Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 40:16-19
AC 5139. Verses 16-19. And the prince of the bakers saw that he had interpreted good, and he said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and behold three baskets with holes in them upon my head; and in the uppermost basket there was of all food for Pharaoh, the work of the baker; and the bird did eat them out of the basket from upon my head. And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets three days are these. In yet three days shall Pharaoh lift off thy head from upon thee, and shall hang thee upon wood; and the bird shall eat thy flesh from upon thee. "And the prince of the bakers saw," signifies the perception of the sensuous that is subject to the will part; "that he had interpreted good," signifies what would happen; "and he said unto Joseph," signifies the perception of the celestial in the natural; "I also was in my dream," signifies prediction; "and behold three baskets," signifies the successives of things of the will; "with holes in them upon my head," signifies without termination anywhere in the middle; "and in the uppermost basket," signifies the inmost of the will part; "there was of all food for Pharaoh," signifies full of celestial good for the nourishment of the natural; "the work of the baker," signifies according to every use of the sensuous; "and the bird did eat them out of the basket from upon my head," signifies that falsity from evil consumed it; "and Joseph answered and said," signifies revelation from perception from the celestial in the natural; "This is the interpretation thereof," signifies what it had in it; "the three baskets," signifies the successives of the things of the will; "three days are these," signifies even to the last; "in yet three days," signifies that which is in the last; "shall Pharaoh lift off thy head from upon thee," signifies what is concluded from what is foreseen; "and shall hang thee upon wood," signifies rejection and damnation; "and the bird shall eat thy flesh from upon thee," signifies that the falsity from evil will consume what is of these sensuous things.
AC 5140. And the prince of the bakers saw. That this signifies the perception of the sensuous that is subject to the will part, is evident from the signification of "seeing," as being to understand and perceive (n. 2150, 2807, 3764, 4723); and from the signification of the "prince of the bakers," as being the sensuous in general subject to the will part, thus these sensuous things (n. 5078, 5082).
AC 5141. That he had interpreted good. That this signifies what would happen, is evident from the signification of "interpreting," as being what it had in it, or what there was therein (n. 5093, 5105, 5107, 5121); thus also what would happen. That good would happen, is the perception from the sensuous, which perception is comparatively obscure. There actually do exist perception from the sensuous or exterior natural, perception from the interior natural, and perception from the rational; for when a man is in interior thought from affection, and withdraws his mind from sensuous things and from the body, he is in rational perception; for then the things which are beneath, or which belong to the external man, are quiescent, and the man is almost in his spirit. But when man is in exterior thought, from causes which exist in the world, then his perception is from the interior natural, and the rational indeed flows in, but not with any life of affection. But when man is in pleasures, and in the delights of the love of the world and also of the love of self, the perception is from the sensuous; for his life is then in externals or in the body, and admits no more from the interiors than may serve to moderate his outbursts into what is dishonorable and unbecoming. But the more external the perception is, the more obscure it is, because exterior things are comparatively general, for innumerable interior things appear as one in the exterior.
AC 5142. And he said unto Joseph. That this signifies the perception of the celestial in the natural, is evident from the signification of "saying," in the historic parts of the Word, as being perception; and from the representation of Joseph, as being the celestial in the natural (n. 5086, 5087, 5106).
AC 5143. I also was in my dream. That this signifies prediction, is evident from the signification of a "dream," as being prediction concerning the event (n. 5092, 5104, 5112).
AC 5144. And behold three baskets. That this signifies the successives of the things of the will, is evident from the signification of "three," as being what is complete and continuous even to the end (n. 2788, 4495, 5114, 5122), thus what is successive; and from the signification of "baskets," as being things of the will. That "baskets" are things of the will is because they are vessels to hold food; and also because food signifies celestial and spiritual goods, and these are of the will; for all good pertains to the will, and all truth to the understanding. As soon as anything comes forth from the will, it is perceived as good. In what precedes, the sensuous subject to the intellectual part has been treated of, which was represented by the butler; what is now treated of is the sensuous subject to the will part, which is represented by the baker (n. 5077, 5078, 5082).
