Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 5:1-4
AC 7088. Verses 1-4. And afterward Moses and Aaron came, and said unto Pharaoh, Thus said Jehovah the God of Israel, Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness. And Pharaoh said, Who is Jehovah whose voice I should hear, to let Israel go? I know not Jehovah, and also I will not let Israel go. And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go we pray, a way of three days into the wilderness, and let us sacrifice to Jehovah our God; lest He fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword. And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, draw away the people from their works? go ye unto your burdens. "And afterward Moses and Aaron came," signifies the Divine law and doctrine thence derived; "and said unto Pharaoh," signifies exhortation thence to those who are against the truths of the church; "Thus said Jehovah the God of Israel," signifies that it was from the Divine Human of the Lord; "Let My people go," signifies that they should desist from infesting them; "that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness," signifies that from a glad mind they may worship the Lord in the obscurity of faith in which they are; "and Pharaoh said," signifies contrary thought; "who is Jehovah, whose voice I should hear?" signifies concerning the Lord, to whose exhortation they should hearken; "to let Israel go," signifies that they should desist; "I know not Jehovah," signifies that they care not for the Lord; "and also I will not let Israel go," signifies that neither will they desist from infesting; "and they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us," signifies that the God Himself of the church has commanded; "let us go we pray a way of three days into the wilderness," signifies that they must be in a state quite removed from falsities, although in the obscurity of faith; "and let us sacrifice to Jehovah our God," signifies that they may worship the Lord; "lest He fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword," signifies to avoid damnation of evil and falsity; "and the king of Egypt said unto them," signifies the answer from those who are in falsities; "therefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, draw away the people from their works?" signifies that their Divine law and doctrine will not release them from sufferings; "go ye unto your burdens," signifies that they must live in combats.
AC 7089. And afterward Moses and Aaron came. That this signifies the Divine law and the doctrine thence derived, is evident from the representation of Moses, as being the Lord as to the Divine law (n. 6752); and from the representation of Aaron, as being the doctrine of good and truth (n. 6998). By the Divine law which closes represents, is meant the Word such as it is in its internal sense, thus such as it is in the heavens; but by doctrine is meant the Word such as it is in its literal sense, thus as it is on the earth how much these differ, can be seen from what has been thus far unfolded in respect to the internal sense of the Word. Take as an illustration the ten commandments, which specifically are called the "Law." The literal sense of these is that parents are to be honored, that murder is not to be committed, nor adultery, nor theft, and so on; but the internal sense is that the Lord is to be worshiped; that hatred must not be felt; that truth must not be falsified; and that we must not claim for ourselves that which belongs to the Lord. So are these four commandments of the Decalogue understood in heaven, and the rest also in their own way. For in the heavens they know no other Father than the Lord; therefore by that parents are to be honored, they understand that the Lord is to worshiped: neither do they know in the heavens what killing is, for they live to eternity; but instead of killing they understand feeling hatred, and injuring the spiritual life of anyone: neither do they know in the heavens what it is to commit adultery, and therefore instead thereof they perceive that which corresponds, namely, not to falsify truth: and instead of stealing they perceive not to take anything away from the Lord, and claim it to themselves, as for instance good and truth.
 Such is this law, and the whole Word too, in the heavens; thus such it is in the internal sense; nay, it is still deeper, for most things that are thought and said in the heavens do not fall into words of human speech, because in the heavens is a spiritual world and not a natural; and the things of the spiritual world transcend those of the natural world, as immaterial things transcend those which are material. Yet as material things correspond to immaterial, the latter can be set forth by means of material things, thus by natural speech, but not by spiritual speech. For spiritual speech is not a speech of material words, but of spiritual words, which are ideas modified into words in the spiritual aura, and represented by variegations of heavenly light, which light in itself is nothing but Divine intelligence and wisdom proceeding from the Lord. From all this it can be seen what is meant in its genuine sense by the Divine law which Moses represents, and what by the doctrine thence derived, which Aaron represents.
