Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 40:1-4
AC 5073. Verses 1-4. And it came to pass after these words that they sinned, the butler of the king of Egypt and the baker, to their lord the king of Egypt. And Pharaoh was wroth over his two courtministers, over the prince of the butlers, and over the prince of the baker‘s. And he put them into the custody of the house of the prince of the guards, unto the prison house, the place where Joseph was bound. And the prince of the guards set Joseph over them, and he ministered unto them; and they were for days in custody. "And it came to pass," signifies a new state, and the things which follow; "after these words," signifies after the things which precede; "that they sinned," signifies inverted order; "the butler of the king of Egypt," signifies in those things in the body which are subject to the intellectual part; "and the baker," signifies in those things in the body which are subject to the will part; "to their lord the king of Egypt," signifies that they were contrary to the new state of the natural man; "and Pharaoh was wroth," signifies that the new natural man averted itself; "over his two courtministers," signifies from the sensuous things of the body of both kinds; "over the prince of the butlers, and over the prince of the bakers," signifies in general from the sensuous things subordinate to the intellectual part and to the will part; "and he put them into the custody," signifies rejection; "of the house of the prince of the guards," signifies by those things which are primary for interpretation; "unto the prison house," signifies among falsities; "the place where Joseph was bound," signifies the state of the celestial of the natural now as to these things; "and the prince of the guards set Joseph over them," signifies that the celestial of the natural taught them from things primary for interpretation; "and he ministered to them," signifies that he instructed them; "and they were for days in custody," signifies that they were long in a state of rejection.
AC 5074. And it came to pass. That this signifies a new state and the things which follow, is evident from the fact that the expression "it came to pass," or "it was," in the Word, involves a new state (n. 4979, 4999); and that in the original language it serves as a mark of distinction between the series of things which precede and those which follow (n. 4987); hence it also signifies the things which follow.
AC 5075. After these words. That this signifies after the things which precede, is evident from the signification of "words," in the original language, as being things; here therefore "after these words" means after these things, thus after the things which precede. That "words," in the original language signify things also, is because "words," in the internal sense signify truths of doctrine; and therefore all Divine truth in general is called the "Word," and the Lord Himself, from whom comes all Divine truth, is in the supreme sense the "Word" (n. 1288). And because nothing that exists in the universe is anything, that is, is a real thing, unless it is from Divine good by Divine truth, therefore "words" in the Hebrew language mean things also. That nothing in the universe is anything, that is, a real thing, unless it is from Divine good by Divine truth, that is, by the "Word," is plain in John:--
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made (John 1:1, 3).
 The interior significations of expressions for the most part originate in the interior man, which is among spirits and angels; for every man as to his spirit, or as to that very man which lives after the decease of the body, is in company with angels and spirits, although the external man is not aware of this; and because he is in company with them, he is also with them in the universal language, and thus in the origins of words. Hence there are imparted to words many significations which in the external form appear out of agreement, although in the internal form they are entirely in agreement--as here, that "words" signify things. It is the same in a host of cases, as that the understanding is called the inward "sight," light being attributed to it; that attention and obedience are called "hearing" and "hearkening;" that the perception of a thing is called "smelling;" and so forth.
AC 5076. That they sinned. That this signifies inverted order, is evident from the signification of "sinning," as being to act contrary to Divine order: whatever is contrary to this is "sin." Divine order itself is Divine truth from Divine good. All are in this order who are in truth from good, that is, who are in faith from charity, for truth is of faith, and good is of charity; and they are contrary to this order who are not in truth from good, consequently who are in truth from evil, or in falsity from evil; nothing else is signified by "sin." Here by their "sinning" the butler and the baker--is signified that external sensuous things were in inverted order relatively to interior things, so that they did not accord or did not correspond.
