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

Arcana Coelestia


THE CONTENTS. The subject here treated of in general is the preparation of a new church. As the subject before was the intellectual things of that church, so here it is the things of the will (verses 1 to 5).


Next its temptations are treated of, which are described as to its intellectual things from verses 6 to 10, and as to the things of the will in verses 11, 12.


Afterwards the protection of this church is treated of, and its preservation (verses 13 to 15). But what its state was, that it was fluctuating, is described in verses 16 to 18.


Finally the last posterity of the Most Ancient Church is treated of in regard to its character: that it was possessed by persuasions of falsity and by cupidities of the love of self to such a degree that it perished (verses 19 to 24).


THE INTERNAL SENSE705. The subject here specifically treated of is the "flood" by which is signified not only the temptations which the man of the church called "Noah" had to undergo before he could be regenerated, but also the desolation of those who could not be regenerated. Both temptations and desolations are compared in the Word to "floods" or "inundations" of waters, and are so called. Temptations are denoted in Isaiah: For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but in great compassions will I gather thee again. In an inundation of anger I hid my faces from thee for a moment; but in the mercy of eternity will I have compassion upon thee, saith Jehovah thy Redeemer. For this is the waters of Noah unto Me, to whom I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee and rebuke thee, O thou afflicted and tossed with tempests and not comforted (Isa. 54:7-9, 11). This is said of the church that is to be regenerated, and concerning its temptations, which are called the "waters of Noah." [2] The Lord Himself also calls temptations an "inundation" in Luke: Jesus said, Everyone that cometh unto Me, and heareth My sayings and doeth them is like unto a man building a house, who digged, and went deep, and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when an inundation came, the stream beat upon that house, but could not shake it, because it had been founded upon the rock (Luke 6:47-48).That temptations are here meant by an "inundation" must be evident to everyone. Desolations are also denoted in Isaiah: The Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, the king of Asshur and all his glory; and he riseth up above all his channels, and shall go over all his banks: and he shall go through Judah; he shall inundate and go through; he shall reach even to the neck (Isa. 8:7-8). "The king of Asshur" here stands for phantasies, principles of falsity, and the derivative reasonings, which desolate man, and which desolated the antediluvians. [3] In Jeremiah: Thus hath said Jehovah, Behold waters rise up out of the north, and shall become an inundating stream, and shall inundate the land and the fullness thereof, the city and them that dwell therein (Jer. 47:2-3). This is said of the Philistines, who represent those who take up false principles, and reason from them concerning spiritual things, which reasonings inundate man, as they did the antediluvians. The reason why both temptations and desolations are compared in the Word to "floods" or "inundations" of waters, and are so called, is that they are similarly circumstanced; it being evil spirits who flow in with their persuasions and the false principles in which they are, and excite such things in man. With the man who is being regenerated, these are temptations; but with the man who is not being regenerated they are desolations.


Verse 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. "Jehovah said unto Noah" signifies that so it came to pass ("Jehovah" is named because charity is now treated of); "enter thou and all thy house into the ark" signifies the things that are of the will, which is the "house;" to "enter into the ark" here signifies to be prepared; "for thee have I seen righteous in this generation" signifies that he had good whereby he might be regenerated.


Here, as far as the fifth verse, are found almost the same things that were said in the previous chapter, merely changed in some little measure, and it is the same in the verses that follow. One who is not acquainted with the internal sense of the Word cannot but think that this is merely a repetition of the same thing. Similar instances occur in other parts of the Word, especially in the Prophets, where the same thing is expressed in different words; and sometimes is also taken up again and described a second time. But, as before said, the reason is that there are two faculties in man which are most distinct from each other-the will, and the understanding-and the two are treated of in the Word distinctively. This is the reason of the repetition. That this is the case here will be evident from what follows.


Jehovah said unto Noah. That this signifies that so it came to pass, is evident from the consideration that with Jehovah there is nothing else than Being [Esse]: that which He says comes to pass and is done; just as in the preceding chapter at verse 13, and elsewhere, where the expression "Jehovah said" means that it came to pass and was done.


The name "Jehovah" is here used because the subject now treated of is charity. In the preceding chapter, from the ninth verse to the end it is not said "Jehovah" but "God" for the reason that the subject there treated of is the preparation of "Noah" (that is, of the man of the church called "Noah") as to the things of his understanding, which relate to faith; whereas the subject here treated of is his preparation as to the things of the will, which are of love. When the things of the understanding, or the truths of faith, are the subject treated of, the name "God" is used, but when the things of the will, or the goods of love are treated of, the name "Jehovah" is used. For the things of the understanding, or of faith, do not constitute the church, but the things of the will, which are of love. Jehovah is in love and charity and not in faith unless it is a faith of love or of charity. And therefore in the Word faith is compared to "night" and love to "day"; as in the first chapter of Genesis, where the "great lights" are spoken of, it is said that the "greater light" or the sun, which signifies love, should rule the day, and the "lesser light" or the moon, which signifies faith, should rule the night (Gen. 1:14, 16); and it is the same in the Prophets (Jer. 31:35; 33:20; Ps. 136:8, 9; Rev. 8:12).