AC 7090. And they said unto Pharaoh. That this signifies exhortation to those who are against the truths of the church, is evident from the signification of "saying," because it was by Moses and Aaron from Divine command, as being exhortation (n. 7033); and from the representation of Pharaoh, as being memory-knowledge that is against the truths of the church (n. 6651, 6673, 6683), thus those who are of such a character. Here and in what follows are treated of those of the spiritual church who were saved by the coming of the Lord into the world, and who before His coming were detained in the lower earth, and there agitated by falsities, that is, by the infernals who are in falsities from evil. That earth is beneath the soles of the feet, surrounded by the hells; in front by those who have falsified truths and adulterated goods; on the right by those who pervert Divine order, and from this study to acquire to themselves power; at the back by evil genii, who from the love of self have secretly plotted evil against the neighbor; deep under these are they who have utterly spurned the Divine, and have worshiped nature, and consequently have put away from them everything spiritual. With such are they surrounded who are in the lower earth, where before the coming of the Lord they who were of the spiritual church were reserved, and were there infested; nevertheless they were protected by the Lord, and were carried up into heaven with the Lord when He rose again (n. 6854, 6855, 6914, 6945, 7035).
 The lower earth, where were reserved those who were of the spiritual church till the Lord’s coming, is sometimes mentioned in the Word, as in Isaiah:--
Sing, ye heavens, for Jehovah hath done it; shout ye lower parts of the earth; resound with singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein; because Jehovah hath redeemed Jacob, and hath rendered Himself glorious in Israel (Isa 44:23);
speaking of those who are in the lower earth, that they were saved by the Lord; "Jacob" and "Israel" are the spiritual church, "Jacob" the external church, "Israel" the internal (n. 3305, 4286, 6426). In Ezekiel:--
I will make thee come down with them that descend into the pit, to the people of eternity, and I will make thee dwell in the earth of lower things, in the desolations (Ezek. 26:20).
To the earth of lower things, in the midst of the sons of man, to them that go down to the pit; whence all the trees of Eden shall be comforted in the lower earth, the choice and the chief of Lebanon, all that drink water (Ezek. 31:14, 16);
here the "lower earth" is where were those who had been of the spiritual church.
 At this day also, they who are of the church and have filled their ideas with worldly and also with earthly things, and have caused the truths of faith to be joined to such things, are let down to the lower earth, and are also in combats there; and this until these worldly and earthly things have been separated from the truths of faith, and such things have been implanted as will prevent their being further joined together. When this is over, they are lifted up from thence into heaven; for until such things have been removed, they cannot possibly be with the angels, because these worldly and earthly things are darkness and defilements, which do not accord with the light and purity of heaven. These worldly and earthly things cannot be separated and removed except by means of combats against falsities. These combats take place in this way: they who are in the lower earth are infested by the fallacies and derivative falsities which are sent forth from the infernals round about, but are refuted by the Lord through heaven; and at the same time truths are insinuated, and these truths appear as if they were in those who are in the combats.
 Hence it is that the spiritual church is to be called "militant." But at this day it is rarely a militant church with anyone in the world, for while the man of the church lives in the world he cannot endure combat, because of the crowd of evil ones in the midst of whom he is; and because of the flesh in which he is, which is weak. In the other life a man can be kept firmly in the bonds of conscience, but not so in the world; for if in the world he is brought into anything of despair, as those are wont to be who are in combats, he forthwith bursts these bonds; and if he bursts them, he then yields; and if he so yields, it is all over with his salvation. Hence it is that few within the church at this day are admitted by the Lord into combats for truths against falsities. These combats are spiritual temptations. See also what has been before shown concerning the lower earth and vastations there, (n. 4728, 4940-4951, 6854).