 What is successive or continuous in intellectual things was represented by the vine, its three shoots, its blossoms, clusters, and grapes; and finally the truth which is of the intellect was represented by the cup (n. 5120); but what is successive in the things of the will is represented by the three baskets on the head, in the uppermost of which there was of all food for Pharaoh, the work of the baker. By what is successive in the things of the will is meant what is successive from the inmosts of man down to his outermost, in which is the sensuous; for there are steps or degrees as of a ladder, from inmosts to outermosts (n. 5114). Into the inmost there flows good from the Lord, and this through the rational into the interior natural, and thence into the exterior natural or sensuous, in a distinct succession, as by the steps of a ladder; and in each degree it is qualified according to the reception. But the further nature of this influx and its succession will be shown in the following pages.
 "Baskets" signify the things of the will in so far as goods are therein, in other passages of the Word, as in Jeremiah:--
Jehovah showed me, when behold two baskets of figs set before the temple of Jehovah; in one basket exceedingly good figs, like the figs that are first ripe; but in the other basket exceedingly bad figs, which could not be eaten for badness (Jer. 24:1, 2);
here "basket" is expressed in the original by a different word, which signifies the will part in the natural; the "figs" in the one basket are natural goods; while those in the other are natural evils.
 In Moses:--
When thou art come into the land which Jehovah thy God will give thee, thou shalt take of the first ripe of all the fruit of the land, which thou shalt bring in from thy land, and thou shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which Jehovah shall choose. Then the priest shall take the basket out of thy hand, and set it before the altar of Jehovah thy God (Deut. 26:1, 2, 4);
here "basket" is expressed by still another word that signifies a new will part in the intellectual part; "the first ripe of the fruit of the earth" are the goods thence derived.
 In the same:--
For the sanctifying of Aaron and his sons, Moses was to take unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened mingled with oil, and wafers unleavened anointed with oil; of fine wheaten flour shalt thou make them. And thou shalt put them upon one basket, and bring them near in the basket. Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread in the basket, at the door of the tent of meeting (Exod. 29:2, 3, 32);
"basket" here is expressed by the same term as in the present chapter, signifying the will part in which are the goods signified by "bread," "cakes," "oil," "wafers," "Sour," and "wheat;" by the will part is meant the containant; for goods from the Lord flow into the interior forms of man, as into their vessels, which forms, if disposed for reception, are the "baskets" in which these goods are contained.
When a Nazirite was being inaugurated he was to take a basket of unleavened things of fine flour, cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, with their meat-offering, and their drink-offerings; a ram also he shall make a sacrifice of peace-offerings to Jehovah, besides the basket of unleavened things; and the priest shall take the boiled shoulder of the ram, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them upon the hand of the Nazirite, and the priest shall wave them with a waving before Jehovah (Num. 6:16, 17, 19, 20);
here also "basket" denotes the will part as the containant; the "cakes," the "wafers," the "oil," the "meat-offering," the "boiled shoulder of the ram," are celestial goods which were being represented; for the Nazirite represented the celestial man (n. 3301).
 At that time such things as were used in worship were carried in baskets; as was also the kid of the goats by Gideon, which he brought forth to the angel under the oak (Judges 6:19); and this for the reason that baskets represented the containants, and the things in the baskets, the contents.
AC 5145. With holes in them upon my head. That this signifies without termination anywhere in the middle, is evident from the signification of "with holes in them," as being open from highest to lowest, thus not closed, consequently without termination anywhere in the middle; and from the signification of the "head," as being the interiors, especially those of the will; for in the head are all substances and forms in their beginnings, and therefore all sensations tend thither and there present themselves, and all acts descend from it and take their origin. It is evident that the faculties of the mind, that is, of the understanding and the will, are there; and therefore by the "head" are signified the interiors. These baskets represented the things which are in the head.
 The sensuous things which are subject to the will part are now treated of, and by the "baskets with holes in them upon the head" is signified that the interiors were without termination anywhere in the middle, and for this reason these sensuous things were rejected and damned - as will be seen in what follows. But it may be well to state what is meant by being without termination anywhere in the middle. Man’s interiors are distinguished into degrees, and in each degree the interiors are terminated, and by termination are separated from the degree next below; it is thus from the inmost to the outermost. The interior rational constitutes the first degree; in this are the celestial angels, or in this is the inmost or third heaven. The exterior rational makes the second degree; in this are the spiritual angels, or in this is the middle or second heaven. The interior natural makes the third degree; in this are good spirits, or the ultimate or first heaven. The exterior natural; or the sensuous, makes the fourth degree; and in this is man. These degrees in man are most distinct.