Enter thou end all thy house into the ark. That this signifies the things that are of the will, is therefore evident. In the preceding chapter, where the things of the understanding are meant, it is expressed differently, namely: "Thou shalt come into the ark, thou and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee" (verse 18). That a "house" signifies the will and what is of the will, is evident in various places in the Word; as in Jeremiah: Their houses shall be turned over unto others, their fields and their wives together (Jer. 6:12). Here "houses" and also "fields" and "wives" relate to things which are of the will. Again: Build ye houses and dwell in them; and plant gardens and eat the fruit of them (Jer. 29:5, 28). Here "building houses and dwelling in them" relates to the will; "planting gardens" to the understanding: and it is the same in other passages. And the "house of Jehovah" is frequently mentioned as signifying the church wherein love is the principal; the "house of Judah" as signifying the celestial church; and the "house of Israel" as signifying the spiritual church. As "house" signifies the church, the mind of the man of the church (wherein are the things of the will and of the understanding, or of charity and faith), is also signified by "house."


That to "enter into the ark" is to be prepared, has been stated before, at verse 18 of the preceding chapter. But there it signified that he was prepared for salvation as to things of the understanding, which are truths of faith; but here as to things of the will, which are goods of charity. Unless a man is prepared, that is, furnished with truths and goods, he can by no means be regenerated, still less undergo temptations. For the evil spirits who are with him at such a time excite his falsities and evils; and if truths and goods are not present, to which they may be bent by the Lord, and by which they may be dispersed, he succumbs. These truths and goods are the remains which are reserved by the Lord for such uses.


For thee have I seen righteous in this generation. That this signifies that he had good whereby he might be regenerated, was stated and shown at the ninth verse of the preceding chapter. In that place "righteous" or "just" signifies the good of charity; and "perfect" the truth of charity. It is there said "generations" in the plural, because things of the understanding are treated of; and here, "generation" in the singular, because things of the will are treated of. For the will comprehends in itself the things of the understanding, but the understanding does not comprehend in itself those of the will.


Verse 2. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens the man and his wife; and of the beast that is not clean by twos, the man and his wife. By "every clean beast" are signified affections of good; by "sevens" is signified that they are holy; by "man and his wife" that the truths were conjoined with goods. By the "beast not clean" are signified evil affections; by "two" that they are relatively profane; by "man and wife" falsities conjoined with evils.


That affections of good are signified by "every clean beast" is evident from what has been said and shown before respecting beasts (n. 45-46, 142-143, 246). The reason why affections are thus signified is that man in himself, and regarded in what is his own, is nothing but a beast. He has very similar senses, appetites, desires; and all his affections are very similar. His good, nay, even his best loves, are very similar; as the love for companions of his own kind, the love of his children, and of his wife; so that they do not at all differ. But his being man, and more than beast, consists in his having an interior life, which beasts never have nor can have. This life is the life of faith and love from the Lord. And if this life were not within everything that he has in common with beasts, he would not be anything else. Take only one example-love toward companions: if he should love them only for the sake of himself, and there were nothing more heavenly or Divine in his love, he could not from this be called a man, because it is the same with beasts. And so with all the rest. If therefore there were not the life of love from the Lord in his will, and the life of faith from the Lord in his understanding, he would not be a man. By virtue of the life which he has from the Lord he lives after death; because the Lord adjoins him to Himself. And thus he can be in His heaven with the angels, and live to eternity. And even if a man lives as a wild beast, and loves nothing whatever but himself and what regards himself, yet so great is the Lord's mercy-for it is Divine and Infinite-that He does not leave him, but continually breathes into him His own life, through the angels; and even supposing that he receives it no otherwise, it still causes him to be able to think, to reflect, to understand whether a thing is good or evil-in relation to what is moral, civil, worldly, or corporeal-and therefore whether it is true or false.


As the most ancient people knew, and when they were in self-humiliation acknowledged, that they were nothing but beasts and wild beasts, and were men solely by virtue of what they had from the Lord, therefore whatever pertained to themselves they not only likened to but called beasts and birds; things of the will they compared to beasts, and called beasts; and things of the understanding they compared to and called birds. But they distinguished between good affections and evil affections. Good affections they compared to lambs, sheep, kids, she-goats, he-goats, rams, heifers, oxen-for the reason that they were good and gentle, and serviceable to life, since they could be eaten, and their skins and wool could furnish clothing. These are the principal clean beasts. But those which are evil and fierce, and not serviceable to life, are unclean beasts.