AC 5077. The butler of the king of Egypt. That this signifies in those things in the body which are subject to the intellectual part, is evident from the signification of a "butler," as being that external sensuous, or sensuous of the body, which is subordinate or subject to the intellectual part of the internal man; and from the signification of the "king of Egypt," as being the natural man (n. 5079). As the butler and the baker are treated of in the following verses, and as they signify the external sensuous things which are of the body, something must first be said about these sensuous things. It is known that the external or bodily senses are five, namely, sight, hearing, smelling, taste, and touch, and that these constitute all the life of the body; for without these senses the body does not live at all, and therefore when deprived of them it dies and becomes a corpse; so that the very bodily part of man is nothing else than a receptacle of sensations, and consequently of the life from them. The sensitive is the principal, and the bodily is the instrumental. The instrumental without its principal to which it is adapted cannot even be called that bodily with which man is invested during his life in the world; but only the instrumental together with the principal, when they act as one. This therefore is the bodily part.
 All the external sensuous things of man bear relation to his internal sensuous things, for they are given to man and placed in his body in order that they may serve the internal man while it is in the world, and be subject to its sensuous things; and therefore when a man’s external sensuous things begin to rule over his internal sensuous things, the man is lost; for then the internal sensuous things are considered to be mere servants, to serve for confirming those things which the external sensuous things command with authority. When the external sensuous things are in this state, they are in the inverted order spoken of just above (n. 5076).
 As before said, the external sensuous things of man bear relation to his internal sensuous things; in general, to his intellectual part and to his will part; there are therefore external sensuous things which are subject or subordinate to his intellectual part, and there are those which are subject to his will part. That sensuous which is especially subject to the intellectual part is the sight; that which is subject to the intellectual part and secondarily to the will part is the hearing; that which is subject to both together is the sense of smell, and still more the taste; but that which is subject to the will part is the touch. That the external sensuous things are subject to these parts, and in what manner, might be abundantly shown; but to enter upon the investigation of this now would lead us too far afield; yet the facts may in some measure be known from what has been shown concerning the correspondence of these senses, at the end of the preceding chapters.
 And he it known further that all the truths which are said to be of faith pertain to the intellectual part; and that all the goods which are of love and charity are of the will part. Consequently it belongs to the intellectual part to believe, to acknowledge, to know, and to see truth and also good, but to the will part to be affected with and to love these; and that which man is affected with and loves, is good. But how the intellect flows into the will, when truth passes into good; and how the will flows into the intellect, when it acts upon it, are matters of still deeper investigation, concerning which, of the Lord‘s Divine mercy more will be said below as occasion offers.
 The reason why a "butler" signifies that sensuous which is subject or subordinate to the intellectual part of the internal man, is that everything which serves for drinking, or which is drunk--as wine, milk, water--bears relation to truth, which is of the intellectual part, thus bears relation to the intellectual part; and because it is an external sensuous, or sensuous of the body, that subserves, therefore by a "butler" is signified this sensuous, or this part of the sensuous things. "To give to drink" and "to drink" are in general predicated of the truths which are of the intellectual part, (n. 3069, 3071, 3168, 3772, 4017, 4018); and specifically they are predicated of the truth which is from good, or of the faith which is from charity, (n. 1071, 1798); and "water" is truth, (n. 680, 2702, 3058, 3424, 4976). From all this it may now be seen what is signified by a "butler."
AC 5078. And the baker. That this signifies in those things the body which are subject to the will part, is evident from the signification of a "baker," as being that external sensuous, or sensuous of the body, which is subordinate or subject to the will part of the internal man. A "baker" has this signification because everything that serves for food, or that is eaten, such as bread, food in general, and all the work of the baker, is predicated of good, and therefore bears relation to the will part; for all good is of this part, just as all truth is of the intellectual part (n. 5077). "Bread" is the celestial, or good, (n. 1798, 2165, 2177, 3478, 3735, 3813, 4211, 4217, 4735, 4976),
 The reason why here and in the following verses of this chapter the external sensuous things of both kinds are treated of in the internal sense is that in the previous chapter the subject treated of was the Lord, and how He glorified or made Divine the interiors of His natural; here therefore the subject treated of is the Lord, and how He glorified or made Divine the exteriors of His natural. The exteriors of the natural are what are properly called the bodily things, or the sensuous things of both kinds together with their recipient organs, for these together constitute what is called the body (n. 5077). The Lord made the very bodily in Himself Divine, both its sensuous things and their recipient organs; and He therefore rose again from the sepulchre with His body, and likewise after His resurrection said to the disciples:--
Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; feel Me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have (Luke 24:39).
