Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 9:13-18
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AC 7536. Verses 13-18. And Jehovah said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus said Jehovah the God of the Hebrews, Let My people go, that they may serve Me. For I this time will send all My plagues into thy heart, and into thy servants, and into thy people; that thou mayest know that there is no one as I in the whole earth. For now I would put forth My hand, and smite thee and thy people with pestilence, and thou wouldest be cut of from the earth; but yet for this cause have I made thee to stand, that thou mayest see My power, and that My name may be told in the whole earth. As yet thou exaltest thyself against My people, in thy not letting them go. Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the day it was founded even until now. "And Jehovah said unto Moses," signifies instruction again as to what was to be done; "Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh," signifies the uplifting by means of presence of the attention of those who infest; "and say unto him, Thus said Jehovah the God of the Hebrews," signifies a command from the Lord, who is the God of the church; "Let My people go that they may serve Me," signifies that they should leave those who are of the spiritual church that they may worship the Lord their God; "for this time I will send all My plagues," signifies that it might come to pass that all the coming evils would together rush upon them; "into thy heart," signifies into the inmost; "and into thy servants, and into thy people," signifies into all things in general and in particular; "that thou mayest know that there is no one as I in the whole earth," signifies made known to them from this that the Lord is the only God; "for now I would put forth My hand," signifies that all communication might be taken away; "and smite thee and thy people with pestilence," signifies thus total devastation; "and thou wouldest be cut off from the earth," signifies that thus there would no longer be communication through the things that belong to the church; "but yet for this cause have I made thee to stand," signifies that communication would still remain, and they will pass through states by reason of order; "that thou mayest see My power," signifies that they may notice how great the Divine power is; "and that My name may be told in the whole earth," signifies that thus where the church is the Lord may be acknowledged as the only God; "as yet thou exaltest thyself against My people," signifies because he does not yet desist from infesting those who are in truth inúl good; "in thy not letting them go," signifies and does not as yet leave them; "behold, to-morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail," signifies falsities destroying all things of the church with them; "such as hath not been in Egypt since the day it was founded even until now,"" signifies that with others there is no such destruction in the natural mind.

AC 7537. And Jehovah said unto Moses. This signifies instruction again as to what was to be done, (n. 7517).

AC 7538. Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh. That this signifies the uplifting by means of presence of the attention of those who infest, is evident from the signification of "rising up early in the morning" (n. 7435); from the signification, of "standing before" anyone, as being presence (n. 7527); and from the representation of Pharaoh, as being those who infest (n. 7107, 7110, 7126, 7142, 7220, 7228).

AC 7539. And say unto him, Thus said Jehovah the God of the Hebrews. That this signifies a command from the Lord, who is the God of the church, is evident from the signification of "saying," when by Jehovah or the Lord to those who are in evils and infest, as being a command (n. 7036, 7310); and from the signification of "the Hebrews," as being those of the church, thus the church (n. 6675, 6684, 6738). Where "Jehovah" is named in the Word, it is the Lord who is meant, (n. 1343, 1736, 2921, 3023, 3035, 5041, 5663, 6280, 6281, 6303, 6905, 6945, 6956). Thus "Jehovah the God of the Hebrews" denotes the Lord, who is the God of the church.

AC 7540. Let My people go, that they may serve Me. That this signifies that they should leave those who are of the spiritual church that they may worship the Lord their God, see above (n. 7500), where are like words.

AC 7541. For this time I will send all My plagues. That this signifies that it might come to pass that all the coming evils would together rush upon them, is evident from the signification of "plagues," as being evils, here evils to come, even until they were utterly cast into hell, for which reason it is said, "all the plagues;" and from the signification of "sending," as being to rush in, for plagues or evils are not sent by Jehovah or the Lord, but rush in from evil itself; for in the other life evil carries its penalty with it, and has it as it were within itself (n. 696, 697, 1857, 6559). Hence it is that by "I will send all My plagues" is signified that all evils would rush in upon them.

[2] It is according to order that one plague should follow another, and the evil be thus successively cast down into hell, and therefore it is here said that it might come to pass that they would all rush in together. As the man of the church has no knowledge about the state of the life after death, he believes that after his life in the body a man is either at once uplifted into heaven, or cast into hell; when nevertheless this takes place successively, although with much variety in respect to times and in respect to states. With the good who are to be uplifted into heaven, evils are successively separated, and the good are filled with goods according to the faculty of reception acquired in the world. And with the evil who are to be cast into hell, goods are successively separated, and the evil are successively filled with evils, according to the faculty of reception acquired in the world.