AC 7091. Thus said Jehovah the God of Israel. That this signifies from the Divine Human of the Lord, namely, exhortation to those who are against the truths of the church, is evident from the fact that by "Jehovah the God of Israel" is meant the Lord as to the Divine Human. In the Word the Lord is "Jehovah," (n. 1343, 1736, 2921, 3023, 3035, 5041, 5663, 6281, 6303, 6905). He is called "the God of Israel," because by "Israel" is signified the Lord‘s spiritual kingdom (n. 6426, 6637), and because the Lord by His coming into the world saved those who were of that kingdom or church (n. 6854, 6914, 7035). The reason why "the God of Israel" is the Lord as to the Divine Human, is that they who are of that church have natural ideas about everything spiritual and heavenly, and also about the Divine; and therefore unless they thought of the Divine as of a natural man, they could not be conjoined with the Divine by anything of affection for if they thought of the Divine not as of a natural man, they would either have no ideas, or extravagant ones, about the Divine, and would thereby defile the Divine. Hence it is that by "the God of Israel" is meant the Lord as to the Divine Human, and indeed as to the Divine natural. By "Israel" and "Jacob" in the supreme sense is meant the Lord as to the Divine natural; by "Israel," as to the internal Divine natural; and by "Jacob," as to the external Divine natural, (n. 4570); also they who are of the spiritual church were and are saved by the Divine Human of the Lord, (n. 2833, 2834); and also the man of the spiritual church, who is "Israel," is interior natural, (n. 4286, 4402).
 From all this then it is evident why the Lord in the Word is called "Jehovah the God of Israel," and "Jehovah the Holy One of Israel." Everyone can know that the Divine must be so named in agreement with something holy not apparent in the sense of the letter. That the Lord as to the Divine natural is meant by "the God of Israel," is plain from many passages in the Word; manifestly from the following:--
That Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy elders of Israel saw the God of Israel, under whose feet was as it were a work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the substance of heaven for cleanness (Exod. 24:9, 10).
 That it was the Lord, and not Jehovah who is called the "Father," is evident from the Lord’s words in John:--
No one hath ever seen God (John 1:18).
Ye have neither ever heard His voice, nor seen His shape (John 5:37).
I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I am Jehovah, who have called thee by thy name, the God of Israel (Isa. 45:3).
Over the head of the cherubs was as it were the appearance of a sapphire stone, the likeness of a throne; and over the likeness of a throne a likeness as the appearance of a man upon it above; and he had the appearance of fire and a rainbow, and of brightness round about (Ezek. 1:26-28).
These are called "the glory of Jehovah," and "of the God of Israel," in the same (Ezek. 1:28; 8:4; 9:3; 10:19, 20), and also where the new temple is described (Ezek. 43:2; 44:2); as also in many other passages (Isa. 17:6; 21:10, 17; 24:15; 41:17; Ps. 41:13; 59:5; 68:8, 35; 69:6; 72:18). So also He is called "the HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL" (Isa. 1:4; 5:19; 10:20; 17:7; 30:11, 12, 15; 49:7; 60:9, 14; Ezek. 39:7).
 That the "God of Israel" and the "Holy One of Israel" are the Lord as to the Divine Human, is also evident from the fact that He is called the "Redeemer," the "Saviour," the "Maker"--the REDEEMER, in Isaiah:--
Our Redeemer, Jehovah Zebaoth; His name the Holy one of Israel (Isa. 47:4; 41:14; 43:14; 48:17; 54:5);
also the SAVIOUR (Isa. 43:3); and the MAKER (Isa. 45:11). From all this it is also evident that by "Jehovah" in the Word of the Old Testament, no other is meant than the Lord, for He is called JEHOVAH GOD and the HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL, the REDEEMER, the SAVIOUR, the MAKER--"Jehovah the Redeemer and Saviour" in Isaiah:--
That all flesh may know that I Jehovah am thy Saviour, and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob (Isa. 49:26).
That thou mayest know that I Jehovah am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob (Isa. 60:16; 43:14; 44:6, 24; 54:8; 63:16; Ps. 19:14).
 That the Lord saved Israel, that is, those who are of the spiritual church, is said in Isaiah:--
I will make mention of the mercies of Jehovah, the praises of Jehovah, according to all that Jehovah hath recompensed to us; abundant in goodness to the house of Israel. He said, Surely they are My people; sons who do not lie; and therefore He became their Saviour; in all their distress He had distress; and the angel of His faces liberated them; because of His love, and His indulgence, He redeemed them; and He took them up, and carried them all the days of eternity (Isa. 63:7-9).
