto Me, hear, and your soul shall live, and I will make a covenant of eternity with you, the sure mercies of David; behold, I have given Him for a witness to the peoples, a leader and a lawgiver to the nations (Isa. 66:3, 4). "David" here denotes the Lord; the "covenant of eternity" is in those things and by those things which are of the Lord, and these are meant by going to Him and hearing, that the soul may live. [3] In Jeremiah: I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear Me all the days, for good to them, and to their sons after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put My fear in their heart (Jer. 32:39, 40)." This is said of those who are to be regenerated, and of things that belong to them, namely, "one heart and one way" that is, charity and faith, which are of the Lord and so of the covenant. Again: Behold the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, for they rendered My covenant vain: but this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after these days; I will put My law in the midst of them, and write it on their heart; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people (Jer. 31:31-33). Here the meaning of a "covenant" is clearly explained, that it is the love and faith in the Lord which is with those who are to be regenerated. [4] And again in Jeremiah, love is called the "covenant of the day" and faith the "covenant of the night" (Jer. 33:20). In Ezekiel: I, Jehovah, will be their God, and My servant David a prince in the midst of them, and I will make with them a covenant of peace, and I will make the evil beast to cease out of the land; and they shall dwell secure in the wilderness, and sleep in the forests (Ezek. 34:24-25). Here regeneration is evidently treated of. "David" denotes the Lord. Again: David shall be a prince to them to eternity; I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be a covenant of eternity with them; I will set My sanctuary in the midst of them to eternity (Ezek. 37:25-26).Here likewise regeneration is treated of. "David" and the "sanctuary" denote the Lord. And again: I entered into a covenant with thee, and thou wast Mine; and I washed thee with waters, and washed away thy bloods from upon thee, and I anointed thee with oil (Ezek. 16:8-9), where regeneration is plainly meant. In Hosea: In that day will I make a covenant for them with the wild beast of the field, and with the fowl of the heavens, and with the creeping thing of the earth (Hos. 2:18), meaning regeneration; the "wild beast of the field" denotes the things that are of the will; "the fowl of the heavens" those that are of the understanding. In David: He hath sent redemption unto His people; He hath commanded His covenant to eternity (Ps. 111:9), also meaning regeneration. It is called a "covenant" because it is given and received. [5] But of those who are not regenerated, or what is the same, who make worship consist in external things, and esteem and worship themselves and what they desire and think as if they were gods, it is said that they render the covenant vain, because they separate themselves from the Lord. And in Jeremiah: They have forsaken the covenant of Jehovah their God, and have bowed themselves down to other gods, and served them (Jer. 22:9). In Moses: He who should transgress the covenant by serving other gods-the sun, the moon, the army of the heavens-should be stoned (Deut. 17:2 seq.).The "sun" denotes the love of self; the "moon" principles of falsity; the "army of the heavens" falsities themselves. From all this it is now evident what the "ark of the covenant" signified wherein was the "covenant" or "testimony" namely, that it signified the Lord Himself; and that the "book of the covenant" also signified the Lord Himself (Exod. 24:4-7; 34:27; Deut. 4:13, 23); and likewise that by the "blood of the covenant" (Exod. 24:6, 8) was signified the Lord Himself, who alone is the Regenerator. Hence the "covenant" denotes regeneration itself.


Thou shalt enter into the ark, thou and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. That this signifies that he would be saved, is evident from what has been said before and from what follows: that he was saved because regenerated.


That "sons" signify truths, and "daughters" goods, has also been shown before-at chapter 5, verse 4-where "sons" and "daughters" were spoken of. But here it is "sons" and "wives" because "wives" are the goods that are adjoined to truths; for no truth can be produced unless there is a good or delight from which it is. In good and in delight there is life; but not in truth, except that which it has from good and delight. From this, truth is formed and begotten, and so is faith, which is of truth, formed and begotten by love, which is of good. It is with truth exactly as it is with light: except from the sun or a flame there is no light; it is from this that light is formed. Truth is only the form of good; and faith is only the form of love. Truth is formed from good according to the quality of the good, and faith is formed from love according to the quality of the love or charity. This then is the reason why a "wife" and "wives" are mentioned, which signify goods adjoined to truths. And hence it is said in the following verse that pairs of all were to enter into the ark, a male and a female; for without goods adjoined to truths there is no regeneration.