[3] Moreover a man in the other life enters into new states, and undergoes changes. Those who are being uplifted into heaven, and afterward when they have been uplifted, are perfected to eternity; but those who are being cast down to hell, and afterward when they have been cast down, endure evils continually more grievous, and this until they dare not do evil to anyone. After this they remain in hell to eternity, whence they cannot be taken out, because it cannot be given them to will good to anyone, but only, from fear of the penalty, not to do evil, the desire to do it always remaining.

AC 7542. Into thy heart. That this signifies into the inmost, is evident from the signification of the "heart," as being what is of the will, thus of the love (n. 2930, 3313, 3888, 3889), consequently what is of the very life, for the love, being of the will, makes the very life; hence it is that by the "heart" is signified the inmost. The inmost with the good is love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor, but the inmost with the evil is the love of self and the love of the world: it is this inmost that is here meant. The things that are around this inmost and make as it were its circumferences, are evils with the falsities which favor them; and these are disposed in the order in which they favor. In the other life these are unrolled according to the order in which they have been disposed; first come forth those which occupy the outermost circumferences; afterward those which occupy the more interior ones; and at last the inmost is made manifest. Hence it is that a man in the other life passes through many states, and that by degrees, successively, the evil run into plagues, before they are cast into hell, according to what has just been said. The inmost, to which they finally come, is hell itself with them, for it is the evil itself which had been of their love, thus the end for the sake of which they had done all things, and which in the world they had most deeply hidden.

AC 7543. And into thy servants, and into thy people. That this signifies into all things in general and in particular, is evident from the signification of "servants," and "people," as being all and each, thus all things and each (n. 7396).

AC 7544. That thou mayest know that there is no one as I in the whole earth. That this signifies made known to them from this, that the Lord is the only God, is evident from what was said above (n. 7401).

AC 7545. For now I would put forth My hand. That this signifies that all communication might be taken away, is evident from the signification of "hand," as being power (n. 4931-4937, 6292, 6947, 7188, 7189, 7518); and of "the hand of Jehovah," as being omnipotence (n. 878, 3387, 7518). Hence "to put forth the hand" denotes to show power, and from omnipotence to do it. This omnipotence is described by his being able "to send all plagues into his heart, into his servants, and into his people," whereby is signified that all evils would rush in together, and thus that communication with the things of heaven would be taken away. It is this exercise of power that is here signified by these words. How the case is with this communication has already been told, namely, that those who infest the upright in the other life are such as in the world have been in the church and have read the Word, and have known the doctrinal things of faith of their church and have also professed them, but have lived a life of evil. So long as such in the other life retain the things of faith, they have communication with heaven, and so long they cannot be cast down into hell; and therefore it is these things that are by degrees taken away from them; and after these have been taken away, the evil no longer have anything to hold them up; but then like weights without support, or like birds with their wings cut off, they fall downward, or into the deep. From all this it is evident what is meant by the possibility of the communication being taken away from them.

AC 7546. And smite thee and thy people with pestilence. That this signifies thus total devastation, is evident from the signification of "pestilence," as being the vastation of good and truth (n. 7505); here total devastation, because it is said that Pharaoh and his people would be smitten with it; but before (verse 3), that the cattle would be smitten, and therefore in that verse by "pestilence" is not signified total devastation, but vastation in general as to the things that belong to the truth and good of the church, and to those which are outside of it.

AC 7547. And thou wouldest be cut off from the earth. That this signifies that thus there would no longer be communication through the things that belong to the church, is evident from the signification of "being cut off," when said of the things that belong to the church, as being to be separated; and when they are separated, or when there is no longer communication with heaven by means of the things of the church, then the man falls into hell, which is "to be cut off" (n. 7545); and from the signification of "the earth," as being the church (n. 662, 1067, 1262, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2571, 2928, 3355, 4447, 4535, 5577).

AC 7548. But yet for this cause have I made thee to stand. That this signifies that the communication would still remain, and they will pass through states by reason of order, is evident from the signification of "causing to stand," when it is said of the plagues or evils that these should not rush in all together (n. 7541), and of the communication with heaven, that it should not be taken away from them (n. 7545), as being that the communication would still remain, consequently that they would pass through states by reason of order, that is, that they would be devastated by degrees successively (n. 7541).