That holy things are signified by "seven" is evident from what has been said before respecting the seventh day, or the sabbath (n. 84-87), namely, that the Lord is the seventh day; and that from Him every celestial church, or celestial man, is a seventh day, and indeed the celestial itself, which is most holy because it is from the Lord alone. For this reason, in the Word, "seven" signifies what is holy; and in fact, as here, in the internal sense partakes not at all of the idea of number. For they who are in the internal sense, as angels and angelic spirits are, do not even know what number is, and therefore not what seven is. Therefore it is not meant here that seven pairs were to be taken of all the clean beasts; or that there was so much of good in proportion to evil as seven to two; but that the things of the will with which this man of the church was furnished were goods, which are holy, whereby he could be regenerated, as was said above. [2] That "seven" signifies what is holy, or holy things, is evident from the rituals in the representative church, wherein the number seven so frequently occurs. For example, they were to sprinkle of the blood and the oil seven times, as related in Leviticus: Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them; and he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all its vessels, to sanctify them (Lev. 8:10-11). Here "seven times" would be entirely without significance if what is holy were not thus represented. And in another place: When Aaron came into the holy place it is said: He shall take of the blood of the bullock and sprinkle with his finger upon the faces of the mercy seat toward the east; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times (Lev. 16:14). And so at the altar: He shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it and sanctify it (Lev. 16:19). The particulars here, each and all, signify the Lord Himself, and therefore the holy of love; that is to say, the "blood" the "mercy seat" and also the "altar" and the "east" toward which the blood was to be sprinkled, and therefore also "seven." [3] And likewise in the sacrifices, of which in Leviticus: If a soul shall sin through error, and if the anointed priest shall sin so as to bring guilt on the people, he shall slay the bullock before Jehovah, and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before Jehovah, toward the veil of the sanctuary (Lev. 4:2-3, 6). Here in like manner "seven" signifies what is holy; because the subject treated of is expiation, which is of the Lord alone, and therefore the subject treated of is the Lord. Similar rites were also instituted in respect to the cleansing of leprosy, concerning which in Leviticus: Of the blood of the bird, with cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop, the priest shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall make him clean. In like manner he was to sprinkle of the oil that was upon the palm of his left hand seven times before Jehovah. And so in a house where there was leprosy, he was to take cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet, and with the blood of the bird sprinkle seven times (Lev. 14:6-7, 27, 51).Here anyone may see that there is nothing at all in the "cedar wood" the "scarlet" the "oil" the "blood of a bird" nor yet in "seven" except from the fact that they are representative of holy things. Take away from them what is holy, and all that remains is dead, or profanely idolatrous. But when they signify holy things there is Divine worship therein, which is internal, and is only represented by the externals. The Jews indeed could not know what these things signified; nor does anyone at the present day know what was signified by the "cedar wood" the "hyssop" the "scarlet" and the "bird." But if they had only been willing to think that holy things were involved which they did not know, and so had worshiped the Lord, or the Messiah who was to come, who would heal them of their leprosy-that is, of their profanation of holy things-they might have been saved. For they who so think and believe are at once instructed in the other life, if they desire, as to what each and all things represented. [4] And in like manner it was commanded respecting the red heifer: The priest shall take of her blood with his finger and sprinkle of her blood toward the face of the tent of meeting seven times (Num. 19:4). As the "seventh day" or "sabbath" signified the Lord, and from Him the celestial man, and the celestial itself, the seventh day in the Jewish Church was of all religious observances the most holy; and hence came the "sabbath of sabbath" in the seventh year (Lev. 25:4), and the "jubilee" that was proclaimed after the seven sabbaths of years, or after seven times seven years (25:8-9). That in the highest sense "seven" signifies the Lord, and hence the holy of love, is evident also from the golden candlestick and its seven lamps (concerning which in Exod. 25:31-33, 37; 37:17-19, 23; Num. 8:2, 3; Zech. 4:2) and of which it is thus written by John: Seven golden lampstands; and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like unto the Son of man (Rev. 1:12-13). It very clearly appears in this passage that the "lampstand with the seven lamps" signifies the Lord, and that the "lamps" are the holy things of love, or celestial things; and therefore they were "seven." [5] And again: Out of the throne went forth seven torches of fire, burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God (Rev. 4:5). Here the "seven torches" that went forth out of the throne of the Lord are the seven lights, or lamps. The same is signified wherever the number "seven" occurs in the Prophets, as in Isaiah: The light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that Jehovah bindeth up the breach of His people (Isa. 30:26). Here the "sevenfold light, as the light of seven days" does not signify sevenfold, but the holy of the love signified by the "sun." See also what was said and shown above respecting the number "seven" (chapter 4, verse 15). From all this again it is clearly evident that whatever numbers are used in the Word never mean numbers (as was also shown before, chapter 6:3).


It is also evident from all this that the subject here treated of is the things of man's will, or the good and holy things in him which are predicated of the will. For it is said that he should "take of the clean beast by sevens;" and the same is said in the following verse concerning the "fowl." But in the preceding chapter (verses 19, 20), it is not said that he should "take by sevens" but by "twos" or pairs; because there things of the understanding are treated of, which are not holy in themselves, but are holy from love, which is of the will.


That by "man [vir] and wife" is signified that the truths were conjoined with goods, is evident from the signification of "man" as being truth, which is of the understanding, and from the signification of "wife" as being good, which is of the will (concerning which before), and also from the fact that man has not the least of thought, nor the least of affection and action, in which there is not a kind of marriage of the understanding and the will. Without a kind of marriage, nothing ever exists or is produced. In the very organic forms of man, both composite and simple, and even in the most simple, there is a passive and an active, which, if they were not coupled as in a marriage, like that of man and wife, could not even be there, still less produce anything, and the case is the same throughout universal nature. These incessant marriages derive their source and origin from the heavenly marriage; and thereby there is impressed upon everything in universal nature, both animate and inanimate, an idea of the Lord's kingdom.


That evil affections are signified by the "beasts not clean" is evident from what has been said and shown before respecting the clean beasts. They are called "clean" because they are gentle, good, and useful. The unclean-of which there are genera and species-are the contrary, being fierce, evil, and not useful. In the Word also they are described as wolves, bears, foxes, swine, and many others; and various cupidities and evil dispositions are signified by them. As to its being here said that unclean beasts also (that is, evil affections) should be brought into the ark, the truth is that the man of that church is here described such as he was in character, and this by the ark, and therefore by the things that were in the ark, or that were brought into the ark; that is to say, the things are described that were in the man before he was regenerated. There were in him the truths and goods with which he had been furnished and gifted by the Lord before regeneration; for without truths and goods no one can ever be regenerated. But here the evils that were in him are spoken of, and are signified by the unclean beasts. There are evils in man which must be dispersed while he is being regenerated, that is, which must be loosened and attempered by goods; for no actual and hereditary evil in man can be so dispersed as to be abolished. It still remains implanted; and can only be so far loosened and attempered by goods from the Lord that it does not injure, and does not appear, which is an arcanum hitherto unknown. Actual evils are those which are loosened and attempered, and not hereditary evils; which also is a thing unknown.