AC 7092. Let My people go. That this signifies that they should desist from infesting them, is evident from the signification of "go," when said to Pharaoh, by whom is represented the falsity which infests the truths of the church, as being to desist from infestation; and from the representation of the sons of Israel, who are here "My people," as being those who are of the spiritual church (n. 6426, 6637).
AC 7093. That they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness. That this signifies that from a glad mind they may worship the Lord in the obscurity of faith in which they are, is evident from the signification of "holding a feast," as being worship from a glad mind, that it is the Lord to whom they were to hold the feast, and who is here meant by "Me," or by "Jehovah," may be seen above, (n. 7091); and from the signification of a "wilderness," as being the obscurity of faith (n. 2708, 7055). They who are of the spiritual church are relatively in obscurity of faith, (n. 2708, 2715, 2716, 2718, 2831, 2849, 2935, 2937, 3241, 3246, 3833, 6289, 6500, 6945).
 The reason why "holding a feast" signifies worship from a glad mind, is that the feast was to be held at a way of three days from Egypt, thus in a state of no infestation by falsities, that is, in a state of liberty; for he who is being liberated from falsities and from the distress in which he then is, from a glad mind gives thanks to God; thus "holds a feast." Moreover the feasts which were instituted with that people, and which were three every year, are likewise said to have been instituted in memory of their liberation from slavery in Egypt; that is, in the spiritual sense, in memory of liberation from infestation by falsities, through the Lord‘s coming into the world. Therefore it was also commanded that on those occasions they should be glad, as is manifest in Moses in regard to the feast of tabernacles:--
In the feast of tabernacles, they shall take on the first day the fruit of the tree of honor, spathes of palm-trees, and a branch of a dense tree, and willows of the torrent; and ye shall be glad before Jehovah your God seven days (Lev. 23:40);
 by "the fruit of the tree of honor, spathes of palm-trees, a branch of a dense tree, and willows of the torrent," is signified joy from good and truth from man’s inmost to his external. The good of love, which is inmost, is signified by the "fruit of the tree of honor;" the good of faith by the "spathes of palm trees;" the truth of memory-knowledge, by the "branch of a dense tree;" and sensuous truth, which is most external, by the "willows of the torrent." These things could not have been ordered to be taken without a reason from the spiritual world, which reason cannot possibly appear to anyone except from the internal sense.
 That they were to be glad in the feast of weeks is also evident in Moses:--
Thou shalt make the feast of weeks to Jehovah thy God, and thou shalt he glad before Jehovah thy God, thou and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite who is in thy gates (Deut. 16:10, 11);
by these words also, in the internal sense, is signified gladness from good and truth from the inmost to the external.
 That there was to be gladness in the feasts, and thus that "to hold a feast" is to worship from a glad mind, is also plain from the following passages. In Isaiah:--
Ye shall have a song as in the nights when a feast is hallowed (Isa. 30:29).
Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! I keep thy feasts, O Judah, render thy vows; for Belial shall no longer pass through thee; he is wholly cut off (Nahum 1:15).
The fasts shall be to the house of Judah for joy and for gladness, and for good feasts; only love ye truth and peace (Zech. 8:19).
I will cause all her joy to cease, her feast, her new moon (Hosea 2:11).
And in Amos:--
I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into a lament (Amos 8:10).
 That "to hold a feast" denotes worship from a glad mind, because they had been liberated from servitude in Egypt, that is, in the spiritual sense, because they had been liberated from infestation by falsities, is manifest from the feast of the passover. This was commanded to be celebrated yearly on the day when they went forth out of Egypt, and this on account of the liberation of the sons of Israel from servitude, that is, on account of the liberation of those who are of the spiritual church from falsities, thus from damnation; and as the Lord liberated them by His coming, and lifted them up with Him into heaven when He rose again, therefore this was also done at the passover. This is likewise signified by the Lord‘s words in John:--
Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all unto Me (John 12:31, 32).
