Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 9:31-35
AC 7600. Verses 31-35. And the flax and the barley were smitten; for the barley was a ripening ear, and the flax was a stalk. And the wheat and the spelt were not smitten, because they were hidden. And Moses went out of the city from before Pharaoh, and spread out his palms unto Jehovah; and the voices and the hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth. And Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the voices had ceased, and he sinned yet more, and made heavy his heart he and his servants. And the heart of Pharaoh was made firm, and he did not let the sons of Israel go, as Jehovah had spoken by the hand of Moses. "And the flax," signifies the truth of the exterior natural; "and the barley," signifies its good; "were smitten," signifies that they were destroyed; "for the barley was a ripening ear, and the flax was a stalk," signifies that this good and truth stood forth and looked downward; "and the wheat and the spelt," signifies the good of the interior natural and its truth; "were not smitten," signifies that they were not destroyed; "because they were hidden," signifies because they did not stand forth, and because they tended inward; "and Moses went out of the city from before Pharaoh," signifies separation from them; "and spread out his palms unto Jehovah," signifies intercession; "and the voices and the hail ceased," signifies that there was an end of this state; "and the rain was not poured upon the earth," signifies that these falsities no more appeared; "and Pharaoh saw," signifies a noticing; "that the rain and the hail and the voices had ceased," signifies that there was an end of this state; "and he sinned yet more," signifies as yet a withdrawal; "and made heavy his cart, he and his servants," signifies obstinacy; "and the heart of Pharaoh was made firm," signifies that from evil they were determined; "and he did not let the sons of Israel go," signifies that they did not leave them; "as Jehovah had spoken," signifies according to the prediction; "by the hand of Moses," signifies by means of the law from the Divine.
AC 7601. And the flax. That this signifies the truth of the exterior natural, is evident from the signification of "flax," as being truth, but truth of the exterior natural. The natural is exterior and interior, (n. 4570, 5118, 5497, 5649); consequently the truth and good therein are interior and exterior, (n. 3293, 3294). The truth and good of the exterior natural are signified by "the flax and the barley," and the good and truth of the interior natural by "the wheat and the spelt."
 The subject treated of in this and in the following verse is the truths and goods which were destroyed and vastated, and the goods and truths which were not destroyed and vastated; thus the truths and goods which were stored up and reserved for use, and those which were not stored up and reserved. For when the evil are being vastated, that is, when they are being separated from truths and goods, and are left to their own evils and falsities, they are then vastated in respect to those truths and goods which are in the exterior natural, and which are adjoined there to falsities and evils. That these truths and goods look downward, and therefore cannot be reserved, will be seen below (n. 7604, 7607); but the truths and goods of the interior natural are not vastated, but are brought further inward, and are there reserved for use; and then the communication between the interior natural and the exterior is so far closed that nothing of good and truth can inflow from the interior natural into the exterior natural, except only something general, to enable them to reason, and to string together arguments to confirm falsities and evils. Those goods and truths which are reserved, are signified in the Word by "remains" (n. 468, 530, 560, 561, 576, 661, 798, 1738, 1906, 2284, 5135, 5342, 5344, 5897-5899, 6156, 7556). These are now treated of in these two verses, and are signified by "the flax and the barley were smitten, because the barley was a ripening ear, and the flax was a stalk;" and by "the wheat and spelt were not smitten, because they were hidden." It is from representatives in heaven that "flax" signifies truth. In heaven they who are in the truth of the natural appear clothed in white, which white appears as of linen.
 The truth itself of the natural is also there represented as if woven from the purer threads of the flax. These threads appear like threads of silk--bright, beautifully translucent, and soft; and the clothing made of them appears similar if the truth which is so represented is from good; but on the other hand these threads, which are like those of flax, do not appear translucent, nor bright, nor soft, but hard and brittle, and yet white, if the truth which is so represented is not from good.
 From all this it can now be seen what is signified by the angels who were seen by men appearing in linen garments; as those spoken of in John:--
There went out from the temple the seven angels that had the seven plagues, clothed in linen white and shining, and girt about their breasts with golden girdles (Rev. 15:6).
I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and behold a man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with gold of Uphas (Dan. 10:5).