That "pairs" signify things relatively profane, is evident from the signification of the number "two." A "pair" or "two" not only signifies marriage (and is, when predicated of the heavenly marriage, a holy number), but it also signifies the same as "six." That is to say, as the six days of labor are related to the seventh day of rest, or the holy day, so is the number "two" related to "three;" and therefore the third day in the Word is taken for the seventh, and involves almost the same, on account of the Lord's resurrection on the third day. And hence the Lord's coming into the world, and in glory, and every coming of the Lord, is described equally by the "seventh" and by the "third" day. For this reason the two days that precede are not holy, but relatively are profane. Thus in Hosea: Come and let us return unto Jehovah, for He hath wounded, and He will heal us; He hath smitten and He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live before Him (Hos. 6:1-2). And in Zechariah: It shall come to pass in all the land, saith Jehovah, that two parts therein shall be cut off and die, and the third shall be left therein; and I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined (Zech. 13:8-9). And that silver was most pure when purified seven times appears in Psalm 12:6; from all of which it is plain that as "seven" does not signify seven, but things that are holy, so by "pairs" are signified not pairs, but things relatively profane; and therefore the meaning is not that the unclean beasts, or evil affections, in comparison with the clean beasts, or good affections, were few in the proportion of two to seven, for the evils in man are far more numerous than the goods.


That by "man and wife" are signified falsities conjoined with evils, is evident from what was said just above. For here "man and wife" is predicated of the unclean beasts; but before of the clean; and therefore the expression there signified truths conjoined with goods, but here falsities conjoined with evils. Such as is the subject, such is the predication.


Verse 3. Of the fowl of the heavens also by sevens, male and female, to keep seed alive upon the faces of the whole earth. By "the fowl of the heavens" are signified things of the understanding; by "sevens" those which are holy; by "male and female" truths and goods; "to keep seed alive upon the faces of the whole earth" signifies truths of faith.


That the "fowl of the heavens" signifies things of the understanding, has been shown before, and therefore need not be dwelt upon.


Likewise that "sevens" signifies things that are holy, and here holy truths, which are holy from the fact that they come from goods. No truth is holy unless it comes from good. A man may utter many truths from the Word, and thus from memory, but if it is not love or charity that brings them forth, nothing holy can be predicated of them. But if he has love and charity, then he acknowledges and believes, and this from the heart. And it is the same with faith, of which so many say that it alone saves: if there is no love or charity from which the faith comes, there is no faith. Love and charity are what make faith holy. The Lord is in love and charity, but not in faith that is separated from charity. In faith separated is the man himself, in whom there is nothing but uncleanness. For when faith is separated from love, his own praise, or his own advantage, is the moving cause that is in his heart, and from which he speaks. This everyone may know from his own experience. Whoever tells anyone that he loves him, that he prefers him to others, that he acknowledges him as the best of men, and the like, and yet in heart thinks otherwise, does this only with his mouth, and in heart denies, and sometimes makes sport of him. And it is the same with faith. This has been made very well known to me by much experience. They who in the life of the body have preached the Lord and faith with so much eloquence, together with feigned devoutness, as to astonish their hearers, and have not done it from the heart, in the other life are among those who bear the greatest hatred toward the Lord, and who persecute the faithful.


That by "male and female" are signified truths and goods, is evident from what has been said and shown before, namely, that "man" and "male" signify truth, and "wife" and "female" good. But "male and female" are predicated of things of the understanding, and "man and wife" of things of the will, for the reason that marriage is represented by man and wife, and not so much by male and female. For truth can never of itself enter into marriage with good, but good can with truth; because there is no truth which is not produced from good and thus coupled with good. If you withdraw good from truth, nothing whatever remains but words.


To keep seed alive upon the faces of the whole earth. That this signifies truths of faith, is evident from the seed being kept alive by this church. By "seed" is meant faith. The rest of the descendants of the Most Ancient Church destroyed the celestial and spiritual seed within them, by foul cupidities and direful persuasions. But that celestial seed might not perish, they who are called "Noah" were regenerated, and this by means of spiritual seed. These are the things which are signified. Those are said to be "kept alive" who receive the Lord's life, because life is in those things only which are of the Lord, as must be evident to everyone from the fact that there is no life in those things which are not of eternal life, or which do not look to eternal life. Life that is not eternal is not life, but in a brief time perishes. Nor can being [esse] be predicated of things that cease to be, but only of those that never cease to be. Thus living and being are within those things only which are of the Lord, or Jehovah; because all being and living, to eternity, is of Him. By eternal life is meant eternal happiness, respecting which see what was said and shown above (n. 290).


Verse 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. "In yet seven days" signifies the beginning of temptation; "to rain" signifies temptation; "forty days and nights" signifies the duration of temptation; "I will destroy every substance that I have made from off the faces of the ground" signifies the Own of man, which is as it were destroyed when he is being regenerated. The same words signify also the extinction of those of the Most Ancient Church who destroyed themselves.