Verse 19. And of every living thing of all flesh, pairs of all shalt thou make to enter into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. By the "living soul" are signified the things of the understanding; by "all flesh" those of the will; "pairs of all shalt thou make to enter into the ark" signifies their regeneration; the "male" is truth; the "female" good.


That by the "living soul" are signified the things of the understanding, and by "all flesh" those of the will, is evident from what has been said before, and from what follows. By "living soul" in the Word is signified every living creature in general, of whatever kind (as in chapter 1, verses 20-24, and 2:19); but here, being immediately connected with "all flesh" it signifies the things which are of the understanding; for the reason before advanced that the man of this church was to be regenerated first as to intellectual things. And therefore in the following verse the "fowl" (which signifies intellectual or rational things) is mentioned first, and afterwards the "beasts" which are things of the will. "Flesh" specifically signifies that which is corporeal, which is of the will.


Pairs of all shalt thou make to enter into the ark, to keep them alive. That this signifies their regeneration, is evident from what has been said in connection with the preceding verse: that truths cannot be regenerated except through goods and delights; nor therefore the things of faith, except through those which are of charity. And for this reason it is said here that "pairs" of all should enter in, that is, both of truths which are of the understanding, and of goods which are of the will. A man who is not regenerated has no understanding of truth or will of good, but only what appear to be such, and in common speech are so called. He can however receive truths of reason and of knowledge [vera rationalia et scientifica], but they are not living. He may also have a kind of goods of the will, such as exist in the Gentiles, and even in brutes, but neither are these living; they are merely analogous. Such goods in man are not living until he is regenerated and they are thus made alive by the Lord. In the other life it is very manifestly perceived what is not alive and what is alive. Truth that is not alive is instantly perceived as something material, fibrous, closed up; and good not alive, as something woody, bony, stony. But truth and good made living by the Lord are open, vital, full of the spiritual and celestial, open and manifest even from the Lord; and this in every idea and in every act, yea, in the least of either of them. This then is why it is said that pairs should enter into the ark, to keep them alive.


That the male means truth and the female good, has been said and shown before. In every least thing of man there is the likeness of a kind of marriage. Whatever is of the understanding is thus coupled with something of the will, and without such a coupling or marriage nothing at all is brought forth.


Verse 20. Of the fowl after its kind, and of the beast after its kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, pairs of all shall enter unto thee, to keep them alive. The "fowl" signifies things intellectual; the "beast" things of the will; the "creeping thing of the ground" signifies both, but what is lowest of them; "pairs of all shall come unto thee, to keep them alive" signifies, as before, their regeneration.


That the "fowl" signifies things intellectual or rational has been shown before (n. 40), and that the "beast" signifies things of the will, or affections (n. 45, 46, 143, 144, 246). That the "creeping thing of the ground" signifies both, but what is lowest of them, may be plain to anyone from the fact that creeping on the ground is what is lowest. That "pairs of all shall enter unto thee, to keep them alive" signifies their regeneration, has been shown in the preceding verse.


As to its being said "the fowl after its kind" "the beast after its kind" and "the creeping thing after its kind" be it known that in every man there are innumerable genera, and still more innumerable species, of the things of understanding and of will, and that all these are most distinct from one another, although man does not know it. But during the regeneration of man the Lord draws them out, each and all in their order, and separates and disposes them so that they may be bent toward truths and goods and may be conjoined with them, and this with diversity according to the states, which also are innumerable. All these things can never be made perfect even to eternity, as each genus, each species, and each state, comprehends things illimitable even when uncompounded, and still more in combination. A man does not so much as know this fact; still less can he know in what manner he is regenerated. This is what the Lord says to Nicodemus concerning man's regeneration: The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, or whither it goeth. So is everyone that is born of the spirit (John 3:8).


Verse 21. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and gather it to thee; and it shall be for food, for thee and for them. That he should "take to himself of all food that is eaten" signifies goods and delights; that he should "gather to himself" signifies truths; that it should be "for food for him and for them" signifies both.


As regards the food of the man who is to be regenerated, the case is this: Before a man can be regenerated he needs to be furnished with all things that may serve as means-with the goods and delights of the affections as means for the will; and with truths from the Word of the Lord, and also with confirmatory things from other sources, as means for the understanding. Until a man is furnished with such things he cannot be regenerated; these being for food. This is the reason why man is not regenerated until he comes to adult age. But each man has his peculiar and as it were his own food, which is provided for him by the Lord before he is regenerated.