Behold six men came from a way of the upper gate, every man with his weapons of dispersion in his hand; but one man in the midst of them clothed in linen, and a scribe‘s inkhorn on his loins (Ezek. 9:2);
which angel is further mentioned in the same chapter (Ezek. 9:3, 4; 10:2-7). And in the same prophet we read of the angel who measured the new temple, who had a line of flax and a measuring reed in his hand (Ezek. 40:3). The angels also who were seen in the Lord’s sepulchre appeared clothed in white, bright and shining (Matt. 28:3; Mark 16:5; Luke 24:4; John 20:11, 12).
 As "flax" signified the truth of the exterior natural, and the exterior natural is what clothes the interiors, therefore this truth is what was represented by the linen garments with which the angels were clothed; and also by the garments of flax (or linen) with which Aaron was clothed when he ministered in the holy place, which garments are thus spoken of in the following passages:--
When Aaron enters into the holy place, he shall put on the holy coat of linen, and shall gird himself with the belt of linen, and he shall put on himself the miter of linen; these are the garments of holiness (Lev. 16:4).
The priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok, when they enter at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with garments of linen, and no wool shall come up upon them when they minister in the gates of the inner court and inward; miters of linen shall be upon their head, breeches of linen shall be upon their loins (Ezek. 44:17, 18);
speaking of the new temple and of the New Jerusalem, by which is meant the Lord‘s kingdom. Therefore also the priests wore ephods of linen (1 Sam. 22:18); and Samuel ministered before Jehovah, a boy girded with an ephod of linen (1 Sam. 2:18). David also, when the ark was brought over into his city, was girded with an ephod of linen (2 Sam. 6:14).
 From all this it can also be seen why the Lord, when He washed the feet of His disciples, girded Himself with a linen towel, and wiped their feet with the linen towel with which He was girded (John 13:4, 5); for the washing of the feet signified purification from sins, which is effected by means of the truths of faith, for by means of these man is taught how to live.
 By "flax" (or "linen") is signified truth in the following passages also:--
Jehovah said to the prophet, Go and buy thee a girdle of linen, and put it upon thy loins, but draw it not through water. Take the girdle, and arise, go to Euphrates, and hide it in a hole of the rock. At the end of many days, when he took the girdle from the place where he had hidden it, behold the girdle had rotted, it was fit for nothing (Jer. 13:1-7);
by the "girdle of flax upon the loins" was represented truth from good, such as it is in the beginning when a church is being set up again by the Lord, and such as it becomes afterward: that about its end it is corrupt and is fit for nothing. In Isaiah:--
They who make linen of silk shall blush, and the weaver, of curtains (Isa. 19:9).
This is said of Egypt; "to make linen of silk" denotes to counterfeit truths.
 In Moses:--
Thou shalt not plough with an ox and an ass together. Thou shalt not wear a bed garment of wool and flax together (Deut. 22:10, 11);
by "an ox" is signified the good of the natural; by "an ass" its truth; in like manner by "wool and flax." That they were not to plough with an ox and an ass together, nor to wear a mixed garment of wool and flax together, signified that they were not to be in two states at once; namely, in good and from it look to truth; and at the same time in truth and from it look to good. These things involve the same as is involved in the words of the Lord in Matthew:--
Let him that is upon the roof of the house not come down to take anything out of his house; and let him that is in the field not return back to take his garment (Matthew 24:17, 18);
as to which see above (n. 3652). For they who from good look to truth are in an interior heaven; but they who from truth look to good are in an exterior heaven; the latter from the world look to heaven, the former from heaven look to the world, whence they are in a kind of opposition, and therefore if they were together, the one would destroy the other.