 Most of those who are of the church at this day believe that everyone is to rise again at the last day, and with his body; which opinion is so universal that from doctrine scarcely anyone believes otherwise. But this opinion has prevailed because the natural man supposes that it is only the body that lives; and therefore unless he believed that the body would receive life again, he would deny the resurrection altogether. But the truth of the matter is this. Man rises again immediately after death, and he then appears to himself in a body just as in this world, with a similar face, members, arms, hands, feet, breast, belly, and loins; so that when be sees and touches himself, he says that he is a man as in the world. Nevertheless what he sees and touches is not his external which he carried about in the world, but it is the internal which constitutes that very human which is alive, and which had an external about it, or outside of every part of it, by which it could be in the world and be adapted for acting and performing its functions there.
 The earthly bodily part is no longer of any use to him, he being in another world where are other functions, and other powers and abilities, to which the nature of his body there is adapted. This body he sees with his eyes, not those which he had in the world, but those which he has there, which are the eyes of his internal man and by which through the eyes of the body he had before seen worldly and earthly things. This body he also feels with the touch, not with the hands or the sense of touch which he enjoyed in the world, but with the hands and the sense of touch which he enjoys there, which is that from which his sense of touch in the world came forth. Moreover every sense is more exquisite and more perfect there, because it is the sense of the internal of man freed from the external; for the internal is in a more perfect state, because it gives to the external the power of sensation; but when it acts into the external, as is the case in the world, sensation is dulled and obscured. Moreover it is the internal which is sensible of the internal, and the external which is sensible of the external. Thus it is that men after death see one another, and are in company together according to their interiors. In order that I might be certain in regard to this matter, it has been given me to touch the spirits themselves, and often to converse with them about it (n. 322, 1630, 4622).
 Men after death who are then called spirits, and if they have lived in good, angels, marvel exceedingly that the man of the church believes that he is not to see eternal life until the last day when the world shall perish, and that he is then to be clothed again with the cast off dust; when yet the man of the church knows that he rises again after death; for when a man dies, who does not then say that his soul or spirit is in heaven or else in hell? and who does not say of his children who have died that they are in heaven? and who does not comfort a sick person, or one appointed to die, by the assurance that he will shortly come into the other life? and he who is in the agony of death and is prepared, believes no otherwise; nay, from this belief many also claim for themselves the power of delivering others from places of damnation, and of admitting them into heaven, while saying masses on their behalf. Who does not know what the Lord said to the thief "Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise" (Luke 23:43)? and what He said of the rich man and Lazarus, that the former was carried into hell, but the latter borne by the angels into heaven (Luke 16:22, 23)? And who does not know what the Lord taught concerning the resurrection, that "He is not the God of the dead, but of the living" (Luke 20:38)?
 A man knows these things, and so thinks and speaks when he thinks and speaks from his spirit; but when he thinks and speaks from his doctrine, he says very differently--that he is not to rise again till the last day; when yet the last day to everyone is when he dies, and then also is his judgment, as indeed many say. What is meant by "being encompassed with skin, and from the flesh seeing God" (Job 19:25, 26), may be seen above (n. 3540). These things are said in order that it may be known that no man rises again in the body with which he was clothed in the world; but that the Lord alone so rose, and this because He glorified His body, or made it Divine, while He was in the world.