AC 7094. And Pharaoh said. That this signifies contrary thought, is evident from the signification of "saying," as being to think (n. 3395); that it denotes contrary thought by those who infest, who are represented by Pharaoh, is plain from what now follows, for Pharaoh did not at all desist, but still more oppressed the sons of Israel.
AC 7095. Who is Jehovah, whose voice I should hear? That this signifies concerning the Lord, to whose exhortation they should hearken (that is, that the contrary thought should do so), is evident from the signification of "voice," as here being exhortation, because meaning what Moses and Aaron said to Pharaoh (n. 7090) and from the signification of "to hear," as being to obey (n. 2542, 3869, 5017); thus "to hear a voice" denotes to obey or hearken to exhortation. That it is the Lord to whose exhortation he was unwilling to hearken, is because by "Jehovah" in the Word no other than the Lord is meant, as may be seen above (n. 7091).
AC 7096. To let Israel go. That this signifies that they should desist, is evident from the signification of "letting go," as being to desist (n. 7092), namely, from infesting those of the spiritual church, who here are "Israel." The "sons of Israel" denote those who are of the spiritual church, (n. 6426).
AC 7097. I know not Jehovah. That this signifies that they do not care for the Lord, is evident from the signification of "not knowing," as being not to care, for he who does not care, says that he does not know. By "Jehovah" is meant the Lord, (n. 7091). As to Pharaoh’s saying that "he did not know Jehovah," the case is this. The Egyptians from ancient time knew Jehovah, because in Egypt also there had been the Ancient Church, as can be plainly seen from the fact that they had among them the representatives and significatives of that church. The hieroglyphics of the Egyptians are nothing else; for by these were signified spiritual things, and they also knew that they actually corresponded; and as they began to employ such things in their sacred worship, and to worship them, and at last also to turn them into magic, and in this way to be associated with the devilish crew in hell, they therefore utterly destroyed the Ancient Church among them. Hence it is that by the "Egyptians" in the Lord are signified the memory-knowledges of the church perverted, and also falsities contrary to the truths of the church.
 When Divine worship had been thus perverted in Egypt, then also they were no longer allowed to worship Jehovah, and finally not even to know that Jehovah was the God of the Ancient Church, and this in order that they might not profane the name of Jehovah. That the name of Jehovah was known at that time also, and this before it was again told to the posterity of Abraham through Moses In Mount Horeb, is very plain from the fact that Balaam, who was of Syria, not only knew Jehovah, but also adored Him, and likewise sacrificed to Him (Num. 22, 23, 24). From all this it can be known why Pharaoh said "Who is Jehovah, whose voice I should hear to let the people go? I know not Jehovah."
 But as by Pharaoh are represented those in the hells who are in falsities, and who infest those of the spiritual church, therefore it must be told how the case is with these. They who are in the hells, and infest those who are of the spiritual church, are for the most part from such as have said that faith alone saves, and yet have lived a life contrary to faith; and as after the death of the body the life remains, thus the evil which they have thought, plotted, and done, therefore they either apply those things which they have said to be of faith to defend the evils of their life, or they altogether reject them. But lest they should abuse the truths of faith, they are deprived of them, and when they are deprived of them, they seize upon falsities, which are quite contrary to the truths of faith, and afterward by means of falsities infest those who are in truths. This is then the delight of their life. Moreover some of them, in order to acquire power, learn magical arts. This is done by those who by various arts which they devised in the world have deceived the neighbor, and in consequence of their success have afterward attributed all things to their own prudence.
 They who have become such, acknowledge the Father the Creator of the universe, but not the Lord. Of the Lord they say as Pharaoh here says of Jehovah, "Who is Jehovah? I know not Jehovah." Nay, as the universal sphere of heaven is full of the acknowledgment and love of the Lord, so is the universal sphere of the hells full of the denial of the Lord and of hatred against Him; neither can they endure that He should be named. The infernals are such that they do not desist on account of exhortations and threats, so great is the delight of their life in infesting the upright, and turning them from the acknowledgment of the Lord, and from faith in Him. This very delight of their life is increased by exhortations to desist, for this leads them to believe that it will shortly be all over with those whom they are infesting. These then are they who are specifically meant by "Pharaoh and the Egyptians."