 Thence it is that if he lives in good, a man is as to his interiors a heaven in the least form, or that his interiors correspond to the three heavens; and hence it is that if a man has lived a life of charity and love, he can be carried after death even into the third heaven. But that he may be of this character, it is necessary that all the degrees in him should be well terminated, and thus by means of terminations be distinct from one another; and when they are terminated, or by means of terminations are made distinct from one another, each degree is a plane in which the good which flows in from the Lord rests, and where it is received. Without these degrees as planes, good is not received, but flows through, as through a sieve or a basket that has holes in it, down to the sensuous, and then, being without any direction in the way, it is turned into a foulness which appears to those who are in it as good, namely, into the delight of the love of self and of the world, consequently into the delight of hatred, revenge, cruelty, adultery, and avarice, or into mere voluptuousness and luxury. This is the case if the things of man‘s will are without termination anywhere in the middle, or if they "have holes in them."
 It is quite possible to know whether there are these terminations and consequent planes; for the perceptions of good and truth, and of conscience, show this. With those who have perceptions of good and truth, as have the celestial angels, the terminations are from the first degree to the last; for without terminations of all the degrees, such perceptions are impossible. In regard to these perceptions, (n. 125, 202, 495, 503, 511, 536, 597, 607, 784, 865, 895, 1121, 1383, 1384, 1387, 1919, 2144, 2145, 2171, 2515, 2831). With those also who have conscience, as the spiritual angels have, there are terminations, but from the second degree or from the third to the last, the first degree being closed with these angels. It is said "from the second degree" or "from the third," because conscience is twofold, interior and exterior; interior conscience is that of spiritual good and truth, exterior conscience is that of what is just and equitable. Conscience itself is an interior plane in which the influx of the Divine good terminates. But they who have no conscience have not any interior plane to receive this influx; and with these persons good flows through down to the exterior natural or natural-sensuous; and as before said is there turned into foul delights. Sometimes these persons seem to feel a pain as of conscience, but it is not conscience; it is a pain arising from the loss of their delight, such as that of honor, gain, reputation, life, pleasures, or the friendship of people like themselves; and this is because the terminations are in delights like these. From all this it is evident what is signified in the spiritual sense by the baskets with holes in them.
 In the other life especially is it discerned whether the things of a man’s will have or have not been terminated. With those in whom they have been terminated there is zeal for spiritual good and truth, or for what is just and equitable, for these persons have done what is good for the sake of good or for the sake of truth, and have acted justly for the sake of what is just or equitable, and not for the sake of gain, honor, and things like these. All those with whom the interiors of the will have been terminated are taken up into heaven, for the Divine that flows in can lead them; whereas all those with whom the interior things of the will have not been terminated, betake themselves into hell; for the Divine flows through, and is turned into what is infernal, just as when the heat of the sun falls upon foul excrements, and causes a noisome stench. Consequently all who have had conscience are saved; but they who have had no conscience cannot be saved.
 The things of the will are said to have holes in them, or not to be terminated, when there is no affection of good and truth, or of what is just and equitable; and also when these things are regarded as comparatively worthless or as nothing, or are valued solely for the sake of securing gain or honor. The affections are what terminate and close, and are therefore called "bonds" - affections of good and truth "internal bonds," and affections of evil and falsity "external bonds" (n. 3835). Unless the affections of evil and falsity were bonds, the man would be insane (n. 4217); for insanities are nothing else than the loosenings of such bonds; thus they are non-terminations in such persons; but as in these persons there are no internal bonds, they are inwardly insane in respect to the thoughts and affections, while restrained from breaking out by external bonds, which are affections of gain and honor, and of reputation as a means of acquiring these, and the consequent fear of the law and of the loss of life. This was represented in the Jewish Church by the fact that every open vessel in the house of a dead person upon which there was no cloth cover was unclean (Num. 19:15).