AC 5079. Against their lord the king of Egypt. That this signifies that they--namely, the external sensuous things, or those of the body, signified by "the butler and the baker"--were contrary to the new state of the natural man, is evident from the signification of the "king of Egypt," as being memory-knowledge in general (n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462, 4749, 4964, 4966). For the same is signified by the "king of Egypt" as by "Egypt," the king being the head of the nation; and it is the same in other passages also where mention is made of the "king" of any nation (n. 4789). As memory-knowledge in general is signified by the "king of Egypt," the natural man is also signified thereby, because all memory-knowledge is the truth of the natural man (n. 4967): the good itself of the natural man is signified by "lord" (n. 4973). That a new state of the natural man is here signified, is because in the preceding chapter there was described the making new of the interiors of the natural, and in the supreme sense, which relates to the Lord, that they were glorified; but the subject here treated of is the exteriors of the natural, which were to be reduced to harmony or correspondence with the interiors. Those interiors of the natural which were new, or what is the same thing the new state of the natural man, is what is signified by "their lord the king of Egypt;" and the exteriors which were not reduced into order, and hence were contrary to order, are what are signified by "the butler and the baker."
 There are interiors and there are exteriors of the natural, the interiors of the natural being memory-knowledges and the affections of them, while its exteriors are the sensuous things of both kinds, spoken of above (n. 5077). When a man dies he leaves behind him these exteriors of the natural, but carries with him into the other life the interiors of the natural, where they serve as a plane for things spiritual and celestial. For when a man dies he loses nothing except his bones and flesh; he has with him the memory of all that he had done, spoken, or thought, and he has with him all his natural affections and desires, thus all the interiors of the natural. Of its exteriors he has no need; for he does not see, nor hear, nor smell, nor taste, nor touch, what is in this world, but only such things as are in the other life, which indeed look for the most part like those which are in this world; but still are not like them, for they have in them what is living, which those things which properly belong to the natural world have not. For all and each of the things in the other life come forth and subsist from the sun there, which is the Lord, whence they have in them what is living; whereas all and each of the things in the natural world come forth and subsist from its sun, which is elementary fire, and hence have not in them what is living. What appears living in them is from no other source than the spiritual world, that is, through the spiritual world from the Lord.
AC 5080. And Pharaoh was wroth. That this signifies that the new natural man averted itself, is evident from the representation of Pharaoh, or the king of Egypt, as being the new natural man, or the new state of the natural man (n. 5079); and from the signification of "being wroth or angry," as being to avert itself (n. 5034); here therefore it signifies that the interior natural, which was made new, averted itself from the exterior natural or bodily sensuous part, because this did not correspond with it.
AC 5081. Against his two courtministers. That this signifies that it averted itself from the sensuous things of the body, of both kinds, is evident from the signification of "courtministers," who here are the butler and the baker, as being the sensuous things of both kinds (n. 5077, 5078). The sensuous things of the body, namely, the sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, are as it were ministers of the court relatively to the interior man, who is their lord the king; for they minister to him, so that from the things in the visible world and in human society he may come into the teachings of experience, and may in this way acquire intelligence and wisdom. For man is not born into any knowledge, still less into any intelligence or wisdom, but only into the capability of receiving and becoming imbued with them. This is effected in two ways, namely, by an internal way, and by an external way. By the internal way flows in what is Divine, by the external way flows in what is of the world. These meet within man, and then in so far as he suffers himself to be enlightened by what is Divine, he comes into wisdom. The things which flow in by the external way, flow in through the sensuous things of the body; although they never flow in of themselves, but are called forth by the internal man to serve as a plane for the celestial and spiritual things which flow in by the internal way from the Divine. From this it is evident that the sensuous things of the body are like the ministers of a court. In general, all exterior things are ministers relatively to interior things. Relatively to the spiritual man the whole natural man is nothing else.
