Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 16:21-24
AC 8484. Verses 21-24. And they gathered it morning by morning, everyone according to the mouth of his eating: and the sun grew hot and it melted. And it was that on the sixth day they gathered bread double, two omers for each one; and all the princes of the assemblage came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This is what Jehovah spake, A rest, a sabbath holy to Jehovah, is the morrow; what ye will bake, bake ye; and what ye will boil, boil ye; and all that is left over, this lay ye by for you to keep until the morning. And they laid it by till the morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink, and the worm was not in it. "And they gathered it morning by morning," signifies the reception of good from the Lord continually; "every man according to the month of his eating," signifies by everyone according to his power of appropriation; "and the sun grew hot and it melted," signifies that it vanishes away according to the degree of the increase of concupiscence; "and it was on the sixth day," signifies at the end of every state; "they gathered bread double," signifies conjunction from the good received; "two omers for each one," signifies power then; "and all the princes of the assemblage came and told Moses," signifies reflection from primary truths; "and he said unto them," signifies instruction; "This is what Jehovah spake," signifies influx from the Divine; "a rest," signifies a state of peace when there is no temptation; "a sabbath holy to Jehovah is the morrow," signifies the conjunction of good and truth to eternity; "what ye will bake, bake ye," signifies preparation for the conjunction of good; "and what ye will boil, boil ye," signifies preparation for the conjunction of truth; "and all that is left over, this lay ye by for you to keep until the morning," signifies the enjoyment of all good and truth then as it were from their own; "and they laid it by till the morning," signifies the enjoyment that is to come; "as Moses commanded," signifies according to instruction from truth Divine; "and it did not stink, and the worm was not in it," signifies that there was nothing filthy therein, because in this way it was made their own by the Lord.
AC 8485. And they gathered it morning by, morning. That this signifies the reception of good from the Lord continually, is evident from the signification of "gathering the manna," as being the reception of good (n. 8467, 8472); and from the signification of "morning by morning," or "every morning," as being continually; for by "morning by morning" is signified every morrow, and by "the morrow" is signified what is eternal (n. 3998), thus also perpetually and continually.
AC 8486. Every man according to the mouth of his eating. That this signifies by everyone according to his power of appropriation, is evident from what was said above (n. 8467), where are the like words.
AC 8487. And the grew hot, and it melted. That this signifies that it vanishes away according to the degree of the increase of concupiscence, is evident from the signification of "the sun growing hot," as being increasing concupiscence; and from the signification of "melting," as being to vanish away. That "the sun grew hot," denotes increasing concupiscence, is because "the sun" in a good sense signifies heavenly love, for the reason that the Lord is the Sun in the other life, and that the heat which is from it is the good of love, and the light is the truth of faith. That the Lord is a sun, and that heavenly love is therefrom, (n. 1053, 1521, 1529-1531, 2120, 2441, 2495, 3636, 3643, 4060, 4321, 4696, 5084, 5097, 5377, 7078, 7083, 7171, 7173, 7270). Consequently in the opposite sense "the sun" denotes the love of self and of the world, and "the heat" or "growing hot of the sun" denotes in this sense concupiscence.
 How the case herein is, that the good of truth, which is signified by "the manna," vanished according to the degree of increasing concupiscence, which is signified by its "melting when the sun grew hot," shall be briefly told. The good of truth, or spiritual good, is indeed given to the man of the spiritual church when he is being regenerated; but as all the delight of the love of self and of the world, which had previously constituted his life extinguishes this good (because they are opposites), therefore the pure good of truth cannot long abide with that man, but it is tempered by the Lord by means of the delights of the loves which had belonged to his previous life; for unless this good were so tempered, it would become undelightful to him, and thus would be loathed. Such is heavenly good at first with those who are being regenerated. In so far therefore as the delights of the loves of self and of the world rise up, so far the good of heavenly love vanishes away, for as before said they are opposites; and it is the same the other way about.
 Hence it is that in heaven there are alternations of states, to which correspond the alternations of times in the world (n. 8426), and that thus by means of alternations they are remitted into the delights of natural pleasures; for without a change of the states the good of heavenly love would become as it were dry, and of slight estimation; but it is otherwise when it is tempered by means of natural delights at the same time, or successively. From this it is that at first when the manna was given to the sons of Israel every morning, the quail was also given in the evening; for by "the quail" is signified natural delight, and also the delight of concupiscence (n. 8452).