AC 7549. That thou mayest see My power. That this signifies that they may notice how great the Divine power is, is evident without explication.

AC 7550. And that My name may be told in the whole earth. That this signifies that thus where the church is the Lord may be acknowledged as the only God, is evident from the signification of "name," as being everything in one complex by which the Lord is worshiped (n. 2724, 3006, 6674); and as the veriest essential of worship is the acknowledgment that the Lord is the only God, and that His Human is Divine, and that from this proceeds all faith and love, therefore by the "name of Jehovah being told" is signified that the Lord is to be acknowledged as the only God. The Divine Human of the Lord is the "name of Jehovah," (n. 2628, 6887); and "the earth," signifies the church (n. 7547). That Jehovah or the Lord in this and in many other passages wills that His might and power may appear, and His name be told, and elsewhere that He be humbly worshiped and adored, seems as if He desires to show forth His glory, and as if He loves adoration for the sake of Himself. But quite different is the real case. It is not for the sake of Himself, but for the sake of the human race; not from self-glory, but from love; for He wills to be conjoined with the human race, and to give them eternal life and happiness. This cannot be done unless the man is in humble worship; and there can be no humble worship unless the man acknowledges and believes that he himself is dust and ashes, that is, nothing but evil, and that Jehovah or the Lord is the Greatest and the Holiest, and that he dare not from himself approach Him. When man is in such humble worship, then the Lord can flow in with the life of His love, and give heaven and eternal happiness. This is the reason why Jehovah or the Lord greatly extols His own power and glory in the Word.

AC 7551. As yet thou exaltest thyself against My people. That this signifies because he does not yet cease to infest those who are in truth and good, is evident from the signification of "as yet exalting himself," as being not yet to desist from infesting, for they who infest believe that they have dominion over those who are infested when they see them in anguish and not yet liberated, and then see themselves warned; and from the representation of the sons of Israel, who are here "My people," as being those who are of the spiritual church, or what is the same, who are in truth and good (n. 4286, 6426, 6637, 6862, 6868, 7035, 7062, 7198, 7201, 7215, 7223).

AC 7552. In thy not letting them go. That this signifies, and does not as yet leave them, is evident from the signification of "to let go," as being to leave.

AC 7553. Behold, to-morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail. That this signifies falsities destroying all things of the church with them, is evident from the signification of a" rain of hail," as being falsities from evil destroying the truths and goods of faith, thus the things of the church. That a "rain of hail" has this signification is because it is like stones, and destroys both men and beasts, also the produce of the field, and likewise because it is cold. A "rain" in general signifies a blessing, and in the opposite sense a curse (n. 2445); when a blessing, it signifies the influx and reception of the truth that is of faith and of the good that is of charity, for this is a blessing; but when it signifies a curse, it signifies falsity that is contrary to the truth of faith, and evil that is contrary to the good of charity, for these are a curse. But a "rain of hail" in general signifies the curse that belongs to falsity from evil, and indeed to falsity from evil against the truths and goods of the church.

[2] This is signified by a "rain of hail" in the following passages:--

I will dispute with God with pestilence and with blood; and I will make it rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many peoples that are with him, an inundating rain, and hailstones, fire, and sulphur (Ezek. 38:22);

"Gog" denotes outward worship separate from inward, thus those who when charity is extinct make everything of Divine worship consist in outward things; "hailstones" denote falsities from evil.

[3] In the same:--

My hand shall be against the prophets that see vanity, and that divine a lie; say unto them that daub with what is untempered, that it shall fall; there shall be an inundating rain, by which ye hailstones shall fall; and a wind of storms shall burst through it (Ezek. 13:9, 11);

"the prophets that see vanity and divine a lie" denote those who teach evils and falsities; "those who daub with what is untempered" denotes that they invent falsities, and make them appear like truths. These are called "hailstones" from falsities; but "hail" in this and in the passage above quoted is expressed in the original by another word which means "great hail."