 Similar things are signified by "works full of holes" in Isaiah:--
They that make thread of silks, and they that weave works full of holes, shall blush; and the foundations thereof shall be broken in pieces, all they that make hire pools of the soul (Isa. 19:9, 10);
and by "holes" in Ezekiel:--
The spirit brought the prophet to the door of the court; where he saw, and behold a hole in the wall; and he said unto him, Come bore a hole through the wall; be therefore bored through the wall, and behold a door; then said he unto him, Go in and see the abominations that they do here. When he went in and saw, behold every figure of creeping thing and beast, an abomination, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the walls round about (Ezek. 8:7-10).
AC 5146. And in the uppermost basket. That this signifies the inmost of the will part, is evident from the signification of a" basket," as being the will part (n. 5144); and from the signification of "the uppermost," as being the inmost (n. 2148, 3084, 4599). The reason why the "uppermost" denotes the inmost is that with man who is in space, interior things appear as higher things, and exterior things as lower ones; but when the idea of space is put off, as is the case in heaven and also in the interior thought of man, there is then put off the idea of what is high and what is low; for height and depth come from the idea of space. Nay, in the interior heaven there is no idea of things interior and exterior, because something of space adheres to this idea also; but there is the idea of more perfect or more imperfect state; for interior things are in a more perfect state than exterior ones, because interior things are nearer the Divine, and exterior things are more remote from it. This is the reason why what is uppermost signifies what is inmost.
 Nevertheless no one can apprehend what the interior is relatively to the exterior unless he knows how the case stands with degrees (n. 3691, 4154, 5114, 5145). Man has no other conception of what is interior and hence more perfect than as of what is purer in continual diminution; but the purer and the grosser are possible in one and the same degree, both according to the expansion and the contraction, and according to the determinations, and also according to the insertions of things homogeneous or heterogeneous. As such an idea prevails about the interior of man, it is quite impossible to avoid the notion that the exteriors are continuously coherent with the interiors, and thus act with them absolutely as a one. But if a genuine idea about degrees is formed, it is then possible to see how the interiors and the exteriors are distinct from one another, and that they are so distinct that the interiors can come into existence and subsist without the exteriors, but by no means the exteriors without the interiors. It is also then possible to see how the case stands with the correspondence of the interiors in the exteriors, and also how the exteriors can represent the interiors. This is the reason why the learned can treat hypothetically only of the intercourse between the soul and the body; nay, this is also the reason why many of them believe life to be in the body, so that when the body dies, they believe that they will die as to the interiors also, on account of the coherence of these with the body, when yet it is only the exterior degree that dies, the interior then surviving and living.
AC 5147. There was of all food for Pharaoh. That this signifies full of celestial good for the nourishment of the natural, is evident from the signification of "food," as being celestial good; and from the representation of Pharaoh, as being the interior natural (n. 5080, 5095), and also the natural in general; for when they correspond the interior and exterior natural make a one; and as food is for nourishment, by the words "there was of all food for Pharaoh" is signified full of celestial good for the nourishment of the natural. It is said that this food was in the uppermost basket; and by this is signified that the inmost of the will part was full of celestial good. For good from the Lord flows in through man‘s inmost, and thence through degrees as by the steps of a ladder to the exteriors; for the inmost is relatively in the most perfect state, and therefore can receive good immediately from the Lord; but not so the lower things. If these were to receive good from the Lord immediately, they would either obscure it or pervert it, for they are relatively more imperfect.
 As regards the influx of celestial good from the Lord, and its reception, he it known that man’s will part receives good, and his intellectual receives truth, and that the intellectual can by no means receive truth so as to make it its own, unless at the same time the will part receives good; and conversely; for the one flows in this way into the other, and disposes it to receive. The things of the intellect may be compared to forms which are continually varying, and the things of the will to the harmonies that result from this variation; consequently truths may be compared to variations, and goods to the delights therefrom; and as this is eminently the case with truths and goods, it is evident that the one is impossible without the other, and also that the one cannot be produced except by means of the other.