That "in yet seven days" here signifies the beginning of temptation, is evident from the internal sense of all things mentioned in this verse, in that the temptation of the man called "Noah" is treated of. It treats in general both of his temptation and of the total vastation of those who were of the Most Ancient Church and had become such as has been described. Therefore "in yet seven days" signifies not only the beginning of temptation, but also the end of vastation. The reason why these things are signified by "in yet seven days" is that "seven" is a holy number, as was said and shown before (at verse 2 of this chapter, and in chapter 4:15, 24; and at n. 84-87). "In seven days" signifies the Lord's coming into the world, also His coming into glory, and every coming of the Lord in particular. It is an attendant feature of every coming of the Lord that it is a beginning to those who are being regenerated, and is the end of those who are being vastated. Thus to the man of this church the Lord's coming was the beginning of temptation; for when man is tempted he begins to become a new man and to be regenerated. And at the same time it was the end of those of the Most Ancient Church who had become such that they could not but perish. Just so when the Lord came into the world-the church at that time was in its last state of vastation, and was then made new. [2] That these things are signified by "in yet seven days" is evident in Daniel: Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people, and upon the city of thy holiness, to consummate the transgression, to seal up sins, and to purge away iniquity, and to bring in the righteousness of the ages, and to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the holy of holies. Know therefore and perceive, from the going forth of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks (Dan. 9:24-25). Here "seventy weeks" and "seven weeks" signify the same as "seven days" namely, the coming of the Lord. But as here there is a manifest prophecy, the times are still more sacredly and certainly designated by septenary numbers. It is evident then not only that "seven" thus applied to times signifies the coming of the Lord, but that the beginning also of a new church at that time is signified by the "anointing of the holy of holies" and by Jerusalem being "restored and built." And at the same time the last vastation is signified by the words, "Seventy weeks are decreed upon the city of holiness, to consummate the transgression, and to seal up sins." [3] So in other places in the Word, as in Ezekiel, where he says of himself: I came to them of the captivity at Tel-abib, that sat by the river Chebar, and I sat there astonished among them seven days; and it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of Jehovah came unto me (Ezek. 3:15-16). Here also "seven days" denote the beginning of visitation; for after seven days, while he sat among those who were in captivity, the word of Jehovah came unto him. Again: They shall bury Gog, that they may cleanse the land, seven months; at the end of seven months they shall search (Ezek. 39:12, 14). Here likewise "seven" denotes the last limit of vastation, and the first of visitation. In Daniel: The heart of Nebuchadnezzar shall they change from man, and the heart of a beast shall be given unto him, and seven times shall pass over him (Dan. 4:16, 25, 32), denoting in like manner the end of vastation, and the beginning of a new man. [4] The "seventy years" of Babylonish captivity represented the same. Whether the number is "seventy" or "seven" it involves the same, be it seven days or seven years, or seven ages which make seventy years. Vastation was represented by the years of captivity; the beginning of a new church by the liberation and the rebuilding of the temple. Similar things were also represented by the service of Jacob with Laban, where these words occur: I will serve thee seven years for Rachel; and Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and Laban said, Fulfill this week, and I will give thee her also, for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years; and Jacob did so, and fulfilled this week (Gen. 29:18, 20, 27-28). Here the "seven years" of service involve the same, and also that after the days of seven years came the marriage and freedom. This period of seven years was called a "week" as also in Daniel. [5] The same was represented too in the command that they should compass the city of Jericho "seven times" and the wall would then fall down; and it is said that: On the seventh day they rose with the dawn and compassed the city after the same manner seven times, and it came to pass at the seventh time the seven priests blew the seven trumpets and the wall fell down (Josh. 6:10-20).If these things had not likewise had such a signification, the command that they should compass the city seven times, and that there should be seven priests and seven trumpets would never have been given. From these and many other passages (as Job 2:13; Rev. 15:1, 6-7; 21:9), it is evident that "in seven days" signifies the beginning of a new church, and the end of the old. In the passage before us, as it treats both of the man of the church called "Noah" and his temptation, and of the last posterity of the Most Ancient Church, which destroyed itself, "in yet seven days" can have no other signification than the beginning of Noah's temptation and the end or final devastation and expiration of the Most Ancient Church.


That by "raining" is signified temptation, is evident from what was said and shown in the introduction to this chapter, namely, that a "flood" or "inundation" of waters, which is here described by "rain" signifies not only temptation, but also vastation. And the same will also appear from what is to be said concerning the flood in the following pages.