 But be it known that the concupiscences into which they who are in heaven are remitted when it is evening with them, are not concupiscences that are opposite to heavenly good, but those which in some measure agree with this good; for they are the delights of conferring benefits in a large way, and consequently something of glory, in which nevertheless there is benevolence and a study to be of service; they are also the delights of magnificence in the embellishments of home and the ornaments of dress, and many other similar delights. such are the delights which do not destroy the good of heavenly love (but still they hide it), and at last, according to the degree of the man’s regeneration, they become the ultimate planes of heavenly good, and then they are no longer called "concupiscences," but "delights." That without a tempering by means of such things the good of heavenly love becomes as it were dry, and afterward is loathed as a thing of no value, is signified by the sons of Israel calling the manna dry food, and vile food, as we read when the quail was no longer given them, in Moses:--
The rabble that was in the midst lusted a lust, whence the sons of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall feed us with flesh? now our soul is dry, our eyes have not anything (to look at) except the manna (Num. 11:4, 6).
The people spake against God, and against Moses: Wherefore have ye made us come up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? there is no tread, nor water; now doth our soul loathe this most vile bread (Num. 21:5).
Jehovah afflicted thee, and made thee hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that He might teach thee that man doth not live by bread alone, but by every utterance of the mouth of Jehovah doth man live (Deut. 8:3).
 In like manner as by "the manna," so also by "the unleavened bread," there is signified good pure from falsities (n. 8058), which bread is for a similar reason called "the bread of misery" (Deut. 16:3) From all this it can now be seen what is meant by the good of truth vanishing away according to the degree of the increasing concupiscence, which is signified by "the manna melting when the sun grew hot."
AC 8488. And it was on the sixth day. That this signifies at the end of every state, is evident from the signification of "the sixth day," as being the end of every state (n. 8421).
AC 8489. They gathered bread double. That this signifies conjunction from the good received, is evident from the signification of "gathering the manna," as being the reception of good. That "gathering" denotes reception, (n. 8467, 8472); and also that "manna" denotes the good of truth, (n. 8464); and from the signification of "double," as being conjunction (n. 8423).
AC 8490. Two omers for each one. That this signifies power then, is evident from the signification of "an omer," as being what is sufficient, and thus power (n. 8468, 8473), here enough, and power for conjunction; for by "the seventh day" or "the sabbath" is signified the conjunction of good and truth.
AC 8491. And all the princes of the assemblage came and told Moses. That this signifies reflection from primary truths, is evident from the signification of "the princes of the assemblage," as being primary truths (n. 1482, 2089, 5044); and from the signification of "telling," as being reflection (n. 2862, 5508).
AC 8492. And he said unto them. That this signifies instruction, is evident from the signification of "saying," as involving the things that follow, here instruction, namely, how they were to do in the gathering of the manna on the day before the sabbath. "Saying" also denotes instruction, (n. 6879, 6881, 6883, 6891, 7186, 7267, 7304, 7380).
AC 8493. This is what Jehovah spake. That this signifies influx from the Divine, is evident from the fact that Jehovah or the Lord instructs by means of influx, and that this is expressed in the historicals of the Word by "saying," and "speaking." "To speak" denotes influx, (n. 2951, 5481, 5797, 7270, 8128).
AC 8494. A rest. That this signifies a state of peace when there is no temptation, is evident from the signification of "a rest," such as there was on the days of the sabbath, as being a representative of a state of peace, in which is effected the conjunction of good and truth. But the six preceding days represented the combat and labor, consequently the temptations, which precede a state of peace; for after temptations comes a state of peace, and then there is the conjunction of good and truth. The six days which precede the seventh or the sabbath signified combat and labor, (n. 720, 737, 900); and after temptations there are tranquillity and peace, (n. 3696, 4572, 5246, 6829, 8367, 8370).