AC 7602. And the barley. That this signifies its good, is evident from the signification of "barley," as being the good of the exterior natural. That "barley" has this signification is because it is produce of the field, and is a grain that serves for food; for "grain" in general signifies the good of truth (n. 3580, 5295, 5410, 5959), especially barley and wheat-- "barley," the good of the exterior natural, and "wheat," the good of the interior natural. The former good is signified by "barley" in Joel:--
The meat-offering and the drink-offering are cut off from the house of Jehovah the priests the ministers of Jehovah have mourned. The field hath been laid waste, the earth hath mourned, because the grain hath been devastated, the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. The husbandmen are ashamed, the vine-dressers have howled over the wheat and over the barley, because the harvest of the field hath perished (Joel 1:9-11);
the subject of this prophecy is the vastation of good and truth, as is evident from what follows in the chapter; and therefore by "grain," "new wine," "wheat," and "barley," are not signified these things, but spiritual things; thus by "wheat," interior good; and by "barley," exterior good. So with "barley" in (Ezek. 4:9; Deut. 8:8). In the book of Judges:--
When Gideon was come to the camp, a man was telling a dream to his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and lo a baked loaf of barley rolled unto the camp of Midian, and came even unto the tent, and smote it that it fell, and turned it upside down, and so the tent fell (Judges 7:13);
by "Midian" are signified those who are in the truth of simple good, and in the opposite sense those who are not in the good of life (n. 3242, 4756, 4788, 6773). This good is the good of the exterior natural, and is signified by a "loaf of barley;" but the delight of pleasures, if regarded as the end instead of this good, is what is signified by the "baked loaf of barley;" this is the state which the Midianites at that time represented, and which is there described.
AC 7603. Were smitten. That this signifies that they were destroyed, is evident without explication.
AC 7604. For the barley was a ripening ear, and the flax was a stalk. That this signifies that this good and truth stood forth, and looked downward, is evident from the signification of "the barley" and "the flax," as being the good and truth of the exterior natural (n. 7601, 7602); and from the signification of "a ripening ear," and also of "a stalk," as being that they stood forth, for it is said of the wheat and spelt that they "were hidden," that is, that they did not stand forth; for the grains that are ripe stand forth on their ear and stalk, so that they bend down; and in the spiritual sense, which treats of the good of faith and charity, this signifies that they looked downward. How the case herein is, is plain from what was said above (n. 7601). That with the evil the goods and truths in the exterior natural look downward, is because they are there together with evils and falsities, and are adjoined to them. All evils and falsities look downward, that is, outward to the earth and to the world; whence the goods and truths adjoined to them also do the same, for the evils and falsities draw the goods and truths with them, which is done by wrong applications. It is these goods and truths which are vastated with the evil; for if they were not vastated, the goods and truths would flow in which are stored up and reserved by the Lord in the interior natural, and would conjoin themselves with those which are in the exterior natural, and would thus act as one with them, whence also they would be bent downward, and thus would perish. Man is distinguished from brute animals by the fact that he can look upward, that is, to the Divine; without this faculty man would be like a beast, for a beast looks only downward. From this then it is evident why the goods and truths with the evil which look downward are taken away from them, and why when these have been taken away, the communication is closed with the interiors, where goods and truths from the Lord have been stored up and reserved for use.
AC 7605. And the wheat and the spelt. That this signifies the good of the interior natural and its truth, is evident from the signification of "the wheat," as being the good of love and charity (n. 3941), and being a more noble grain than barley, it denotes the good of the interior natural; and from the signification of "the spelt," as being the truth of the interior natural corresponding to the good signified by "the wheat." That "spelt" denotes this truth, can be seen from the fact that in the Word, where good is spoken of, truth also is spoken of, and this because of the heavenly marriage which is of good and truth in every detail of the Word; and in the supreme sense, because of the union of the Divine Itself and the Divine Human in the Lord, to which the marriage of good and truth in heaven corresponds. Thus that the Lord Himself as to the Divine Itself and the Divine Human is inmostly in the Word, see (n. 683, 793, 801, 2173, 2516, 2618, 2712, 2803, 3132, 4138, 5502, 6179, 6343). From this it is evident that by "the spelt" is signified truth corresponding to the good which is signified by "the wheat."
AC 7606. Were not smitten. That this signifies that they were not destroyed, is plain without explication.