 That "food" signifies celestial good, is because the food of the angels is nothing else than the goods of love and of charity, by which they are not only made alive, but are also refreshed. These goods in act, or the practice of them, serve especially for the refreshment of the angels, because they are their desires; and it is known that when the desires are realized in act, they afford refreshment and life. That such things yield nourishment to the spirit of man, while material food yields nourishment to his body, may also be seen from the fact that food without delights conduces but little to nourishment, but together with delights it nourishes. It is the delights that open the passages or ducts which receive the food and convey it into the blood; whereas things undelightful close them. With the angels these delights are the goods of love and of charity, and from this it can be inferred that they are spiritual foods which correspond to earthly foods. As goods are food, so truths are drink.
 "Food" is mentioned in many places in the Word, and one who is not acquainted with the internal sense cannot know but that ordinary food is there meant, whereas it is spiritual food; as in Jeremiah:--
All the people groan, seeking bread; they have given their desirable things for food, to refresh the soul (Lam. 1:11).
Everyone that thirsteth, go ye to the waters, and he that hath no silver, go ye, buy, and eat; yea, go, buy wine and milk without silver and without price (Isa. 55:1).
The day of Jehovah is near, and as devastation from the Thunderer shall it come. Is not the food cut off before our eyes? gladness and joy from the house of our God? The grains have rotted under their clods; the garners are devastated, the barns are destroyed, because the corn is withered (Joel 1:15-17).
Our garners are full, bringing forth from food to food; our flocks are thousands and ten thousands in our streets. There is no cry in our streets; blessed is the people that is in such a case (Ps. 144:13-15).
All things wait for Thee, that Thou mayest give them their food in its time. Thou givest them, they gather; Thou openest Thy hand, they are sated with good (Ps. 104:27, 28).
 In these passages celestial and spiritual food is meant in the internal sense, while material food is meant in the sense of the letter. From this it is plain in what manner the interiors and exteriors of the Word, or those things therein which are of the spirit, and those which are of the letter, correspond to each other; so that while man understands these things according to the sense of the letter, the angels with hint understand them according to the spiritual sense The Word has been so written as to serve not only the human race, but also heaven; for which reason all the expressions therein are significative of heavenly things, and all the things are representative of them, and this even to the least jot.
 That "food" in the spiritual sense is good, the Lord also plainly teaches in John:--
Labor not for the food that perisheth, but for the food that abideth into life eternal, which the Son of man shall give to you (John 6:27).
My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink (John 6:55);
where "flesh" is the Divine good (n. 3813); and "blood" is the Divine truth (n. 4735). And again:--
Jesus said to His disciples, I have food to eat that ye know not. The disciples said one to another, Hath any man brought Him aught to eat? Jesus saith to them, My food is that I do the will of Him that sent Me, and that I perfect His work (John 4:32-34);
"to do the will of the Father, and to perfect His work," is the Divine good in act or exercise, which as before said in the genuine sense is "food."
AC 5148. The work of the baker. That this signifies according to every use of the sensuous, is evident from the signification of "work," as being according to every use; and from the signification of a "baker," as being the sensuous subject to the will part (n. 5078, 5082). The reason why "work" denotes use is that it is predicated of the will part, or of the sensuous subject to the will part; and whatever is done by means of this, and can be called "work," must be use. All the works of charity are nothing else, for works of charity are works from the will that are uses.
AC 5149. And the bird did eat them out of the basket from upon my head. That this signifies that falsity from evil consumed it, is evident from the signification of "the bird" as being intellectual things, and also thoughts, consequently the things thence derived; namely, in the genuine sense truths of every kind, and in the opposite sense falsities (n. 40, 745, 776, 778, 866, 988, 3219); and from the signification of "eating," as being to consume (in the original tongue also, the word "eat" means to consume); and from the signification of a "basket," as being the will part (n. 5144, 5146), here evil from the will part, because the basket had holes in it (n. 5145). From this it follows that by the "bird eating out of the basket from upon the head" is signified that falsity from evil consumed.
 There is falsity from two origins--falsity of doctrine, and falsity of evil. Falsity of doctrine does not consume goods, for a man may be in falsity of doctrine, and yet in good, and therefore men of every doctrine, even Gentiles, are saved; but the falsity of evil is that which consumes goods. Evil in itself is opposite to good, yet by itself it does not consume goods, but by means of falsity, for falsity attacks the truths which belong to good, because truths are as it were outworks that encompass good. These outworks are assaulted by means of falsity, and when these are assaulted good is given to destruction.