AC 8495. A sabbath holy to Jehovah is the morrow. This signifies the conjunction of good and truth to eternity. It is evident from the signification of "the sabbath," as being the conjunction of good and truth; and from the signification of "the morrow," as being to eternity (n. 3998). He who does not know what the sabbath represented, and thus what it signified, cannot know why it was accounted the most holy of all things. But the reason why it was accounted most holy was that in the supreme sense it represented the union of the Divine and the Divine Human in the Lord; and in the relative sense the conjunction of the Divine Human of the Lord with the human race. Consequently the sabbath was most holy. And because it represented these things, it also represented heaven in respect to the conjunction of good and truth, which conjunction is called "the heavenly marriage." And as the conjunction of good and truth is effected by the Lord alone, and nothing of it by man, and as it is effected in a state of peace, therefore it was most severely forbidden that man should then do any work, insomuch that the soul which did this was to be cut off, as we read in Moses:--
Ye shall keep the sabbath, because it is holy to you, he that profaneth it, dying shall die; for whosoever doeth work therein, that soul shall be cut off from the midst of his people (Exod. 31:14).
Therefore one was stoned who merely picked up sticks on that day (Num. 15:32-36).
Therefore also the commandment concerning the sabbath is the third commandment in the Decalogue, immediately following the two concerning the holy worship of Jehovah (Exod. 20:8; Deut. 5:12).
And therefore the sabbath is called "an eternal covenant" (Exod. 31:16),
for by "covenant" is signified conjunction (n. 665, 666, 1023, 1038, 1864, 1996, 2003, 2021, 6804).
 From all this it can now be seen what is meant in the internal sense by the things said in the following passages about the sabbath; as in Isaiah:--
Blessed is the man who keepeth the sabbath, that he profane it not; thus said Jehovah to the eunuchs who keep My sabbaths, and choose that in which I delight, and take hold of My covenant, I will give them in My house and within My walls a place and a name, better than sons and daughters; I will give them an eternal name, that shall not be cut off; whosoever keepeth the sabbath that he profane it not, and whoso taketh hold of My covenant, them will I bring in upon the mountain of My holiness, and I will cheer them in My house of prayer (Isa. 56:2-7);
from all this it is evident that by those who keep the sabbath holy" are meant those who are in conjunction with the Lord. That they shall be in heaven is signified by "a place and a name better than sons and daughters being given them in the house of Jehovah, an eternal name that shall not be cut off," and by their being "brought in upon the mountain of holiness."
 In the same:--
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, not doing thy wills on the day of My holiness, but shalt call the sabbath delights, holy to Jehovah, honorable; and shalt honor it, so that thou do not then thy ways, nor find thy desire, or speak a word, then shalt thou be delighted upon Jehovah, and I will feed thee with the heritage of Jacob (Isa. 58:13, 14);
here it is very plain what was represented by "not doing any work on the sabbath day," namely, that they should not do anything from their own, but from the Lord; for the angelic state in heaven is that they will and do nothing from themselves, or from their own, and do not even think and speak therefrom: their conjunction with the Lord consists in this. Their own from which they are not to act, is signified by their "not doing their own wills, nor doing their own ways, nor finding their own desire, nor speaking a word." This state with the angels is the heavenly state itself; and when they are in it, they have peace and rest, and the Lord also has rest; for when they have been conjoined with Him, they labor no more, because they are then in the Lord. These things are signified by the words, "thus shalt thou call the sabbath the holy delights of Jehovah, and they shall be delighted upon Jehovah." The Lord‘s rest is signified by His resting on the seventh day after the six days’ creation (Gen. 2:2).
 Like things are understood by these words in Jeremiah:--
If hearing ye shall hear Me, that ye bring not in a burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, and that ye hallow the sabbath day, so that ye do not any work therein, then shall there enter through the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariot and on horses, they and their princes, the man of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall be inhabited to eternity (Jer. 17:24, 25);
by "work Oh the sabbath" is signified everything that is from our own; the state of those who are not led by their own, but by the Lord, is described by their "entering through the gates of the city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariot and on horses;" by "kings" are signified the truths of faith; by "princes," the primary things thereof; by "sitting upon the throne of David," that these are from the Lord; by "the chariot and horses," the doctrinal and intellectual things of faith. Be it known that all things which come from the man‘s own are evil, and that all things which come from the Lord are good. That with those who are led by the Lord all things flow in, down to the least thing of life both of intellect and of will, thus down to each and all things of faith and of charity, see what has been abundantly shown from experience, (n. 2886-2888, 6053-6058, 6189-6215, 6307-6327, 6466-6495, 6598-6626, 6982, 6985, 6996, 7004, 7055, 7056, 7058, 7147, 7270).