AC 7098. And also I will not let Israel go. That this signifies that neither will they desist from infesting, is evident from what has been said above (n. 7092, 7096).
AC 7099. And they said, The God of the Hebrew‘s hath met with us. That this signifies that the God Himself of the church has commanded, is evident from the signification of "the Hebrews," as being those who are of the church (n. 6675, 6684, 6738); and from the signification of "meeting," as being to command (n. 6903).
AC 7100. Let us go we pray a way of three days into the wilderness. This signifies that they must be in a state quite removed from falsity, although in the obscurity of faith, (n. 6904), where are the like words.
AC 7101. And let us sacrifice to Jehovah our God. This signifies that they may worship the Lord, (n. 6905), where also are the like words.
AC 7102. Lest He fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword. That this signifies to avoid the damnation of evil and falsity, is evident from the signification of "lest He fall upon us," as being lest they should incur damnation; from the signification of "pestilence," as being the damnation of evil; and from the signification of "the sword," as being the vastation of truth, and also the punishment of falsity (n. 2799), thus also damnation, for the punishment of falsity when truth is devastated, is damnation.
 Mention is made in the Word of four kinds of vastations and punishments; namely, the Sword, Famine, the Evil Beast, and Pestilence; and by the "sword" is signified the vastation of truth and the punishment of falsity; by "famine," the vastation of good and the punishment of evil; by the "evil beast," the punishment of the evil from falsity; by "pestilence," the punishment of the evil not from falsity but from evil, And as punishment is signified, damnation is also signified, for this is the punishment of those who persevere in evil. Of these four kinds of punishments it is thus written in Ezekiel:--
When I send upon Jerusalem My four evil judgments, the sword, and the famine, and the evil beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast (Ezek. 14:21).
I will send upon you famine, and the evil beast, and will make thee bereaved; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; especially will I bring the sword upon thee (Ezek. 5:17).
 That by "pestilence" is signified the punishment of evil, and its damnation, is evident from the following passages. In Ezekiel:--
They who are in the waste places shall die by the sword, and he who is upon the faces of the field I will give to the wild beast to devour him, and they who are in the strongholds and caverns shall die with the pestilence (Ezek. 33:27);
"to die by the sword in waste places" denotes to be in the vastation of truth, and thence in the damnation of falsity; "he who is upon the faces of the field being given to the wild beast to devour" denotes the damnation of those who are in evil from falsity; "they who are in strongholds and caverns dying with the pestilence" denotes the damnation of evil which fortifies itself by falsity.
The sword is without, and the pestilence and famine within; he that is in the field shall die by the sword; and he that is in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him (Ezek. 7:15)
the "sword" here denotes the vastation of truth and the damnation of falsity; "famine and pestilence," the vastation of good and the damnation of evil. The sword is said to be "without," and famine and pestilence "within," because the vastation of truth is without, but the vastation of good within; but when a man lives in accordance with falsity, damnation is signified by "him who is in the field dying by the sword;" and when he lives in evil which is defended by falsity, damnation is signified by "famine and pestilence devouring him who is in the city."
 In Leviticus:--
I will bring upon you a sword avenging the vengeance of the covenant; where, if ye shall be gathered together into your cities, I will send the pestilence into the midst of you, and I will deliver you into the hand of the enemy, when I shall break the staff of your bread (Leviticus 26:25, 26);
where in like manner the "sword" denotes the vastation of truth and the damnation of falsity; the "pestilence" the damnation of evil; the vastation of good, which is signified by "famine," is described by "breaking the staff of their bread;" by "the cities into which they were to be gathered together," in like manner as above, are signified the falsities by which they defend evils. "Cities" are truths, thus in the opposite sense falsities, (n. 402, 2268, 2712, 2943, 3216, 4492, 4493).
 In Ezekiel:--
In that thou hast defiled My sanctuary with all thine abominations, a third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee; a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and a third part I will scatter to every wind, and will draw out a sword after them (Ezek. 5:11, 12);
where "famine" denotes the damnation of evil; "sword," the damnation of falsity; "to scatter to every wind, and to draw out the sword after them" denotes to dissipate truths and seize on falsities.