 One who does not know that "birds" signify things of the intellect, cannot know otherwise than that where "birds" are mentioned in the Word, either birds are meant, or else they are used by way of comparison, as in common speech. Except from the internal sense no one can know that by "birds" are meant things of the understanding such as thoughts, ideas, reasonings, principles, consequently truths or falsities; as in Luke:--
The kingdom of God is like unto a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew and became a great tree; so that the birds of the heaven dwelt in the branches of it (Luke 13:19);
the "birds of the heaven" here denotes truths.
 In Ezekiel:--
It shall go forth into a magnificent cedar; and under it shall dwell every bird of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell (Ezek. 17:23);
"bird of every wing" denotes truths of every kind. And again:--
Asshur was a cedar in Lebanon. All the birds of the heavens made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches all the beasts of the field brought forth, and in his shadow dwelt all great nations (Ezek. 31:3, 6);
"birds of the heavens" in like manner denote truths.
Upon his ruin all the birds of the heavens shall dwell, and all the wild animals of the field shall be upon his branches (Ezek. 31:13);
where "birds of the heavens" denote falsities. In Daniel:--
Nebuchadnezzar saw in a dream; behold a tree in the midst of the earth; the beast of the field had shadow under it, and the bird of the heaven dwelt in the branch thereof (Daniel 4:10, 12, 18);
where again "birds of the heaven" denote falsities.
 In Jeremiah:--
I beheld and lo there was no man, and all the birds of the heaven were fled (Jer. 4:25);
"no man" denotes no good (n. 4287); the "birds of the heaven that were fled" denotes that truths were dispersed. Again:--
From the bird of the heavens, even to the beast, they are fled, they are gone (Jer. 9:10);
where the meaning is similar. And in Matthew:--
The sower went forth to sow; and some seeds fell upon the hard way, and the birds came and devoured them (Matthew 13:3, 4);
where "birds" denote reasonings, and also falsities. The meaning is similar in many other passages.
AC 5150. And Joseph answered and said. That this signifies revelation from perception, from the celestial in the natural, is evident from the signification of "answering and saying," as being revelation from perception (n. 5121); and from the representation of Joseph, as being the celestial in the natural (n. 5086, 5087, 5106). That here "Joseph" is the celestial in the natural, is because the subject here treated of is the natural. In regard to the celestial and the spiritual the case is this. The celestial itself and the spiritual itself which flow into heaven from the Divine of the Lord dwell principally in the interior rational; for there the forms are more perfect, and are accommodated to reception; nevertheless the celestial and spiritual from the Divine of the Lord flow into the exterior rational also, and likewise into the natural; and this both mediately and immediately--mediately through the interior rational, and immediately from the Lord‘s very Divine. That which flows in immediately disposes, and that which flows in mediately is disposed. This is the case in the exterior rational, and in the natural; and hence it is evident what is meant by the celestial in the natural.
 The celestial is from the Divine good, and the spiritual is from the Divine truth, both of them being from the Lord; and when these are in the rational they are called the celestial and the spiritual in the rational; and when in the natural, the celestial and the spiritual in the natural. By the "rational" and the "natural" is meant the man himself, in so far as he is formed to receive the celestial and the spiritual; but by the "rational" is meant his internal, and by the "natural" his external. Through influx and according to the reception, a man is called celestial or spiritual--celestial if the Lord’s Divine good is received in the will part, spiritual if it in received in the intellectual part.
AC 5151. This is the interpretation thereof. That this signifies what (the dream) had in it, is evident from the signification of "interpretation," as being what it has in it, or what is therein (n. 5093, 5105, 5107).
AC 5152. The three baskets. That this signifies the successives of the things of the will, is evident from the signification of "three baskets," as being the successives of the things of the will (n. 5144).
AC 5153. Three days are these. That this signifies even to the last, is evident from the signification of "three," as being one period and its continuous progression from beginning to end, thus even to the last (n. 2788, 4495, 5122).
AC 5154. In yet three days. That this signifies that which is in the last, is evident from what was said just above (n. 5152) about the signification of "three."