That his "taking to himself of all food that is eaten" signifies goods and delights, is evident from what has been said above: that goods and delights constitute man's life; and not so much truths, for truths receive their life from goods and delights. From infancy to old age nothing of knowledge or of reason is ever insinuated except by means of what is good and delightful, and such things are called "food" because the soul lives and derives its sustenance from them; and they are food, for without them a man's soul cannot possibly live, as anyone may know if he will but pay attention to the matter.


That "gathering to himself" means truths, is therefore evident; for "gathering" is predicated of the things that are in man's memory, where they are gathered together. And the expression further implies that both goods and truths should be gathered in man before he is regenerated; for without goods and truths gathered together, through which as means the Lord may operate, a man can never be regenerated, as has been said. From this then it follows that "it shall be for food for thee and for them" signifies both goods and truths.


That goods and truths are the genuine foods of man must be evident to everyone, for he who is destitute of them has no life, but is dead. When a man is spiritually dead the foods with which his soul is fed are delights from evils and pleasantnesses from falsities-which are foods of death-and are also those which come from bodily, worldly, and natural things, which also have nothing of life in them. Moreover, such a man does not know what spiritual and celestial food is, insomuch that whenever "food" or "bread" is mentioned in the Word he supposes the food of the body to be meant; as in the Lord's prayer, the words "Give us our daily bread" he supposes to mean only sustenance for the body; and those who extend their ideas further say it includes also other necessaries of the body, such as clothing, property, and the like. They even sharply deny that any other food is meant; when yet they see plainly that the words preceding and following involve only celestial and spiritual things, and that the Lord's kingdom is spoken of; and besides, they might know that the Word of the Lord is celestial and spiritual. [2] From this and other similar examples it must be sufficiently evident how corporeal is man at the present day; and that, like the Jews, he is disposed to take everything that is said in the Word in the most gross and material sense. The Lord Himself clearly teaches what is meant in His Word by "food" and "bread." Concerning "food" He thus speaks in John: Jesus said, Labor not for the meat [or food] which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you (John 6:27). And concerning "bread" He says, in the same chapter: Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the Bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. I am the living Bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this Bread he shall live eternally (John 6:49-51, 58). But at the present day there are men like those who heard these words and said: "This is a hard saying; who can hear it?" and who "went back and walked no more with Him" (John 4:60, 66), to whom the Lord said: "The words that I speak unto you they are spirit and they are life" (John 4:63). [3] And so with respect to "water" which signifies the spiritual things of faith, and concerning which the Lord thus speaks in John: Jesus said, Everyone that drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up unto eternal life (John 4:13-14). But at the present day there are those who are like the woman with whom the Lord spoke at the well, and who answered, "Lord, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw" (John 4:15). [4] That in the Word "food" means no other than spiritual and celestial food, which is faith in the Lord, and love, is evident from many passages in the Word, as in Jeremiah: The enemy hath spread out his hand upon all the desirable things of Jerusalem; for she hath seen that the nations are entered into her sanctuary, concerning whom Thou didst command that they should not enter into Thy congregation. All the people groan, they seek bread; they have given their desirable things for food to refresh the soul (Lam. 1:10-11). No other than spiritual bread and food are here meant, for the subject is the sanctuary. Again: I have cried out for my lovers, they have deceived me; my priests and mine elders in the city expired, for they sought food for themselves, to refresh their soul (Lam. 1:19), with the same meaning. In David: These wait all upon Thee, that Thou mayest give them their food in its season; Thou givest them, they gather; Thou openest thine hand, they are satisfied with good (Ps. 104:27, 28). Here likewise spiritual and celestial food is meant. [5] In Isaiah: Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no silver; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without silver, and without price (Isa. 55:1), where "wine" and "milk" denote spiritual and celestial drink. Again: A virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and thou shalt call His name Immanuel; butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good; and it shall come to pass that for the abundance of milk that they shall give they shall eat butter; for butter and honey shall everyone eat that is left in the midst of the land (Isa. 7:14-15, 22). Here to "eat honey and butter" is to appropriate what is celestial-spiritual; "they that are left" denote remains, concerning whom also in Malachi: Bring ye all the tithes into the treasure house, that there may be food in My house (Mal. 3:10). "Tithes" denote remains. (Concerning the signification of "food" see above, n. 56-58, 276.)


