Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 16:35-36
previous  -  text  -  summary  -  Exodus  -  BM Home  -  Full Page

AC 8536. Verses 35, 36. And the sons of Israel did eat the manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat the manna until they came unto the border of the land of Canaan. And an omer is the tenth part of an ephah. "And the sons of Israel did eat the manna forty years," signifies the appropriation of the good of truth in the state of all temptations; "until they came to a land inhabited," signifies before they came to heaven, where good is everywhere; "they did eat the manna until they came unto the border of the land of Canaan," signifies that there was appropriation of good from truth by them until they came to the region of heaven; "and an omer is the tenth part of an ephah," signifies the amount of the good then.

AC 8537. And the sons of Israel did eat the manna forty years. That this signifies the appropriation of the good of truth in the state of all temptations, is evident from the representation of the sons of Israel, as being those who are of the spiritual church (n. 6426, 6637, 6862, 6868, 7035, 7062, 7198); from the signification of "eating," as being appropriation (n. 3168, 3513, 3596, 4745); from the signification of "the manna," as being the good of truth (n. 8464); and from the signification of "forty years," as being states of temptations. "Years" denote states, (n. 482, 487, 488, 493, 893); and "forty" denotes temptations, (n. 730, 862, 2272, 2273, 8098).

AC 8538. Until they came to a land inhabited. That this signifies before they came to heaven where good is everywhere, is evident from the signification of "land," here the land of Canaan, as being the Lordís kingdom, thus heaven (n. 1607, 3038, 3481, 3686, 3705, 4240, 4447, 5136). Heaven is called "a land inhabited" from good, for "inhabited" signifies what is alive from good (n. 2268, 2451, 2712, 3613, 8269, 8309).

AC 8539. They did eat the manna until they came unto the border of the land of Canaan. That this signifies that there was appropriation of good from truth by them until they came to the region of heaven, is evident from the signification of "the manna," as being the good of truth; from the signification of "eating," as being appropriation (n. 8537); and from the signification of "the land of Canaan," as being heaven (n. 8538); thus "the border of the land of Canaan" denotes the entrance to heaven, or the region where heaven begins. From all this it is evident that by their "eating the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan" is signified that the good of truth was appropriated by them even up to the region of heaven.

[2] How the case herein is, is evident from what was said before concerning the acquisition of good by means of truth, namely, that before regeneration all good is procured by means of truth, but that after regeneration man is led of the Lord by means of good; and that the former state is signified by "the six days" which precede the seventh, and that the latter state is signified by "the seventh day" or "the sabbath." From this it is also plain that the former state was represented by the journeyings of the sons of Israel in the wilderness forty years, and that the latter state was represented by their introduction into the land of Canaan. The case herein is that man is outside of heaven so long as he acts from truth and not from good; and he comes into heaven when he acts from good, for he is then actuated by the Lord according to the order of heaven, into which he does not come, consequently not into heaven, where order is, until he has been prepared, which is effected for good through truth. On these two states, see (n. 7923, 8505, 8506, 8510, 8512, 8516).

AC 8540. And an omer is the tenth part of an ephah. That this signifies the amount of the good then, is evident from the signification of "an omer is the tenth part of an ephah," as being as much as is sufficient, for by "ten" is signified what is full (n. 3107), and therefore by "a tenth part" is signified as much as is sufficient (n. 8468) and from the signification of "an ephah," as being good. That "an ephah" denotes good is because by it and by an omer were measured dry things that served for food, such as wheat, barley, fine flour; and by things that are used for food are signified goods: and by "a bath" and by "a hin" were measured liquids, which served for drink; consequently by these measures were signified truths. The containant receives this signification from the contents.

[2] That the ephah was a measure is plain from the following passages:--

An ephah of justice, and a hin of justice, shall ye have (Lev. 19:36).

The ephah and the bath shall be one measure, because the ephah is the tenth of a homer (Ezek. 45:11).

Ye shall have balances of justice, and an ephah of justice, and a bath of justice (Ezek. 45:10).

It is in like manner a measure in (Amos 8:5).

[3] That "an ephah" denotes good is plain from the passages where the "meat-offering" is treated of, for which meal or fine flour was measured by an ephah (Lev. 5:11; Num. 5:15; 28:5; Ezek. 45:24; 46:7, 11). The "meat-offering" signifies good. And also from this passage in Zechariah:

The angel speaking in me said unto me, Lift up I pray thine eyes, What is this that goeth forth? and I said, What is it? He said, This is the ephah that goeth forth; he said moreover, This is their eye in all the earth. And behold there was lifted up a talent of lead, and at the same time this woman sitting in the midst of the ephah. Then he said, she is evil, and he cast her into the midst of the ephah, and he cast a stone of lead upon the mouth thereof. And I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, when behold there came forth two women, and the wind was in their wings; they had two wings like the wings of a stork; and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven; and I said unto the angel that spake in me, Whither do these carry off the ephah? who said unto me, To build her a house in the land of Shinar; and it shall be prepared, and she shall abide there upon her seat (Zech. 5:5-11).

[4] What these things signify it is impossible for anyone to know except from the internal sense, and unless he thereby knows what is meant by "the ephah," what by "the woman in the midst of it," what by "the stone of lead upon the mouth of the ephah," also what is meant by "Shinar." When each detail is unfolded, it is clear that the profanation which was at that time in the church is signified; for by "the ephah" is signified good; by "the woman," evil, as is there openly stated; by "the stone of lead," falsity of evil shutting up, for "a stone" denotes external truth, and consequently in the opposite sense falsity (n. 643, 1298, 3720, 6426), and "lead" denotes evil (n. 8298). Thus by "the woman in the midst of the ephah, upon the mouth of which was a stone of lead," is signified evil shut up in good by falsity, which is the same thing as profanation, for profanation is evil conjoined with good (n. 6348). "The two women lifting up the ephah between the earth and the heaven" denote the churches (n. 252, 253) by which what was profane was rejected; "Shinar, whither the woman in the ephah was carried off" denotes external worship, within which is what is profane (n. 1183, 1292).