 In the original language the term here used means a minister, courtier, chamberlain, or eunuch; in the internal sense it signifies, as here, the natural man as to good and truth, but specifically the natural man as to good; as in Isaiah:--
Let not the son of the stranger, that cleaveth to Jehovah, speak, saying, Jehovah will surely separate me from His people; neither let the eunuch say, Behold I am dry wood. For thus hath said Jehovah to the eunuchs that keep My sabbaths, and choose that wherewith I am delighted, and are holding My covenant; I will give them in My house and within My walls a place and a name, a good better than sons and daughters; I will give them a name of eternity that shall not be cut off (Isa. 56:3-5);
here a "eunuch" denotes the natural man as to good, and the "son of the stranger" the natural man as to truth; for the church of the Lord is external and internal, and they who are of the external church are natural, while they who are of the internal church are spiritual. They who are natural, and yet are in good, are "eunuchs," and they who are in truth are the "sons of the stranger;" and as the truly spiritual or internal are to be found only within the church, therefore also by the "sons of the stranger" are signified those who are outside the church, or the Gentiles, and yet are in truth according to their religiosity (n. 2049, 2593, 2599, 2600, 2602, 2603, 2861, 2863, 3263); and by "eunuchs," those who are in good.
AC 5082. Over the prince of the butlers, and over the prince of the bakers. That this signifies in general from the sensuous things subordinate to the intellectual part and to the will part, is evident from the signification of a "butler," as being the sensuous subordinate and subject to the intellectual part (n. 5077); and from the signification of a "baker," as being the sensuous subordinate and subject to the will part (n. 5078); and from the signification of a "prince," as being what is primary (n. 1482, 2089, 5044), here in general or in common; for what is primary is also common, because it rules in the rest; for particulars hear relation to primaries as to generals, in order that they may make a one and that no contradiction should appear.
AC 5083. And he put them into the custody. That this signifies rejection, is evident from the signification of "putting into custody," as being rejection; for he who is put into custody is rejected.
AC 5084. Of the house of the prince of the guards. That this signifies by those things which are primary for interpretation, is evident from the signification of the "prince of the guards," as being what is primary for interpretation (n. 4790, 4966). Here therefore the signification is that the sensuous things of both kinds were rejected by the things primary for interpretation, namely those which are of the Word as to the internal sense; and these sensuous things are said to be rejected when they have no faith in such things; for sensuous things and those which by their means enter immediately into the thought, are fallacious, and all the fallacies which prevail in man are from this source. It is from these that few believe the truths of faith, and that the natural man is opposed to the spiritual, that is, the external man to the internal; and therefore if the natural or external man begins to rule over the spiritual or internal man, the things of faith are no longer believed; for fallacies overshadow and cupidities suffocate them.
 As few know what the fallacies of the senses are, and few believe that they induce so great a shade on rational things, and most of all on the spiritual things of faith, even so as to extinguish them, especially when the man is at the same time in the delight of the cupidities from the love of self and the love of the world, the subject may be illustrated by examples, showing first what are the fallacies of the senses which are merely natural, or in those things which are in nature, and then what are the fallacies of the senses in spiritual things. 1. It is a fallacy of merely natural sense, or that which is in nature, to believe that the sun revolves once each day around this earth, and also the sky with all the stars; and although it is said that it is incredible--because impossible--that so great an ocean of fire as is the sun, and not only the sun but also innumerable stars, should revolve around the earth once every day without any change of place relatively to one another, and although it is added that it may be seen from the planets that the earth performs a daily and annual motion by rotation and revolution, the planets also being earths, some of them with moons revolving around them, and making--as is known by observation--daily and annual motions like our earth nevertheless with very many persons the fallacy of sense prevails, that it is as it appears to the eye.
 2. It is a fallacy of merely natural sense, or that which is in nature, that there is only a single atmosphere, and that this is merely successively purer from one portion to another, and that where it ceases there is a vacuum. When only the external sensuous of man is consulted, it apprehends no otherwise. 3. It is a fallacy of merely natural sense, that from the first creation there has been impressed on seeds a property of growing up into trees and flowers, and of reproducing themselves, and that from this is the coming into existence and subsistence of all things. And if it is urged that it is not possible for anything to subsist unless it perpetually comes into existence, according to the law that subsistence is a perpetual coming into existence, and also that everything not connected with something prior to itself falls into nothing, still the sensuous of the body and the thought from this sensuous does not apprehend it, nor that each and all things subsist in the same way that they came into existence, by influx from the spiritual world, that is to say through the spiritual world from the Divine.