The nature of celestial and spiritual food can best be known in the other life. The life of angels and spirits is not sustained by any such food as there is in this world, but by "every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord" as the Lord teaches in Matthew 4:4. The truth is that the Lord alone is the life of all, and that from Him come all things both in general and in particular that angels and spirits think, say, and do, and also what evil spirits think, say, and do. The reason why these latter say and do evil things is that they so receive and pervert all the goods and truths that are of the Lord. Reception and affection are according to the form of the recipient. This may be compared to the various objects that receive the light of the sun, some of which turn the light received into unpleasing and disagreeable colors, while others turn it into pleasing and beautiful colors, according to the form, determination, and disposition of their parts. The whole heaven and the entire world of spirits thus live by everything that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord, and from this each individual has his life; and not only the whole heaven and the world of spirits, but also the whole human race. I know that these things will not be believed, nevertheless from the continuous experience of years I can assert that they are most true. Evil spirits in the world of spirits are not willing to believe that this is so; and therefore it has often been demonstrated to them-to the life-even until they have acknowledged with indignation that it is true. If angels, spirits, and men were deprived of this food they would expire in a moment.


Verse 22. And Noah did according to all that God commanded him; so did he. "Noah did according to all that God commanded him" signifies that thus it came to pass. That it is twice said he "did" involves both [good and truth].


As regards the repetition of "did" that it involves both [good and truth], it should be known that in the Word, especially in the Prophets, one thing is described in a twofold manner. Thus in Isaiah: He passed through in peace, a way that He had not gone with his feet; who hath wrought and done it? (Isa. 41:3-4), where one expression relates to good, and the other to truth; or, one relates to what is of the will, and the other to what is of the understanding; that is to say, "he passed over in peace" involves what is of the will, and "away he had not gone with his feet" involves what is of the understanding; and it is the same with the words "wrought" and "done." Thus the things that pertain to the will and to the understanding, or to love and faith, or what is the same, celestial and spiritual things, are so conjoined together in the Word that in each and every thing there is a likeness of a marriage, and a relation to the heavenly marriage. It is so here, in that the one word is repeated.


CONCERNING THE SOCIETIES WHICH CONSTITUTE HEAVEN There are three heavens: the First is the abode of good spirits, the Second of angelic spirits, and the Third of angels. And one heaven is more interior and pure than another, so that they are most distinct. Each heaven, the first, the second, and the third, is distinguished into innumerable societies; and each society consists of many individuals, who by their harmony and unanimity constitute as it were one person; and all the societies together are as one man. The societies are distinct from one another according to the differences of mutual love, and of faith in the Lord. These differences are so innumerable that not even the most universal genera of them can be computed; and there is not the least of difference that is not disposed in most perfect order, so as to conspire most harmoniously to a common unity, and the common unity to unanimity of individuals, and thereby to the happiness of all from each, and of each from all. Each angel and each society is therefore an image of the universal heaven, and is as it were a little heaven.


There are wonderful consociations in the other life which may be compared to relationships on earth: that is to say, they recognize one another as parents, children, brothers, and relations by blood and by marriage, the love being according to such varieties of relationship. These varieties are endless, and the communicable perceptions are so exquisite that they cannot be described. The relationships have no reference at all to the circumstance that those who are there had been parents, children, or kindred by blood and marriage on earth; and they have no respect to person, no matter what anyone may have been. Thus they have no regard to dignities, nor to wealth, nor to any such matters, but solely to varieties of mutual love and of faith, the faculty for the reception of which they had received from the Lord while they had lived in the world.


It is the Lord's mercy, that is, His love toward the universal heaven and the universal human race, thus it is the Lord alone who determines all things both in general and in particular into societies. This mercy it is which produces conjugial love, and from this the love of parents for children, which are the fundamental and principal loves. From these come all other loves, with endless variety, which are arranged most distinctly into societies.


Such being the nature of heaven, no angel or spirit can have any life unless he is in some society, and thereby in a harmony of many. A society is nothing but a harmony of many, for no one has any life separate from the life of others. Indeed no angel, or spirit, or society can have any life (that is, be affected by good, exercise will, be affected by truth, or think), unless there is a conjunction thereof through many of his society with heaven and with the world of spirits. And it is the same with the human race: no man, no matter who and what he may be, can live (that is, be affected by good, exercise will, be affected by truth, or think), unless in like manner he is conjoined with heaven through the angels who are with him, and with the world of spirits, nay, with hell, through the spirits that are with him. For every man while living in the body is in some society of spirits and of angels, though entirely unaware of it. And if he were not conjoined with heaven and with the world of spirits through the society in which he is, he could not live a moment. The case in this respect is the same as it is with the human body, any portion of which that is not conjoined with the rest by means of fibers and vessels, and thus by means of functions, is not a part of the body, but is instantly separated and rejected, as having no vitality. The very societies in and with which men have been during the life of the body, are shown them when they come into the other life. And when, after the life of the body, they come into their society, they come into their veriest life which they had in the body, and from this life begin a new life; and so according to their life which they have lived in the body they either go down into hell, or are raised up into heaven.


