Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 12:7-11
AC 7845. Verses 7-11. And they shall take of the blood, and put it upon the two posts and upon the lintel, upon the houses in which they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and things unleavened; upon things bitter they shall eat it. Eat ye not of it raw, and by boiling boiled in waters, but roast with fire; its head upon its legs and upon its midst. And ye shall not leave of it until the morning; and that which is left of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And this shall ye eat it: your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste; this is the passover of Jehovah. "And they shall take of the blood," signifies the holy truth which is of the good of innocence; "and shall put it upon the two posts and upon the lintel," signifies the truths and the goods of the natural; "upon the houses," signifies those things which are of the will of good; "in which they shall eat it," signifies enjoyment; "and they shall eat the flesh," signifies the enjoyment of good; "in that night," signifies along with the damnation of the evil; "roast with fire," signifies the good which is of love; "and things unleavened," signifies purified from all falsity; "upon things bitter," signifies by means of the undelightful things of temptations; "they shall eat it," signifies enjoyment; "eat ye not of it raw," signifies that it shall not be without love; "and by boiling boiled in "waters," signifies that it shall not go forth from truth; "but roast with fire," signifies that it shall go forth from love; "its head upon its legs and upon its midst," signifies from the inmost to the external; "and ye shall not leave of it until the morning," signifies the duration of this state before a state of enlightenment in heaven; "and that which is left of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire," signifies a state of the means for the end through temptations; "and thus shall ye eat it," signifies enjoyment in a state of separation from the evil who had infested, and preservation then; "your loins girded," signifies in respect to the interiors; "your shoes on your feet," signifies in respect to the exteriors; "and your staff in your hand," signifies in respect to the intermediates; "and ye shall eat it in haste," signifies the affection of separation; "this is the passover of Jehovah," signifies the presence of the Lord and liberation by Him.
AC 7846. And they shall take of the blood. That this signifies the holy truth which is of the good of innocence, is evident from the signification of "blood," as being holy truth proceeding from the Lord (n. 4735, 6978, 7317, 7326); and because it is the blood of a lamb, and by a "lamb" is signified the good of innocence (n. 3994), it denotes the holy truth which is of the good of innocence.
AC 7847. And shall put it upon the posts and upon the lintel. That this signifies the truths and the goods of the natural, is evident from the signification of the "posts of a door," as being the truths of the natural; and from the signification of "the lintel," as being its goods. The posts and the lintel have this signification because by a "house" is signified man himself, or his mind, and by those things which belong to a door are signified the things which serve to introduce. That these are the truths and the goods of the natural is evident; for the natural man is instructed before the rational, and the things which the man then learns are natural things, in which are successively insinuated spiritual things, which are interior. From this it is evident how the natural in respect to truths and goods serves to introduce. Moreover the lintel and the posts have a like signification to the forehead and hands with man. Angelic ideas are of such a nature that natural things bear relation to such things as belong to man. The reason is that the spiritual world or heaven is in the form of a man, and all things of that world, that is, all spiritual things, which are truths and goods, bear relation to this form, as has been shown at the end of many chapters in treating of correspondences. And whereas in angelic ideas natural things become spiritual, so also does a house, which to the angels is the mind of man; the bedchambers and inner rooms being the interiors of the mind; and the windows, the doors, the posts, and the lintels, the exteriors of the mind, which introduce. As angelic ideas are of such a nature, they are also living; and so when the things in the natural world which are dead objects, pass into the spiritual world, they become living objects; for everything spiritual is living, because it proceeds from the Lord.
 That the "posts" and the "lintel" have a like signification to the forehead and hands with man, appears from these words in Moses:--
Thou shalt love Jehovah thy God from thy whole heart, and from thy whole soul, and from all thy forces; thou shalt bind them for a sin upon thy hand, and they shall be for frontlets between thine eyes; and thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates (Deut. 6:5, 8, 9; 11:13, 18, 20);
because they involve a similar meaning, both are mentioned.
 That in the spiritual sense the "lintel and posts" denote the goods and truths of the natural through which there is introduction to spiritual things, is evident from the description of the new temple in Ezekiel, by which is signified the spiritual church. "Posts and lintels" are there frequently mentioned, and they are also measured, which would never have been done unless they had signified something of the church and of heaven, that is, something spiritual; as in the following passages in that prophet:--
The priest shall take of the blood of the sin-offering, and shall put it upon the post of the house, and upon the four corners of the projection of the altar, and upon the post of the gate of the inner court, on the first day of the month (Ezek. 45:18, 19).