That by "forty days and nights" is signified the duration of temptation, is plainly evident from the Word of the Lord. That "forty" signifies the duration of temptation, comes from the fact that the Lord suffered Himself to be tempted for forty days (as is stated in Matthew 4:1, 2; Luke 4:2; Mark 1:13). And as the things instituted in the Jewish and the other representative churches before the coming of the Lord were each and all types of Him, so also were the forty days and nights, in that they represented and signified in general all temptation, and specifically the duration of the temptation, whatever that might be. And because a man when in temptation is in vastation as to all things that are of his Own, and of the body (for the things that are of his Own and of the body must die, and this through combats and temptations, before he is born again a new man, or is made spiritual and heavenly), for this reason also "forty days and nights" signify the duration of vastation; and it is the same here where the subject is both the temptation of the man of the new church, called "Noah" and the devastation of the antediluvians. [2] That the number "forty" signifies the duration of both temptation and vastation, whether greater or less, is evident in Ezekiel: Thou shalt lie on thy right side, and shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days, each day for a year have I appointed it unto thee (Ezek. 4:6). "Forty" denotes here the duration of the vastation of the Jewish Church, and also a representation of the Lord's temptation; for it is said that he should "bear the iniquity of the house of Judah." Again: I will make the land of Egypt wastes, a waste of desolation; no foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, and it shall not be inhabited forty years; and I will make the land of Egypt a desolation in the midst of the desolate lands, and her cities in the midst of the cities that are laid waste shall be a solitude forty years (Ezek. 29:10-12). Here also "forty" denotes the duration of vastation and desolation; and in the internal sense forty years are not meant, but only, in general, the desolation of faith, whether within a less or greater time. In John: The court that is without the temple cast out and measure it not; for it hath been given unto the nations, who shall tread the holy city underfoot forty and two months (Rev. 11:2). [3] And again: There was given unto the beast a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and there was given unto him power to make war forty and two months (Rev. 13:5), denoting the duration of vastation, for anyone may know that forty-two months of time is not meant. But the origin of the use of the number "forty-two" in this passage (which has the same signification as the number "forty") is that "seven days" signify the end of vastation, and a new beginning, and "six days" signify labor, from the six days of labor or combat. Seven are therefore multiplied by six, and thus give rise to the number forty-two, which signifies the duration of the vastation and the duration of the temptation, or the labor and combat, of the man who is to be regenerated, in which there is holiness. But, as is evident from these passages in Revelation, the round number "forty" was taken for the not-so-round number "forty-two." [4] That the Israelitish people were led about for forty years in the wilderness before they were brought into the land of Canaan, in like manner represented and signified the duration of temptation, and also the duration of vastation; the duration of temptation, by their being afterwards brought into the holy land; the duration of vastation, by the fact that all above the age of twenty years, who went out of Egypt, except Joshua and Caleb, died in the wilderness (Num. 14:33-35; 32:8-14). The things against which they so often murmured signify temptations, and the plagues and destruction that so frequently came upon them signify vastations. That these signify temptations and vastations will of the Lord's Divine mercy be shown in that place. Of these things it is written in Moses: Thou shalt remember all the way which Jehovah thy God hath led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to afflict thee, to tempt thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments, or no (Deut. 8:2-3, 16). That Moses was forty days and forty nights upon Mount Sinai, likewise signifies the duration of the temptation, that is, it signifies the Lord's temptation, as is evident from his abiding in the mount forty days and forty nights, neither eating bread nor drinking water, supplicating for the people that they might not be destroyed (Deut. 9:9, 11, 18, 25-29; 10:10). [5] The reason why "forty days" signify the duration of temptation is, as just said, that the Lord suffered Himself to be tempted of the devil forty days. And therefore-as all things were representative of the Lord-when the idea of temptations was present with the angels, that idea was represented in the world of spirits by such things as are in this world, as is the case with all angelic ideas during their descent into the world of spirits: they being presented representatively. And in the same way the idea of temptation was presented by the number "forty" because the Lord was to be tempted forty days. With the Lord, and consequently with the angelic heaven, it is the same whether a thing is present or is to come; what is to come is present, or what is to be done is done. From this came the representation of temptations, as also of vastations, in the representative church, by "forty." But these things cannot as yet be very well comprehended, because the influx of the angelic heaven into the world of spirits is not known, nor that such is the nature of this influx.


Every substance that I have made will I destroy from off the faces of the ground. That this signifies man's Own, which is as if destroyed when vivified, is evident from what has been said before respecting this Own. Man's Own is all evil and falsity. So long as this continues, the man is dead; but when he comes into temptations it is dispersed, that is, loosened and tempered by truths and goods from the Lord, and thus is vivified and appears as if it were not present. That it does not appear and is no longer hurtful, is signified by "destroyed;" and yet it is not destroyed, but remains. It is almost as with black and white, which when variously modified by the rays of light are turned into beautiful colors-such as blue, yellow, and purple-whereby, according to their arrangement are presented lovely and agreeable tints, as in flowers, yet remaining radically and fundamentally black and white. But as here at the same time the final vastation of those who were of the Most Ancient Church is treated of, by "I will destroy every existing thing that I have made, from off the face of the ground" are signified those who perished (as likewise in the following verse, 23). The "substance that I have made" is all that, or every man, in which there was heavenly seed, or who was of the church; and therefore, both here and in the following verse, "ground" is mentioned, which signifies the man of the church in whom good and truth have been implanted. This seed, in those called "Noah"-evils and falsities being dispersed, as before said-gradually grew up; but with the antediluvians who perished it was extinguished by tares.


Verse 5. And Noah did according to all that Jehovah commanded him. This signifies as before, that thus it came to pass. Compare the preceding chapter, verse 22, where it is said twice that Noah "did" here only once; and there the name "God" is used, but here "Jehovah." The reason is that there things of the understanding are treated of, and here those of the will. Things of the understanding regard those of the will as being different and distinct from themselves; but things of the will regard those of the understanding as being united, or as one, with them; for the understanding is from the will. This is the reason why it is there twice said he "did" and here only once; and also why the name "God" is used, and here "Jehovah."


Verse 6. And Noah was a son of six hundred years, and the flood of waters was upon the earth. "Noah was a son of six hundred years" signifies his first state of temptation; "the flood of waters was upon the earth" signifies the beginning of temptation.


In the preceding chapter (Gen. 6:13-22) the truths of the understanding are treated of, in which the man of the church called "Noah" was instructed by the Lord before he was regenerated; and next in this chapter (verses 1-5), the goods of the will are treated of, with which also he was endowed by the Lord. As both are treated of, it appears like a repetition. But now in verses 6 to 11 his temptation is treated of, and here the first state and thus the beginning of temptation; and, as everyone can see, a repetition occurs again. For it is said in this verse that "Noah was a son of six hundred years" when the flood came upon the earth; and in the eleventh verse that it was "in the six-hundredth year of his life, in the second month, in the seventeenth day of the month." And so in the seventh verse it is said that Noah went into the ark with his sons and their wives, and likewise in the thirteenth verse. Again it is said in the eighth and ninth verses that the beasts went in unto Noah into the ark; and also in verses 14 to 16. From which it is evident that here too there is a repetition of what was said before. Those who abide in the sense of the letter alone cannot know but that it is a matter of history thus repeated. But here as elsewhere there is not the least word that is superfluous and vain; for it is the Word of the Lord. There is therefore no repetition, except with another signification. And here, in fact, as before, the signification is that it is the first temptation, which is temptation as to things of his understanding; but afterwards it is his temptation as to things of the will. These temptations follow one after the other with him who is to be regenerated. For to be tempted as to things of the understanding is quite another thing from being tempted as to what is of the will. Temptation as to things of the understanding is light; but temptation as to things of the will is severe.