 In Jeremiah:--
If they shall offer burnt-offering or meat-offering, I will not approve them; but I will consume them with sword, and with famine, and with pestilence (Jer. 14:12).
I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast; they shall die of a great pestilence; afterward I will give Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and those who are left in this city from the pestilence, and from the sword, and from the famine, Into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar. He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence; but he that goeth out and falleth away to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his soul shall be unto him for a spoil (Jer. 21:6, 7, 9).
I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, till they be consumed from upon the earth (Jer. 24:10);
where also by the "sword" is signified the vastation of truth, by the "famine" the vastation of good, by the "pestilence" damnation. The like is signified by "the sword, the famine, and the pestilence" in the following passages, (Jer. 27:8; 29:17, 18; 32:24, 36; 34:17; 38:2; 42:17, 22; 44:13; Ezek. 12:16).
 As these three follow in their order, therefore these three were proposed to David by the prophet Gad, namely, whether there should come seven years of famine; or he should flee three months before his enemies; or whether there should be three days’ pestilence in the land (2 Sam. 24:13); "to flee before his enemies" stands for "the sword." In Amos:--
I have sent among you the pestilence in the way of Egypt; I have slain your young men with the sword, with the captivity of your horses (Amos 4:10);
"the pestilence in the way of Egypt" denotes the vastation of good by means of falsities, which are "the way of Egypt;" "I have slain your young men with the sword, with the captivity of the horses," denotes the vastation of truth. By "young men" are signified truths, and by "horses" things of the intellect, (n. 2761, 2762, 3217, 5321, 6534).
 In Ezekiel:--
Pestilence and blood shall pass through thee (Ezek. 5:17).
I will send unto her pestilence and blood in her streets (Ezek. 28:23);
where "pestilence" denotes adulterated good; and "blood," falsified truth. "Blood" denotes falsified truth, (n. 4735, 6978).
 In David:--
Thou shalt not be afraid for the dread of night, nor for the arrow that flieth by day; for the pestilence that creepeth in thick darkness, nor for the death that wasteth at noonday (Ps. 91:5, 6).
Here the "dread of night" denotes the falsity which is in secret; the "arrow that flieth by day," the falsity which is in the open; the "pestilence that creepeth in thick darkness," the evil which is in secret; the "death that wasteth at noonday," the evil which is in the open. That "pestilence" denotes evil and the damnation of evil, is plain from death‘s being spoken of also, which is here distinguished from the pestilence merely by its being said of death that "it wasteth at noonday," and of the pestilence that "it creepeth in thick darkness." Again:--
He directed the way of His anger; He forbade not their soul from death, and closed their life with the pestilence (Ps. 78:50);
speaking of the Egyptians the "pestilence" denotes every kind of evil and its damnation.
AC 7103. And the king of Egypt said unto them. That this signifies the answer from those who are in falsities, is evident from the signification of "saying," when by Pharaoh to Moses and Aaron, as being contrary thought (n. 7094); thus the thought which is for the answer; and from the representation of Pharaoh, or the king of Egypt, as being false memory-knowledge (n. 6651, 6679, 6683, 6692), thus those who are in falsities.
AC 7104. Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, draw away the people from their works? That this signifies that their Divine law and doctrine will not release them from sufferings, is evident from the representation of Moses, as being the Lord as to the Divine law (n. 6723, 6752); from the representation of Aaron, as being the Lord as to the doctrine thence derived (n. 6998, 7009); from the signification of "drawing away," as being to release; and from the signification of "works," as being sufferings; for the works were labors, and also burdens, thus sufferings from combats, which are signified by "works" and "burdens" in the internal sense.
AC 7105. Go ye unto your burdens. That this signifies that they must live in combats, is evident from the signification of "going," as being to live (n. 3335, 4882, 5493, 5605); and from the signification of "burdens," as being infestations by falsities (n. 6757), thus combats against them. EXODUS 5:1-4 - next - text - summary - Exodus - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|