The prince shall enter by way of the porch without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt-offering; then shall be adore upon the threshold of the gate (Ezek. 45:2);
that by the "temple" here is not meant a temple, but the church of the Lord, everyone man know; for such things as have there been described in many chapters never came to pass, nor will come to pass.
 That in the supreme sense by "temple" is meant the Lord as to the Divine Human, He Himself teaches in (John 2:19-22). Therefore in the representative sense by a "temple" is meant His church. That an angel measured the lintels of that new temple, see (Ezek. 40:9, 10, 14, 26, 24; 41:21, 25), which measuring would have been of no importance unless the lintels, and likewise the numbers, signified some thing of the church. Because the "posts" and the "lintels" signified the truths and goods in the natural which serve for introduction, therefore in that new temple they were made square in prospect (Ezek. 41:21); and therefore in the temple of Solomon the posts were made of olive wood (1 Kings 6:31, 33). "Olive wood" signified the good of truth, or the good which is of the spiritual church.
AC 7848. Upon the houses. That this signifies those things which are of the will of good, is evident from the signification of a "house," as being a man (n. 3128), and as being the mind of man (n. 3538, 4973, 5023, 7353), consequently that which is of the will, here that which is of the will of good. The reason why by a "house" is also signified the will, is that by it is signified man, and man is man chiefly from his will. Moreover whether we speak of man, or of his mind, it is the same; for man is not man from the form of his body, but from his mind; and man is such as his mind is, that is, such as his understanding and will are, especially such as his will is.
AC 7849. In which they shall eat it. That this signifies enjoyment, is evident from the signification of "eating," as being appropriation (n. 3168, 3513, 4745), but here enjoyment, because a state of initiation is treated of. The case herein is this when those who before the Lord’s coming had been detained in custody in the lower earth (n. 6854, 6914, 7091, 7828) were to be liberated, they had to be prepared to receive the influx of good and truth from the Lord, for they were to pass through the midst of hell; and lest in that passage evils and falsities should flow in from the infernal spirits round about, they had to be prepared, so that they might then be in a full state of truth and good. but of the Lord‘s Divine mercy that passage shall be spoken of in what follows. This preparation, or initiation to a state of reception of good and truth, is described by the things which were to be done between the tenth day of the month and the fourteenth day, and which were to be observed in respect to the eating of the paschal lamb.
AC 7850. And they shall eat the flesh. That this signifies the enjoyment of good, is evident from the signification of "to eat," as being enjoyment (n. 7849); and from the signification of "flesh," as being what is man’s own vivified by the Divine Human of the Lord, thus all celestial and spiritual good with man (n. 3813, 6968). That "flesh" has this signification was well known among the ancients, and yet at this day it is so unknown that everyone would be surprised on being told that "flesh" has such a signification. If it is said that it is a spiritual correspondent, this is not understood. If it is said that it is a significative, this is indeed understood, but in another sense than that in which it is a significative correspondent, namely, as something quite separate; when yet a spiritual or significative correspondent is conjoined with that to which it corresponds as is a man‘s sight with his eye; his hearing with his ear; his thought, which is spiritual, with the form of his interiors, and through this form with the little organs of speech; or as the will, which also is spiritual, is conjoined with the muscular fibers by which action is produced. such is the case with every spiritual correspondent or significative relatively to its natural, with which there is correspondence.
 Who cannot see that by "flesh" is not meant flesh, nor by "blood" blood, by the Lord in John:--
Verily, verily, I say to you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, ye have no life in you; he that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day; for My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed (John 6:53-55).
That by "flesh" is meant the Divine good of the Divine love of the Lord, which is from His Divine Human, and by "blood" the Divine truth proceeding from His Divine good, and also the man’s reciprocity, is at this day known to few, and they who can know, will not. The reason why they are unwilling to know is that they are in no affection of truth for the sake of truth, but only for the sake of worldly reasons, and also because natural men desire to apprehend all things naturally.