 That the sabbath was representative of the conjunction of the Lord with the human race, is evident in Ezekiel:--
I gave them My sabbaths that they might be for a sign between Me and them, to acknowledge that I Jehovah do sanctify them (Ezek. 20:12; Exod. 31:13).
Therefore also it was forbidden to kindle a fire on the sabbath day (Exod. 35:3), because by "fire" was signified everything that is of life; and by "kindling a fire," that which is of life from man’s own. From all that has been said it is plain that the Lord is "the Lord of the sabbath," according to His words in (Matthew 12:1-8); and it may be seen why many cures were performed by the Lord on the sabbath days (Matt. 12:10-13; Mark 3:1-8; Luke 6:6-11; 13:10-17; 14:1-6; John 5:9-18; 7:22, 23; 9:14, 16); for the diseases of which they were healed by the Lord involved spiritual diseases, which are from evil (n. 7337, 8364).
AC 8496. What ye will bake, bake ye. That this signifies preparation for the conjunction of good; and what ye will boil, boil ye, signifies preparation for the conjunction of truth, is evident from the signification of "baking," as being preparation for the conjunction of good because it is done by means of fire; and from the signification of "boiling," as being preparation for the conjunction of truth because it is done by means of water; for by "water" is signified the truth of faith (n. 2702, 3058, 3424, 4976, 5668), and by "fire," the good of love (n. 934, 5215, 6314, 6832, 6834, 6849, 7324, 7852). That it denotes preparation for conjunction, is plain; for what was baked and boiled was prepared for the following sabbath day, by which conjunction is signified, for they were forbidden to kindle a fire on the sabbath day (Exod. 35:3), thus to bake or boil on that day. "Baking" is said of bread and of the meat-offering, and was done by means of fire, (Isa. 44:15, 19; 1 Sam. 28:24; Ezek. 46:20; Lev. 6:17); and "boiling" is said of flesh, and was done by means of water, (Exod 29:31; Lev. 6:28; 1 Sam. 2:13, 15)
AC 8497. And all that is left over, this lay ye by for you to keep until the morning. That this signifies the enjoyment of all good and truth then as it were from their own, is evident from the signification of "laying by what is over until the morning," as being enjoyment on the sabbath day; that it denotes the enjoyment of good and of truth, is because that which remained over of what was baked and boiled was to be laid by, and then was to be eaten; for by "baking" is signified the preparation of good, and by "boiling" the preparation of truth (n. 8496); and by "eating" is signified enjoyment and appropriation (n. 3168, 3513, 3596, 3832, 4745, 7849); and from the signification of "for you to keep," as being as it were from their own That these things are signified by these words is because the good and truth which flow in from the Lord are conjoined, and as it were appropriated. Such is the conjunction of heaven (that is, of those who are in heaven) with the Lord. It is said "as it were from their own," because the goods which are of faith and of charity cannot be given to man nor to angel so as to be their own, for men and angels are only recipients, or forms accommodated to receive life, thus good and truth, from the Lord. Life itself is from no other source. And as life is from the Lord, it cannot be appropriated otherwise than as appearing to be man‘s own; but they who are in the Lord plainly perceive that life flows in, consequently good and truth, for these belong to life. The reason why life appears as man’s own is that the Lord from Divine love wills to give and to conjoin all His own to man, and as far as it can be effected, does conjoin it. This "own" which is given by the Lord, is called the heavenly own (n. 731, 1937, 1947, 2882, 2883, 2891, 3812, 5660).
AC 8498. And they laid it by till the morning. That this signifies the enjoyment that is to come, is evident from what was unfolded just above (n. 8497).
AC 8499. As Moses commanded. That this signifies according to instruction from truth Divine, is evident from the signification of "commanding," as being instruction; and from the representation of Moses, as being truth Divine.
AC 8500. And it did not stink, and the worm was not in it. That this signifies that there was nothing filthy therein, because in this way it was made their own by the Divine, is evident from the signification of "to stink," as being the infernal filthiness that is predicated of evil (n. 8482); and from the signification of "worm," as being also infernal filthiness, but that which is predicated of falsity (n. 8481). Such things are in whatever is done from man‘s own, but heavenly and divine things are in those which are done from the Lord, (n. 8478). EXODUS 16:21-24 previous - next - text - summary - Exodus - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|