As there is such conjunction of all with each and of each with all, there is also a similar conjunction of the most individual particulars of affection and the most individual particulars of thought.


There is therefore an equilibrium of all and of each with respect to celestial, spiritual, and natural things, so that no one can think, feel, and act except from many, and yet everyone supposes that he does so of himself, most freely. In like manner there is nothing which is not balanced by its opposite, and opposites by intermediates, so that each by himself, and many together, live in most perfect equilibrium. And therefore no evil can befall anyone without being instantly counterbalanced; and when there is a preponderance of evil, the evil or evildoer is chastised by the law of equilibrium, as of himself, but solely for the end that good may come. Heavenly order consists in such a form and the consequent equilibrium; and that order is formed, disposed, and preserved by the Lord alone, to eternity.


It should be known, moreover, that there is never one society entirely and absolutely like another, nor is there one person like another in any society, but there is an accordant and harmonious variety of all; and the varieties are so ordered by the Lord that they conspire to one end, which is effected through love and faith in Him. Hence their unity. For the same reason the heaven and heavenly joy of one is never exactly and absolutely like that of another; but according to the varieties of love and faith, such are the heaven and the heavenly joy in those varieties.


These things in general respecting the heavenly societies are from manifold and daily experience, concerning which specifically, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter.


CHAPTER 7. CONCERNING HELL. As with regard to heaven, so with regard to hell, man has only a very general idea, which is so obscure that it is almost none at all. It is such as they who have not been beyond their huts in the woods may have of the earth. They know nothing of its empires and kingdoms, still less of its forms of government, of its societies, or of the life in the societies. Until they know these things they can have but the most general notion of the earth, so general as to be almost none. The case is the same in regard to people's ideas about heaven and hell, when yet in each of them there are things innumerable and indefinitely more numerous than in any earthly world. How numberless they are may be evident from this alone: that just as no one ever has the same heaven, so no one has the same hell as another, and that all souls whatever who have lived in the world since the first creation come there and are gathered together.


As love to the Lord and toward the neighbor, together with the joy and happiness thence derived constitute heaven, so hatred against the Lord and the neighbor, together with the consequent punishment and torment, constitute hell. There are innumerable genera of hatreds, and still more innumerable species; and the hells are just as innumerable.


As heaven from the Lord, through mutual love, constitutes as it were one man, and one soul, and thus has regard to one end, which is the conservation and salvation of all to eternity, so, on the other hand, hell, from man's Own, through the love of self and of the world, that is, through hatred, constitutes one devil and one mind [animus], and thus also has regard to one end, which is the destruction and damnation of all to eternity. That such is their endeavor has been perceived thousands and thousands of times, so that unless the Lord preserved all every instant, they would perish.


But the form and the order imposed by the Lord on the hells is such that all are held bound and tied up by their cupidities and phantasies, in which their very life consists; and this life, being a life of death, is turned into dreadful torments, so severe that they cannot be described. For the greatest delight of their life consists in being able to punish, torture, and torment one another, and this by arts unknown in the world, whereby they know how to induce exquisite suffering, just as if they were in the body, and at the same time dreadful and horrid phantasies, with terrors and horrors and many such torments. The diabolical crew take so great a pleasure in this that if they could increase and extend the pains and torments to infinity, they would not even then be satisfied, but would burn yet again to infinity; but the Lord takes away their endeavors, and alleviates the torments.


Such is the equilibrium of all things in the other life in both general and particular that evil punishes itself, so that in evil there is the punishment of evil. It is the same with falsity, which returns upon him who is in the falsity. Hence everyone brings punishment and torment upon himself, and rushes at the same time among the diabolical crew who inflict such torment. The Lord never sends anyone to hell, but would lead all away from hell, and still less does He lead into torment. But as the evil spirit rushes into it himself, the Lord turns all the punishment and torment to good, and to some use. No penalty is ever possible unless the Lord has in view some end of use; for the Lord's kingdom is a kingdom of ends and uses. But the uses which the infernals can perform are the lowest uses; and when they are engaged in them they are not in so much torment, but on the cessation of the use they are sent back into hell.