AC 7607. Because they were hidden. That this signifies because they did not stand forth, and because they tended inward, is evident from the signification of "they were hidden," as being not to stand forth; in the spiritual sense, because they were in the interior natural, and there tended inward. That these could not be destroyed is because they looked to heaven and to the Lord, which is to look inward; and not to the earth and the world, which is to look outward. What it is to look inward, and to look outward, shall be briefly told. Man has been so created that he can look above himself to heaven, even to the Divine, and can also look below himself to the world and the earth. In this, man is distinguished from the brute animals; and a man looks above himself, or to heaven, even to the Divine, when he has as the end his neighbor, his country, the church, heaven, especially the Lord; and he looks below himself when he has self and the world as the end. To have as the end is to love, for that which is loved is as the end, and that which is loved reigns universally, that is, in every detail of the thought and of the will. While a man looks one way, he does not look the other; that is to say, while he looks to the world and to self, he does not look to heaven and to the Lord; and the reverse; for the determinations are opposite.
 From the fact that man can look above himself, that is, can think of the Divine, and be conjoined with the Divine by love, it is very evident that there is an elevation of the mind by the Divine; for no one can look above himself except by means of an elevation by Him who is above; whence it is also evident that all the good and truth with a man are the Lord’s. From this it is also evident that when a man looks below himself, he separates himself from the Divine, and determines his interiors to self and to the world, in like manner as they have been determined with brute animals, and that he then so far puts off humanity. From all this it can now be seen what is meant by looking inward or above himself, and what by looking outward or below himself.
AC 7608. And Moses went out of the city from before Pharaoh. That this signifies separation from them, is evident from what was unfolded above (n. 7595), where are like words.
AC 7609. And spread out his palms unto Jehovah. That this signifies intercession, see above (n. 7596).
AC 7610. And the voices and the hail ceased, signifies the end of this state (n. 7597).
AC 7611. And the rain was not poured upon the earth. That this signifies that these falsities no more appeared, is evident from the signification of "the rain," here the rain of hail, as being falsities (n. 7553, 7574); and from the signification of "not being poured upon the earth," as being that they were ended, thus also that they did not appear, namely, the falsities which are signified by "the rain of hail."
AC 7612. And Pharaoh saw. That this signifies a noticing, is evident from the signification of "seeing," as being a noticing (n. 2150, 3764, 4723, 5400).
AC 7613. That the rain and the hail and the voices had ceased, signifies the end of this state (n. 7597, 7610).
AC 7614. He sinned yet more. That this signifies as yet a withdrawal, is evident from the signification of "yet more," as being as yet, and longer; and from the signification of "sinning," as being a sundering, withdrawal, and separation from good and truth (n. 5229, 5474, 5841, 7589).
AC 7615. And made heavy his heart, he and his servants. That this signifies obstinacy, is evident from the signification of "making heavy," "making hard," and "making firm the heart," as being to be determined (n. 7272, 7300, 7305).
AC 7616. And the heart of Pharaoh was made firm. That this signifies that from evil they were determined, is evident from the signification of the "heart being made firm," as being to be determined (n. 7615), where it is said that "he made his heart heavy;" the difference being that "to make the heart heavy" is from falsity, but "to make the heart firm" is from evil.
AC 7617. And he did not let the sons of Israel go. That this signifies that they did not leave them, is evident from the signification of "to let go," as being to leave; and from the signification of "the sons of Israel," as being those who were of the spiritual church whom they were infesting (n. 6426, 6637, 6862, 6868, 7035, 7062, 7198, 7201, 7215, 7223).
AC 7618. As Jehovah had spoken. That this signifies according to the prediction, see (n. 7302, 7340, 7414, 7432, 7535).
AC 7619. By the hand of Moses. That this signifies by means of the law from the Divine, is evident from the signification of "by the hand of" anyone, as being by means of; and from the representation of Moses, as being the law from the Divine (n. 6771, 6827). That "to speak by the hand of" anyone denotes by his means, or mediately, is because by the "hand" is signified power, thus by the "hand" of another, vicarious power, which is the same as mediately, for what is done mediately is done by the power of another in one‘s self. This is the reason why there is this form of speech in the Word, as in the Books of Kings, where it is sometimes said, "the word which Jehovah spake by the hand of" some one, as "by the hand of Ahijah the prophet" (1 Kings 14:18), "by the hand of Ahijah the Shilonite" (1 Kings 15:29), "by the hand of Jehu the prophet" (1 Kings 16:7, 12), "by the hand of Joshua" (1 Kings 16:34), "by the hand of Elijah" (1 Kings 17:16), "by the had of Jonah the prophet" (2 Kings 14:25).