The reason why temptation as to things of the understanding, or as to the falsities in a man, is light, is that man is in the fallacies of the senses, and the fallacies of the senses are such that they cannot but enter, and are therefore also easily dispelled. Thus it is with all who abide in the sense of the letter of the Word where it speaks according to the apprehension of man, and therefore according to the fallacies of his senses. If they simply have faith in these things because it is the Word of the Lord, then notwithstanding their being in fallacies they easily suffer themselves to be instructed. As for example: a man who believes that the Lord is angry and punishes and does evil to the wicked, as he has derived this belief from the sense of the letter, he can easily be informed what the real truth is. And so if one simply believes that he can do good of himself, and that if of himself he is good he will receive reward in the other life, he also can easily be instructed that the good which he does is from the Lord, and the Lord in His mercy gives the reward gratuitously. And therefore when such come into temptation as to matters of the understanding, or as to such fallacies, they can be only lightly tempted. And this is the first temptation-and it hardly appears as temptation-which is now treated of. But it is otherwise with those who do not in simplicity of heart believe the Word, but confirm themselves in fallacies and falsities because they favor their cupidities; and who being impelled by this motive bring together many reasonings from themselves and their memory-knowledges [scientificis], and afterwards confirm the same by the Word, and thus impress upon themselves, and persuade themselves, that what is false is true.


As regards "Noah" or the man of this new church, he was of such character that he believed in simplicity what he had from the Most Ancient Church, which were matters of doctrine, collected and reduced to some doctrinal form by those who were called "Enoch." And he was of an entirely different genius from the antediluvians who perished, called "Nephilim" who immersed the doctrinal things of faith in their foul cupidities, and thereby conceived direful persuasions, from which they would not recede, however much instructed by others and shown the falsity of those persuasions. There are at this day also men of the one genius, or nature, and men of the other. Those of the one may easily be regenerated, but those of the other with difficulty.


Noah was a son of six hundred years. That this signifies his first state of temptation, is evident, because here and as far as to Ber in the eleventh chapter, numbers and periods of years and names mean nothing else than actual things; just as do also the ages and all the names in the fifth chapter. That "six hundred years" here signify the first state of temptation, is evident from the dominant numbers in six hundred, which are ten and six, twice multiplied into themselves. A greater or less number from the same factors changes nothing. As regards the number "ten" it has been shown already (at chapter 6, verse 3) that it signifies remains; and that "six" here signifies labor and combat is evident from many passages in the Word. For the case is this: In what has gone before the subject is the preparation of the man called "Noah" for temptation-that he was furnished by the Lord with truths of the understanding and goods of the will. These truths and goods are remains, which are not brought out so as to be recognized until the man is being regenerated. In the case of those who are being regenerated through temptations, the remains in a man are for the angels that are with him, who draw out from them the things wherewith they defend the man against the evil spirits who excite the falsities in him, and thus assail him. As the remains are signified by "ten" and the combats by "six" for this reason the years are said to be "six hundred" in which the dominant numbers are ten and six, and signify a state of temptation. [2] As regards the number "six" in particular that it signifies combat is evident from the first chapter of Genesis, where the six days are described in which man was regenerated, before he became celestial, and in which there was continual combat, but on the seventh day, rest. It is for this reason that there are six days of labor and the seventh is the sabbath, which signifies rest. And hence it is that a Hebrew servant served six years, and the seventh year was free (Exod. 21:2; Deut. 15:12; Jer. 34:14); also that six years they sowed the land and gathered in the fruits thereof, but the seventh year omitted to sow it (Exod. 23:10-12), and dealt in like manner with the vineyard; and that in the seventh year was "a sabbath of sabbath unto the land, a sabbath of Jehovah" (Lev. 25:3, 4). As "six" signifies labor and combat, it also signifies the dispersion of falsities, as in Ezekiel: Behold six men came from the way of the upper gate which looketh toward the north, and everyone had his weapon of dispersion in his hand (Ezek. 9:2); and again, against Gog: I will make thee to turn again, and will make thee a sixth, and will cause thee to come up from the sides of the north (Ezek. 39:2). Here "six" and "to reduce to a sixth" denote dispersion; the "north" falsities; "Gog" those who derive matters of doctrine from things external, whereby they destroy internal worship. In Job: In six troubles He shall deliver thee, yea, in the seventh there shall no evil touch thee (Job 5:19), meaning the combat of temptations. [3] But "six" occurs in the Word where it does not signify labor, combat, or the dispersion of falsities, but the holy of faith, because of its relation to "twelve" which signifies faith and all things of faith in one complex; and to "three" which signifies the holy; whence is derived the genuine signification of the number "six;" as in Ezekiel (chapter 40, verse 5), where the reed of the man, with which he measured the holy city of Israel, was "six cubits;" and in other places. The reason of this derivation is that the holy of faith is in the combats of temptation, and that the six days of labor and combat look to the holy seventh day.


Noah is here called "a son of six hundred years" because a "son" signifies truth of the understanding, as before shown. But in the eleventh verse he is not called a "son" because there his temptation as to things of the will is treated of.