 These things have been said in order that it may be known what is signified by "eating flesh" at the paschal supper, consequently what at the Holy Supper, which was then instituted. Concerning the bread and the wine which in the Holy Supper signify the same as the flesh and the blood, see (n. 2165, 2177, 2187, 3464, 3478, 3735, 3813, 4211, 4217, 4735, 4976, 5915). That in the spiritual sense of the Word "flesh" does not mean flesh, besides being manifest from other passages, is also very evident from this in the Revelation:--
Come and be ye gathered together unto the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of them that is thereon, and the flesh of all both free and bond, both small and great (Rev. 19:17, 18);
where by "flesh" are signified goods of various kinds.
AC 7851. In that night. That this signifies along with the damnation of the evil, is evident from the signification of "night," as being a state of the devastation of truth and good (n. 221, 709, 2353, 7776), thus damnation; for when there is no longer truth and good, but falsity and evil, there is damnation; here the damnation of those who had infested those who were of the spiritual church.
AC 7852. Roast with fire. That this signifies the good which is of love, is evident from the signification of "roast with fire," as being he good of love, for "fire" signifies love (n. 934, 4906, 5215 6314, 6832, 6834, 6849, 7324), and "roasted" signifies that which is imbued with love, consequently good. In the Word a distinction is made between what is roasted and what is boiled; and by "roasted" is signified good, because it is done by means of fire, and by "boiled" is meant truth because it is done by means of water; and such is the case here, for it is said, "eat ye not of it raw, nor by boiling boiled in waters, but roast with fire" (verse 9). The reason is that by the paschal lamb is signified the good of innocence, which good is the good of love to the Lord.
 From all this it is evident what is meant in the spiritual sense by the "roasted fish" in (Luke 24:42, 43); also what by the "fish laid upon the fire," when the Lord also appeared to the disciples, concerning which it is thus written in John:--
When the disciples got down on the land, they see a hearth laid, and a little fish lying thereon, and bread. Jesus cometh and taketh the bread, and giveth them, and the little fish likewise (John 21:9, 13);
by the "fish" is signified the truth of the natural (n. 991); and by the "hearth" good; thus by the "little fish lying thereon," the truth of spiritual good in the natural. He who does not believe that there is an internal sense of the Word must needs believe that nothing of a secret nature is involved in the circumstance that when the Lord appeared to the disciples, there was a fish upon a hearth, and that it was given to them by the Lord to eat.
 As by "roast with fire" is signified the good which is of celestial and spiritual love, therefore in the opposite sense by "roast with fire" is signified the evil which is of the love of self and of the world, as in Isaiah:--
He hath burned part thereof in the fire; upon part of it he hath eaten flesh; he hath roasted roast that he might be satisfied; yea, he hath been warmed, and said, Brother, I am warm, I have seen the fire; I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, I have also baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh and am eating it (Isa. 44:16, 19)
describing the worshipers of a graven image. By a "graven Image" is signified the falsity of evil, which is so described; "roasting roast" and "roasting flesh" denote to work evil from filthy love. "Fire" in the opposite sense denotes the evil of the love of self and of the world, or of the cupidities which belong to these loves, (n. 1297, 1861, 2446, 5071, 5215, 6314, 6832, 7324, 7575).
AC 7853. And things unleavened. That this signifies what is purified from all falsity, is evident from the signification of "unleavened" or "unfermented," as being what is purified from falsity (n. 2342). The reason why "unleavened" has this signification, is that "leaven" signifies falsity.
AC 7854. Upon things bitter. That this signifies by means of the undelightful things of temptations, is evident from the signification of "bitter things," or "bitternesses," as being things undelightful, here those which belong to temptations. For the good of innocence, which is represented by the paschal lamb, cannot be appropriated to anyone except through temptations. By "unleavened bread" such good is signified, and because this is appropriated through temptations, the bread was ordered to be eaten upon bitter things; and moreover that bread was to them bread of affliction, like the manna (Deut. 8:15, 16; 16:3), because it was devoid of leaven, that is, of any falsity from evil, for man cannot endure pure truth and pure good. That things undelightful are signified by "bitter things," is plain in Isaiah
Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isa. 5:20).
They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it (Isa. 24:9).
