Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 40:20-23
AC 5158. Verses 20-23. And it came to pass on the third day, on Pharaoh‘s birthday, and he made a feast to all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the prince of the butlers and the head of the prince of the bakers in the midst of his servants. And he brought back the prince of the butlers upon his butlership, and he gave the cup upon Pharaoh’s palm; and he hanged the prince of the bakers; as Joseph interpreted to them. And the prince of the butlers did not remember Joseph, and he forgot him. "And it came to pass on the third day," signifies in the last; "on Pharaoh‘s birthday," signifies when the natural was being regenerated; "and he made a feast to all his servants," signifies initiation and conjunction with the exterior natural; "and he lifted up the head," signifies according to what was provided and foreseen; "of the prince of the butlers and the head of the prince of the bakers," signifies concerning the sensuous things subject to both parts, the intellectual part and the will part; "in the midst of his servants," signifies which were among those things that were in the exterior natural; "and he brought back the prince of the butlers upon his butlership," signifies that the sensuous things of the intellectual part were received and made subordinate; "and he gave the cup upon Pharaoh’s palm," signifies instrumental to the interior natural; "and he hanged the prince of the bakers," signifies that the sensuous things of the will part were rejected; "as Joseph interpreted to them," signifies prediction from the celestial in the natural; "and the prince of the butlers did not remember Joseph," signifies that there was not as yet conjunction in every way with the celestial of the natural; "and he forgot him," signifies removal.
AC 5159. And it came to pass on the third day. That this signifies in the last, is evident from the signification of the "third day," as being the last of a state, for "day" is state (n. 23, 487, 488, 493, 893, 2788, 3462, 3785, 4850), and the "third" is what is complete, thus the last (n. 1825, 2788, 4495). By the last of a state is meant when a prior state comes to an end and a new one begins. A new state begins in the man who is being regenerated, when the order is changed, as takes place when interior things obtain dominion over exterior things, and the exterior things begin to serve the interior, both as to the things of the intellect and as to those of the will. With those who are being regenerated, this is observed from the fact that something within dissuades them from allowing sensuous delights and bodily or earthly pleasures to reign, and to draw over to their side the things of the intellect to confirm them; and when this is the case the prior state is at its last, and the new state is at its first. Such is the signification of "on the third day."
 With every man, whether being regenerated or not, there come forth changes of state, and also inversions; but in one way with those who are being regenerated, and in another way with those who are not being regenerated. With those who are not being regenerated, these changes or inversions are owing to causes in the body, and to causes in civil life. The causes in the body are the cupidities that come with the time of life and pass away with the time of life, and are also reflections on the health of the body and long life in the world; the causes in civil life are seeming outward bridlings of cupidities, chiefly in order to acquire the reputation of being wise and of loving justice and goodness, but with the end of getting honors and gain; whereas with those who are being regenerated, the changes or inversions are effected for spiritual reasons, which proceed from goodness and justice itself; and when the man begins to be affected with these, he is at the end of the prior state, and at the beginning of a new one.
 But as few are able to know how the case herein is, it shall be illustrated by an example. He who does not suffer himself to be regenerated, loves the things of the body for the sake of the body, and for no other end, and he also loves the world for the sake of the world, rising no higher because at heart be denies all that is higher or interior. But on the other hand one who is being regenerated likewise loves the things of the body and also the things of the world, but for a higher or more interior end; for he loves the things of the body with the end of having a sound mind in a sound body, and he loves his mind and its soundness with an end still more interior--that he may relish (or be wise in) good and understand truth. Like other men he too loves the things of the world; but he loves them for the sake of the end that through the world, its wealth, possessions, and honors, he may have the means of doing what is good and true, and what is just and fair.
 This example shows the respective qualities of those who are not being regenerated and of those who are: and that in the outward form they appear alike, but that in the internal form they are wholly unlike. And from what has been said it is also evident what are the reasons, and of what nature these are, that produce the changes and inversions of state in both these classes of persons. And it can further be seen that in the regenerate interior things have dominion over exterior things, while in the unregenerate exterior things have dominion over interior things. It is the ends in a man that have the dominion, for the ends subordinate and subject to themselves all things that are in him. His veriest life is from no other source than his end, because his end is always his love.