There are with every man at least two evil spirits and two angels. Through the evil spirits the man has communication with hell; and through the angels, with heaven. Without communication with both no man can live a moment. Thus every man is in some society of infernals, although he is unaware of it. But their torments are not communicated to him, because he is in a state of preparation for eternal life. The society in which a man has been is sometimes shown him in the other life; for he returns to it, and thereby into the life that he had in the world; and from thence he either tends toward hell, or is raised up toward heaven. Thus a man who does not live in the good of charity, and does not suffer himself to be led by the Lord, is one of the infernals, and after death also becomes a devil.


Besides the hells there are also vastations, concerning which there is much in the Word. For in consequence of actual sins a man takes with him into the other life innumerable evils and falsities, which he accumulates and joins to himself. It is so even with those who have lived uprightly. Before these can be taken up into heaven, their evils and falsities must be dissipated, and this dissipation is called Vastation. There are many kinds of vastations, and longer and shorter periods of vastation. Some are taken up into heaven in a comparatively short time, and some immediately after death.


That I might witness the torment of those who are in hell, and the vastation of those who are in the lower earth, I have at different times been let down thither. To be let down into hell is not to be carried from one place to another, but to be let into some infernal society, the man remaining in the same place. But I may here relate only this experience: I plainly perceived that a kind of column surrounded me, and this column was sensibly increased, and it was intimated to me that this was the "wall of brass" spoken of in the Word. 699-1 The column was formed of angelic spirits in order that I might safely descend to the unhappy. When I was there I heard piteous lamentations, such as, O God! O God! take pity on us! take pity on us! and this for a long time. I was permitted to speak to those wretched ones, and this for a considerable time. They complained especially of evil spirits in that they desired and burned for nothing else than to torment them. They were in despair, saying that they believed their torment would be eternal; but I was permitted to comfort them.


The hells being as we have stated so numerous, in order to give some regular account of them, they shall be treated of as follows -I. Concerning the hells of those who have lived a life of hatred, revenge, and cruelty. II. Concerning the hells of those who have lived in adulteries and lasciviousnesses; and concerning the hells of the deceitful, and of sorceresses. III. Concerning the hells of the avaricious; and the filthy Jerusalem there, and the robbers in the wilderness; also concerning the excrementitious hells of those who have lived in mere pleasures. IV. Afterwards concerning other hells which are distinct from the above. V. Finally concerning those who are in vastation. The description of these will be found prefixed and appended to the following chapters. CHAPTER 7. 1. And Jehovah said unto Noah, Enter thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before Me in this generation. 2. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the man [vir] and his wife; and of the beast that is not clean by twos, the man and his wife. 3. Of the fowl of the heavens also by sevens, male and female, to keep seed alive upon the faces of the whole earth. 4. For in yet seven days I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every substance that I have made will I destroy from off the faces of the ground. 5. And Noah did according to all that Jehovah commanded him. 6. And Noah was a son of six hundred years, and the flood of waters was upon the earth. 7. And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, from before the waters of the flood. 8. Of the clean beast, and of the beast that is not clean, and of the fowl, and of everything that creepeth upon the ground, 9. There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, male and female, as God had commanded Noah. 10. And it came to pass after the seven days that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. 11. In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, in the seventeenth day of the month, in that day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the cataracts of heaven were opened. 12. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. 13. In the self-same day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark. 14. They, and every wild animal after its kind, and every beast after its kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after its kind; and every fowl after its kind, every flying thing, every winged thing. 15. And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh wherein is the breath of lives. 16. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him. And Jehovah shut after him. 17. And the flood was forty days upon the earth, and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lifted up from off the earth. 18. And the waters were strengthened, and were increased exceedingly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. 19. And the waters were strengthened very exceedingly upon the earth, and all the high mountains that were under the whole heaven were covered. 20. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail, and covered the mountains. 21. And all flesh died that creepeth upon the earth, as to fowl, and as to beast, and as to wild animal, and as to every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; and every man. 22. All in whose nostrils was the breathing [flatus] of the breath of lives, of all that was in the dry [land], died. 23. And He destroyed every substance that was upon the faces of the ground, from man even to beast, even to creeping thing, and even to the fowl of the heavens; and they were destroyed from the earth; and Noah only was left, and that which was with him in the ark. 24. And the waters were strengthened upon the earth a hundred and fifty days.


699-1 Jer. 1:18; 15:20.

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