That the undelightful things of temptations are signified by "bitter things" is evident from these words in Exodus:--
At last they came unto Marah, but they could not drink of the waters, on account of their bitterness, because they were bitter. And the people murmured against Moses, who, when he cried unto Jehovah, Jehovah showed him wood which he cast into the waters, and the water‘ were made sweet. There He set for him a statute and a judgment, because there He tried him (Exod. 15:23-25),
And also in John:--
There fell from heaven a great star, burning as a torch. The name of the star is called Wormwood, and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter (John 8:10, 11).
In these passages "bitter waters" denote the undelightful things of temptations; the "men who died of the waters" denote those who succumbed in temptations.
AC 7855. They shall eat it. That this signifies enjoyment, is evident from what was said above (n. 7849).
AC 7856. Eat ye not of it raw. That this signifies that it shall not be without love, is evident from the signification of "to eat," as being enjoyment (n. 7849); and from the signification of "raw," as being without the good of love. That "raw" has this signification, is clear from the signification of "roasted with fire," as being the good of love (n. 7852); consequently "raw" denotes that which is not roasted with fire, thus that which is without love.
AC 7857. And by boiling boiled in waters. That this signifies that it shall not go forth from the truth which is of faith, is evident from the signification of "waters," as being the truths which are of faith (n. 2702, 3058, 3424, 4976, 5668); hence "boiled in waters" denotes that which comes forth therefrom, that is, the good which is from the truth of faith; this good is distinguished from the good which is from love, which is signified by "roasted with fire" (n. 7852). All spiritual good proceeds either from faith (that is, through faith), or from love. When man is being regenerated, the good with him proceeds from the truth of faith; for he then acts in accordance with truth; not from the affection of truth, but from obedience, because it has been so commanded. Afterward however, when he has been regenerated, he does what is good from affection, thus from love. These two states with man are precisely distinguished in the Word, for the reason that man cannot be at the same time in both states. He who is in the first state cannot enter into the other until he has been regenerated; and he who is in the second state must not betake himself to the former. If anyone so betakes himself, he loses the affection of doing what is good from love, and relapses into the state of faith, which had been of service to him to introduce him to good, and he also relapses beyond this state. This is meant in the internal sense by the Lord’s words about the Last judgment in Matthew:--
Then let him that is upon the house not go down to take anything out of his house; and let him that is in the field not return backward to take his garments (Matthew 24:17, 18);
and also by Lot‘s wife, in that she looked back behind her (Luke 17:31, 32); whence it can be understood what is meant by enjoying the good which goes forth from love, but not that which goes forth from the truth of faith, which things are signified by the command that they should eat the flesh roasted with fire, but not boiled in Waters.
 As by the sacrifices and burnt-offerings was signified the worship of the Lord from faith and love--by sacrifices from faith, and by burnt-offerings from love--and because the glorification of the Lord, and gladness on account of the enjoyment of goods from the Lord, was signified by the repasts made of the sanctified things, therefore it was allowed them then to boil their flesh; for the glorification of the Lord, and gladness on account of the enjoyment of goods, proceed from the affection of truth which is of faith, as does also all confession. That the flesh of the sacrifice was to be boiled, see (Exod. 29:31, 32; 1 Sam. 2:1-15; 1 Kings 19:21). Such is the signification of " boiling" in Zechariah:--
In that day every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto Jehovah Zebaoth; and all they that sacrifice shall come, and shall take of them, and shall boil in them (Zech. 14:21).
AC 7858. But roast with fire. That this signifies that it shall go forth from love, is evident from the signification of "roast with fire," as being the good which is from love (n. 7852).
AC 7859. Its head upon its legs and upon its midst. That this signifies from the inmost to the external, is evident from the signification of the "head," when it is said "upon the legs and the midst," as being the inmost; for the head is the highest, and in the spiritual sense the highest is the inmost (n. 2148, 3084, 4599, 5146), (that by the "head" is signified things interior, and by the "body" things exterior, (n. 6436); from the signification of the "legs," as being things exterior; for relatively to the head the legs are lower things; and as higher things signify interior ones, so lower things signify exterior ones--and from the signification of "the midst," as being things still lower, as are the things of the belly and the intestines. The command to roast the head upon the legs and upon the midst, represented that things interior and exterior must be conjoined, that is, must act as a one; for interior things are those which are of the internal man, and exterior things are those which are of the external man; or interior things are those which are of the spiritual man, but exterior things are those which are of the natural man. These things must be conjoined, that is must act as a one, in order that man may be a kingdom of the Lord; they have been separated when the natural or external man does otherwise than the spiritual or internal man wills. From all this it can be seen what was signified by the command that the paschal lamb should be roast with fire, the head upon the legs and the midst. By the "midst" is meant the natural still more external, that is, the sensuous. Everyone can see that there is a Divine secret in these commands; for the paschal lamb was the most holy thing in that church. This holy secret is not manifest except through the spiritual understanding of the things and words, which is here such as has been described.