That by the "flood of waters" is signified the beginning of temptation, is evident from temptation as to things of the understanding being here treated of, which temptation precedes, and, as before said, is light; and for this reason it is called a "flood of waters" and not simply "a flood" as in the seventeenth verse. For "waters" signify especially the spiritual things of man, the intellectual things of faith, and the opposites of these, which are falsities; as may be confirmed by very many passages from the Word. [2] That a "flood" or "inundation" of waters signifies temptation, is evident from what was shown in the introduction to this chapter. So also in Ezekiel: Thus saith the Lord Jehovih, I will make a stormy wind to break through in My fury, and an inundating rain shall there be in Mine anger, and hailstones in wrath, unto the consummation, that I may destroy the wall that ye have daubed with what is unfit (Ezek. 13:13-14). Here a "stormy wind" and an "inundating rain" denote the desolation of falsities; the "wall daubed with what is unfit" denotes fiction appearing as truth. In Isaiah: Jehovah God is a protection from inundation, a shadow from the heat, for the breath of the violent is as an inundation against the wall (Isa. 25:4). An "inundation" here denotes temptation as to things of the understanding, and is distinguished from temptation as to things of the will, which is called "heat." [3] Again: Behold the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, as an inundation of hail, a destroying storm, as an inundation of mighty waters, overflowing (Isa. 28:2), where degrees of temptation are described. And again: When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire thou shalt not be burned, and the flame shall not kindle upon thee (Isa. 43:2). "Waters" and "rivers" here denote falsities and phantasies, "fire" and "flame" evils and cupidities. In David: For this shall everyone that is holy pray unto Thee at a time of finding; so that in the inundation of many waters they shall not reach unto him; Thou art my hiding place; Thou wilt preserve me from trouble (Ps. 32:6-7),where the "inundation of waters" denotes temptation which is also called a "flood." In the same: Jehovah sitteth at the flood; yea, Jehovah sitteth King forever (Ps. 29:10). From these passages, and from what was premised at the beginning of this chapter, it is evident that a "flood" or "inundation" of waters signifies nothing else than temptations and vastations, although described historically, after the manner of the most ancient people.


Verse 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. "Noah went into the ark, from before the waters of the flood" signifies that he was protected in temptation; by "sons" are signified truths, as before; by "wife" goods; by "sons' wives" truths conjoined with goods.


Noah went into the ark from before the waters of the flood. That this signifies that he was protected, must be evident to everyone. Temptations are nothing else than combats of evil spirits with the angels who are with a man. Evil spirits call up all the wrong things that from his infancy a man has either done or even thought, thus both his evils and his falsities, and condemn him, and there is nothing that gives them greater delight than to do this, for the very delight of their life consists therein. But through angels the Lord guards the man, and restrains the evil spirits and genii from ranging beyond bounds and inundating the man beyond what he is able to bear.


That by "sons" are signified truths, by "wife" goods, and by "sons' wives" truths conjoined with goods, has been explained before at the eighteenth verse of the preceding chapter, where the same words occur. By truths and goods (though here called "sons" and "wives") are meant those things which were in the man called "Noah" and by means of which he was protected. Such is the most ancient style of the Word, connected in the manner of history, but involving heavenly arcana.


Verses 8, 9. Of the clean beast, and of the beast that is not clean, and of the fowl, and of everything that creepeth upon the ground, there went in two and two, to Noah into the ark, male and female, as God had commanded Noah. By "the clean beast" affections of good are signified as before; by "the beast that is not clean" cupidities; by "the fowl" in general, thoughts; by "everything that creepeth upon the ground" the sensuous part and its every pleasure; "two and two" signify things corresponding; that they "went into the ark" signifies that they were protected; "male and female" signify as before truth and good; "as God commanded Noah" signifies that so it came to pass.


That affections of good are signified by "the clean beast" has been stated and explained before, at the second verse of this chapter, and therefore need not be dwelt upon; as also that cupidities, that is, evil affections, are signified by "the beast not clean."


That by the "fowl" or "bird" in general are signified thoughts, may be seen from what has been said before concerning birds-that they signify things of the understanding, or things rational. But there they were called "fowls of the heavens" and here only "the fowl;" and therefore they signify thoughts in general. For there are many kinds of birds, both clean and unclean, which are distinguished in the fourteenth verse into the "fowl" the "flying thing" and the "winged thing." The clean birds are thoughts of truth; the unclean are false thoughts; concerning which, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter.


Everything that creepeth upon the ground. That this signifies the sensuous part and its every pleasure, has also been said and shown before. The most ancient people compared and likened the sensuous things of man and his pleasures to reptiles and creeping things, and even called them so, because they are the outermost things, and as it were creep on the surface of a man, and must not be permitted to raise themselves higher.


That "two and two" signify things that correspond, anyone may see from their being pairs; they cannot be pairs unless they correspond to each other, as do goods and truths, and evils and falsities. For there is in all things a semblance of a marriage, or a coupling, as of truths with goods, and of evils with falsities, because there is a marriage of the understanding with the will, or of the things of the understanding with those of the will. And indeed everything has its marriage or its coupling, without which it could not possibly subsist.


That their "going into the ark" signifies that they were protected, was stated before at the seventh verse, where it is said concerning Noah and his sons and their wives.


That "male and female" signify truth and good, may be seen from what has been said before, at verses 2 and 3 of this chapter, where "male and female" are predicated of fowls, and "man and wife" of beasts. The reason was also then stated, namely, that there is a marriage of the things of the will with those of the understanding, and not so much of the things of the understanding, in themselves regarded, with those of the will. The former are related as man and wife, the latter as male and female. And because the subject here, as before said, is the temptation of that man as to the things of his understanding, it is said "male and female" and there is meant a combat or temptation as to the things of the understanding.


As God commanded Noah. That this signifies that so it came to pass, has been shown at verse 22 of the preceding chapter, and in this chapter at verse 5.

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