 4. Hence it is a fallacy of merely natural sense that there are simple substances, which are monads and atoms; for whatever is within the range of the external sensuous, the natural man believes to be a simple substance, or else nothing. 5. It is a fallacy of merely natural sense that all things are of nature and from nature, and that there indeed is something in purer or interior nature which is not apprehended; but if it is said that within or above nature there is what is spiritual and celestial, this is rejected; and it is believed that if it is not natural, it is nothing. 6. It is a fallacy of sense that only the body lives, and that its life perishes when it dies. The sensuous does not at all apprehend that the internal man is in every particular of the external man, and that the internal man is within nature, and in the spiritual world; hence it does not believe, because it does not apprehend, that the internal man will live after death unless it is again clothed with the body (n. 5078, 5079).
 7. Hence it is a fallacy of sense that man cannot live after death any more than the beasts, because these also have a life similar in many respects to that of man, man being only a more perfect animal. The sensuous, that is, the man who thinks and draws conclusions therefrom, does not apprehend that man is above the beasts and has a higher life, because he can thing not only about the causes of things, but also about the Divine, and can by faith and love be conjoined with the Divine, and also receive influx therefrom and make it his own, thus that as there is reciprocity in man there is also reception, as is by no means the case with beasts.
 8. It is a fallacy thence derived that the very living part of man, which is called the soul, is merely something ethereal, or flamy, which is dissipated when the man dies; and that it resides in the heart, or in the brain, or in some part of this, and from thence rules the body as if this were a machine. That the internal man is in every part of the external man, and that the eye does not see from itself, nor the ear hear from itself, but from the internal man, the sensuous man does not apprehend. 9. It is a fallacy of sense that light, and also heat, can come from no other source than the sun or elementary fire. That there is light in which is intelligence, and heat in which is heavenly love, and that all the angels are in this light and heat, the sensuous does not apprehend. 10. It is a fallacy of sense that man believes that he lives of himself, or that life has been imparted to him; for so it appears to the sensuous mind. That it is the Divine alone which has life of itself, and thus that there is only one life, and that the lives in the world are only recipient forms, the sensuous mind does not at all apprehend (n. 1954, 2706, 2886-2889, 2893, 3001, 3318, 3337, 3338, 3484, 3742, 3743, 4151, 4249, 4318-4320, 4417, 4523, 4524, 4882).
 11. The sensuous man believes from fallacy that adulteries are allowable; for from the sensuous he concludes that marriages are instituted merely in behalf of order for the sake of the education of the offspring; and that so long as this order is not destroyed, it is immaterial from whom the offspring comes; and also that what is of marriage differs from lasciviousness merely in its being allowed; thus also that it would not be contrary to order to marry more than one wife, if it were not forbidden by the Christian world from Holy Scripture. If they are told that there is a correspondence between the heavenly marriage and marriages on earth, and that no one can have in himself anything of marriage unless he is in spiritual truth and good, also that genuine marriage cannot possibly exist between a husband and several wives, and hence that marriages are in themselves holy, these things are rejected by the sensuous man as of no account. 12. It is a fallacy of sense that the Lord’s kingdom, or heaven, resembles an earthly kingdom in respect that the joy and happiness there consist in one being greater than another, and hence having more glory than another; for the sensuous does not at all comprehend what is meant by the least being greatest, or the last first. If they are told that joy in heaven or to the angels consists in serving others by benefiting them, without any thought of merit or recompense, this strikes them as something sad. 13. It is a fallacy of sense that good works merit reward, and that to benefit anyone for the sake of self is a good work. 14. It is also a fallacy of sense that man is saved by faith alone, and that faith can exist in one who has no charity, and also that it is the faith, and not the life, that remains after death. In like manner in very many other instances. When therefore what is sensuous rules in man, the rational enlightened from the Divine sees nothing and is in thick darkness, and it is then believed that everything is rational which is concluded from what is sensuous.