AC 7860. And ye shall not leave of it until the morning. That this signifies the duration of this state before a state of enlightenment in heaven, is evident from the signification of "morning," as being heaven, and a state of enlightenment there (n. 2405, 3458, 3723, 5740, 5962); that "to leave nothing of it until this time" denotes the duration of this state, is manifest, for then the former state will cease. In the internal sense, as before shown, the subject treated of is the liberation from infestations of those who are of the spiritual church. The state of their liberation is represented by the passover, and the state of their elevation into heaven by their introduction into the land of Canaan; this latter state is what is meant by "morning." These two states are quite contrary, as are the state of means to the end, and the state of the end. Then the state of the end is at hand, then the things which are in the state of the means must be done with. From all this it is evident why it was commanded that they should "leave nothing of it until the morning."
AC 7861. And that which is left of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. That this signifies a state intermediate to the end through temptations, is evident from the signification of "that which is left until the morning," as being a state intermediate to the last, which is the state of elevation into heaven, for by "morning" is signified elevation into heaven and enlightenment there (n. 7860), and therefore by the time before morning is signified an intermediate state, in which it was allowed to enjoy that which was left, or to eat it, but not afterward; and from the signification of "burning with fire," as being to undergo temptations. That temptations are signified "burning with fire" is because purifications are effected by fire; also because when man is in temptations, he is let down into his cupidities, which are fires.
AC 7862. And thus shall ye eat it. That this signifies enjoyment in a state of separation from the evil who had infested, and preservation then, is evident from the signification of "to eat," as being enjoyment (n. 7849). As the departure out of Egypt is now treated of, and by this departure is signified separation from those who had infested, therefore it is this state which is meant by "thus shall ye eat it." That it means also preservation, is evident.
AC 7863. Your loins girded. That this signifies in respect to the interiors, is evident from the signification of the "loins," as being the things that belong to conjugial love (n. 3021, 4277, 4280, 5050, 5062), thus the things that belong to the love of good and truth, for conjugial love descends from this (n. 686, 2618 2727 9759, 4434, 5053). For this reason, and because the loins are above the feet, which denote the exteriors, by the "loins" are signified the interiors. By "the loins being girded" is signified readiness to receive the influx of good and truth from the Lord, and also to act according to the influx. All girding and investiture signifies a state prepared to receive and to act, for then all things and each are kept in their order. It is otherwise when they have not been girded.
AC 7864. Your shoes on your feet. That this signifies in respect to the exteriors, is evident from the signification of "shoes," as being the externals or ultimates of the natural, which in general cover the interiors of the natural; and from the signification of "feet," as being the natural (n. 2162, 3147, 3761, 3986, 4280, 4938-4952).
AC 7865. And your staff in your hand. That this signifies in respect to the intermediates, is evident from the signification of a "staff in the hand," as being things intermediate, when journeying or sojourning is treated of, and when the "loins" are mentioned, and also "shoes on the feet," which denote the interiors and the exteriors.
AC 7866. And ye shall eat it in haste. That this signifies the affection of separation, is evident from the signification of "haste," as being affection, because haste is of the affection (n. 7695); here the affection of separation, because it means separation from the infesters, who are signified by the "Egyptians."
AC 7867. This is the passover of Jehovah. That this signifies the presence of the Lord and liberation by Him, is evident from what has been said heretofore, especially from what has been said concerning the liberation of those who are of the spiritual church by the Lord’s coming (n. 6854, 6914, 7035, 7091, 7828). "Jehovah" in the Word denotes the Lord (n. 1343, 1736, 2921, 3023, 3035, 5041, 5663, 6281, 6303, 6905). EXODUS 12:7-11 previous - next - text - summary - Exodus - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|