[4] In Isaiah:--

Then Jehovah shall cause the glory of His voice to be heard, and His arm shall see quiet, in the indignation of anger, and a flame of devouring fire, with scattering and inundation, and with hailstone (Isa. 30:30, 31);

where "hailstone" denotes the vastation of truth through falsities. In the same:--

Behold the Lord is strong and mighty; like an inundation of hail, a storm of slaughter, like an inundation of mighty waters overflowing, shall He cast down to the earth with the hand; the hail shall overthrow the refuge of a lie, and they shall inundate the hiding-place of waters (Isa. 28:2, 17);

"an inundation" denotes immersion in falsities, and thus the vastation of truth (n. 705, 739, 790, 5725, 6853); "an inundation of hail" denotes the destruction of truth through falsities.

[5] In David:--

He smote their vine with hail, and their sycamores with grievous hail; and He shut up their beast with the hail, and their cattle with coals of fire. He sent against them the wrath of His anger (Ps. 78:47-49).

He made their rains hail, a flaming fire in their land, and smote their vine and their fig-tree, and brake in pieces the tree of their border (Ps. 105:32, 33);

"hail and rain" denote the vastation of truth and good through falsities from evil; the "vine" denotes the truth and good of the internal church; the "sycamore" and the "fig-tree," denote the truths and goods of the external church. In the same:--

Who giveth snow like wool; He scattereth the hoar frost like dust, who castest forth His hail like morsels; who can stand before His cold? (Ps 147:16, 17);

"hail" denotes falsities from evils. In the same:--

He made darkness His hiding-place, His circuits His tent, the darkness of the waters, the clouds of the heavens, from the brightness before Him the clouds passed, with hailstone and coals of fire; Jehovah thundered in the heavens, and the Most High gave His voice, hailstone and coals of fire, so that He sent arrows and scattered them (Ps. 18:12-15);

"hailstone" denotes falsities from evil which vastate truths and goods.

[6] In John:--

The first angel sounded, and there came hail and fire mingled with blood, and it fell upon the earth, so that the third part of the trees was burnt up, and all the green grass was burnt up (Rev. 8:7);

"hail" denotes falsities from evil; "fire mingled with blood," the evil of cupidities together with falsified truths; the "trees that were burnt up" denote the knowledges of truth destroyed by the evil of cupidities; the "green grass that was burnt up" denotes the memory-knowledges of truth likewise destroyed. "Fire" denotes the evil of cupidities, (n. 1297, 1861, 2446, 5071, 5215, 6314, 6832, 7324); "blood" denotes falsified truth, (n. 4735, 6978, 7317, 7326); and "trees" denote knowledges, (n. 2722, 2972).

[7] In Joshua:--

It came to pass, as they fled before Israel in the going down of Bethhoron, when Jehovah cast down upon them great stones from the heavens even unto Azekah, that they died; there were more who died with the hailstones than they whom the sons of Israel slew with the sword (Joshua 10:11);

this is said of the five kings who fought against Gibeon; by these kings and their people were represented those who are in falsities from evils, therefore they died with the hailstones; morsels of hail are called "stones," because "stones" also signify falsities. From all this it is evident what is signified by "hail" and "rain of hail," namely, falsities from evils; and consequently the vastation of truth and good is also signified, for this is effected through falsities from evils.

AC 7554. Such as hath not been in Egypt since the day it was founded even until now. That this signifies that with others there is no such destruction in the natural mind, is evident from the signification of the "rain of hail," of which this is said, as being the destruction of truth through falsities (n. 7553); and from the signification of the "land of Egypt," as being the natural mind (n. 5276, 5278, 5280, 5288, 5301). That "since the day it was founded even until now" denotes that with others there is no such destruction, is because "day" signifies state, and "foundation" its quality, and "Egypt" the natural mind in general. That there is no such destruction with others as there is with those who infest the upright in the other life, is because those who infest had in the world been of the church (n. 7317, 7502); being those who had filled the memory that belongs to the natural mind with such things as belong to faith from the Word and from the doctrine of their church, and yet had lived contrary to them; and therefore when they are vastated, the things that belong to faith are plucked out, and at the same time very many things that adhere to these, giving rise to deep and filthy cavities and furrows. Moreover the evils of cupidities cannot but be in some measure adjoined, and likewise falsities; and because truths and falsities cannot he together, it is evident that if they cannot be separated, they must be cast out to the borders, whence come empty spaces within that have an offensive smell, for all bad smell comes from evils mingled with goods, and from falsities mingled with truths. These things do not take place with those who are outside the church, for they have known nothing about the truths of faith from the Word. This is what is signified by there being no such destruction with others in the natural mind.

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info