AC 5085. Unto the prison house. That this signifies among falsities, is evident from the signification of a "prison house," as being the vastation of falsity, and hence falsity (n. 4958, 5037, 5038).
AC 5086. The place where Joseph was bound. That this signifies the state of the celestial of the natural now as to these things, is evident from the signification of "place," as being state (n. 2625, 2837, 3356, 3387, 4321, 4882); from the representation of Joseph, as being the celestial of the spiritual from the rational (n. 4286, 4585, 4592, 4594, 4963), here the celestial of the natural, because now in the natural from which are temptations (n. 5035, 5039); and from the signification of "being bound," as being a state of temptations (n. 5037). In the foregoing chapter the subject treated of is the state of temptations of the celestial of the spiritual in the natural as to those things which were of the interior natural, and here as to those things which are of the exterior natural.
AC 5087. And the prince of the guards set Joseph over them. That this signifies that the celestial of the natural taught them from things primary for interpretation, is evident from the signification of the "prince of the guards," as being things primary for interpretation (n. 4790, 4966, 5084); from the representation of Joseph, as being the celestial of the natural (n. 5086); and from the signification of "to be set over," as here being to teach; for he who for the purpose of exploration or amendment is set over those things which are being rejected, performs the office of a teacher.
AC 5088. And he ministered to them. That this signifies that he instructed them, is evident from the signification of "ministering," as being to instruct. That "ministering" does not here mean ministering as a servant, is evident from the fact that Joseph was set over them, and therefore "to minister" here denotes to furnish the things which would be of benefit to them; and because the subject here treated of is the new natural or external sensuous, by "being set over" is signified to teach, and by "ministering" is signified to instruct. "To be set over" is predicated of the good which is of life; and to "minister" of the truth which is of doctrine (n. 4976).
AC 5089. And they were for days in custody. That this signifies that they were long in a state of rejection, is evident from the signification of "days," as being states (n. 23, 487, 488, 493, 893, 2788, 3462, 3785, 4850); here therefore "for days" means that they were long in the state of rejection which is signified by "custody" (n. 5083). The particulars which are contained in the internal sense cannot be here set forth more fully, because they are of such a nature that no idea can be formed of them from the things in this world; as for instance of the celestial of the spiritual man, and of its state in the natural when the interior natural is being made new, and afterward, when it has been made new and the exterior natural is rejected. But of these and similar things an idea may be formed from the things in heaven, which idea is such that it does not fall into any idea formed from the things in this world, except with those who while in thought can be withdrawn from sensuous things.
 Unless man‘s thought can be elevated above sensuous things, so that these are seen as below him, he cannot understand any interior thing in the Word, still less such things as are of heaven abstracted from those which are of the world; for sensuous things absorb and suffocate them. It is for this reason that those who are sensuous and have zealously devoted themselves to getting knowledges, rarely apprehend anything of the things of heaven; for they have immersed their thoughts in such things as are of the world, that is, in terms and distinctions drawn from these, thus in sensuous things, from which they can no longer be elevated and thus kept in a point of view above them; thus neither can their thought he any longer freely extended over the whole field of the things of the memory, so as to select what agrees and reject what is in opposition, and apply whatever is in connection; for as already said their thought is kept closed and immersed in terms, and thus in sensuous things, so that it cannot look around. This is the reason why the learned believe less than the simple, and are even less wise in heavenly things; for the simple can look at a thing above terms and above mere knowledges, thus above sensuous things; whereas the learned cannot do so, but look at everything from terms and knowledges, their mind being fixed in these things, and thus bound as in jail or in prison.GENESIS 40:1-4 - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|