AC 5155. Shall Pharaoh lift off thy head from upon thee. That this signifies what is concluded from what is foreseen, is evident from the signification of "lifting off the head," as being what is provided and therefore concluded, or what is concluded from what is provided (n. 5124); but here from what is foreseen, because the statement follows that the baker should be hanged upon wood, by which is signified rejection and damnation. The reason why what is concluded from what is foreseen (not from what is provided), is signified is that providence is predicated of good, but foresight of evil; for all good flows in from the Lord, and therefore this is provided; but all evil is from hell, or from man‘s own which makes one with hell; and therefore this is foreseen. As regards evil, Providence is nothing but the direction or determination of evil to less evil, and as far as possible to good; but the evil itself is foreseen. In the present instance it is foresight that is signified, because the subject treated of is the sensuous that is subject to the will part and its rejection on account of evil.
AC 5156. And shall hang thee upon wood. That this signifies rejection and damnation, is evident from the signification of "being hanged upon wood," as being rejection and damnation; for hanging upon wood was a curse, and a curse is a rejection from the Divine, consequently damnation that hanging upon wood was a curse, is evident in Moses:--
When there shall be in a man a crime of judgment of death, and he be put to death, so that thou hangest him upon wood, his carcass shall not remain all night upon the wood, but burying thou shalt bury him the same day, for he that is hanged is the curse of God; that thou defile not the land which Jehovah thy God will give thee for an inheritance (Deut. 21:22, 23);
that he "should not remain all night upon the wood" signified perpetual rejection; for in the evening the day began anew, and therefore unless they who had been hanged were cast away before evening, it would have represented that evil was not rejected, and consequently that the land was not freed from it, but was defiled; and therefore it is added, "that thou defile not the lad which Jehovah thy God giveth thee for an inheritance." That the hanged remained until evening and no longer may be seen in (Joshua 8:29; 10:26). Among the Jewish nation there were two main penalties--stoning and hanging. Stoning was on account of falsity, and hanging upon wood was on account of evil; and this because "stone" is truth (n. 643, 1298, 3720), and in the opposite sense falsity; and "wood" is good (n. 2784, 2812, 3720), and in the opposite sense evil; and therefore in the prophetic Word mention is occasionally made of "committing adultery with stone and wood," whereby is signified the perversion of truth, which is falsity, and the adulteration of good, which is evil.
AC 5157. And the bird shall eat thy flesh from upon thee. That this signifies that the falsity of evil will consume what is of these sensuous things, is evident from the signification of "eating," as being to consume (n. 5149); and from the signification of "bird," as being falsity (n. 5149); and from the signification of "flesh," as being good (n. 3812, 3813), and hence in the opposite sense evil; for most of the expressions in the Word have also an opposite sense, which is known from their signification in the genuine sense; and from the signification of "from upon thee," as being from the sensuous things subject to the will part, for these are represented by the baker (n. 5078, 5082). That these were evil, and therefore to be rejected, is evident from what goes before.
 How the case is in regard to this--that the sensuous things subject to the intellectual part which are represented by the butler, were retained, and that the sensuous things subject to the will part which are represented by the baker, were rejected-- is a secret that without enlightenment cannot be comprehended, but what follows may help to throw light upon it. By sensuous things are meant those memory-knowledges and those delights which have been insinuated through the five external or bodily senses into man’s memory and into his desires, and which together constitute the exterior natural, from which a man is called a sensuous man. These memory-knowledges are subject to the intellectual part, but the delights are subject to the will part; the memory-knowledges also bear relation to the truths which are of the understanding, and the delights to the goods which are of the will; the former are what are represented by the butler and were retained, and the latter are what are represented by the baker and were rejected.
 The reason why the former were retained is that for a time they could agree with intellectual things; and the reason why the latter were rejected is that they could not possibly agree. For the will part in the Lord (who is the subject here treated of in the supreme internal sense) was Divine from conception, and was the Divine good itself; but the will part that He had by birth from the mother was evil; and therefore this was to be rejected, and in its place a new one was to be procured from the Divine will part by means of the intellectual, or from the Divine good by means of the Divine truth, thus from His own power. This is the secret that is here described in the internal sense.GENESIS 40:16-19 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|