AC 5160. On Pharaoh‘s birthday. That this signifies when the natural was being regenerated, is evident from the signification of "being born," as being to be regenerated; and from the representation of Pharaoh, as being the interior natural (n. 5080, 5095), here the natural in general, because with the regenerate the interior and the exterior natural act as a one through their mutual correspondence. "To be born" is to be regenerated because spiritual things are meant in the internal sense, and spiritual birth is regeneration, which is also called rebirth; and therefore when "birth" is mentioned in the Word, no other birth is understood in heaven than that which is effected by "water and the spirit," that is, through faith and charity; because it is by his being born again or regenerated that man becomes man, and is wholly distinguished from the brutes; for he then becomes a son and heir of the Lord’s kingdom. Spiritual births are signified by the births which are mentioned in the Word, (n. 1145, 1255, 3860, 3868, 4070, 4668),
AC 5161. And he made a feast to all his servants. That this signifies initiation and conjunction with the exterior natural, is evident from the signification of a "feast," as being initiation to conjunction (n. 3832), and also conjunction through love, and appropriation (n. 3596); and from the signification of "servants," as being the things of the exterior natural. For when man is being regenerated lower things are subordinated and subjected to higher, or exterior things to interior, the exterior things then becoming servants, and the interior, masters. Such is the signification of "servants" in the Word (n. 2541, 3019, 3020); but they become such servants as are loved by the Lord; for it is mutual love that conjoins them, and causes their service not to be perceived as such, but as compliance from the heart; for good flows in from within, and produces in it this delight. In old time feasts were held for various reasons, and by them was signified initiation into mutual love, and thus conjunction. They were also held on birthdays; and then represented the new birth, or regeneration, which is the conjunction of the interiors with the exteriors in man through love, consequently is the conjunction of heaven with the world in him; for what is worldly or natural in man is then conjoined with what is spiritual and celestial.
AC 5162. And he lifted up the head. That this signifies according to what is provided and foreseen, is evident from the signification of "lifting up the head," as being what is concluded from what is provided, and also from what is foreseen (n. 5124, 5155). This was provided in respect to the sensuous subject to the intellectual part, and retained as good, which is represented by the butler; and it was foreseen in respect to the sensuous subject to the will part, and rejected as evil, which is represented by the baker. For good is provided and evil is foreseen, because all good is from the Lord, and all evil is from hell, or from man‘s own. Man’s own is nothing but evil, (n. 210, 215, 694, 874-876, 987, 1023, 1044, 1047, 1581, 3812, 4328).
AC 5163. Of the prince of the butlers, and the head of the prince of the bakers. That this signifies concerning the sensuous things subject to both parts, the intellectual part and the will part, is evident from the representation of the butler, as being the sensuous subject to the intellectual part (n. 5077, 5082); and from the representation of the baker, as being the sensuous subject to the will part (n. 5078, 5082).
AC 5164. In the midst of his servants. That this signifies that were among those things that were in the exterior natural, is evident from the signification of "in the midst," as being among them; and from the signification of "servants," as being the things in the exterior natural (n. 5161). In the Word all things are called "servants" that are beneath and are therefore subordinate and subject to what is higher, just as those things which are of the exterior natural, or the sensuous things therein, are in respect to the interior natural; and the things of the latter also are called "servants" in respect to the rational; and consequently all things in man both in general and in particular, and equally so whether inmost or outmost, are called "servants" relatively to the Divine, for this is supreme.
 The "servants" here, in the midst of whom Pharaoh the king executed judgment upon the butler and the baker, were the princes and grandees of the palace; and the reason why these, like other subjects of every condition, are called "servants" relatively to the king (as is also the case in every kingdom at this day) is that royalty represents the Lord as to Divine truth (n. 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670, 4581, 4966, 5068), in respect to whom all are alike servants, whatever their condition may be; and in the Lord‘s kingdom or heaven they who are the greatest (that is, they who are inmost) are servants more than others, because they are in the greatest obedience, and in deeper humiliation than the rest; for these are they who are meant by the "least that shall be greatest," and by the "last that shall be first":--
The first shall be last, and the last shall be first (Matt. 19:30; 20:16; Mark 10:31; Luke 13:30).
He that is least among you the same shall be great (Luke 9:48);
and also by the "great who should be ministers," and by the "first who should be servants:"--
Whosoever would be great among you shall be your minister; and whosoever would be first of you, shall be servant of all (Mark 10:44; Matt. 20:26, 27).
 They are called "servants" relatively to the Divine truth which is from the Lord, and "ministers" relatively to the Divine good which is from Him. The reason why the "last who are first" are servants more fully than others is that they know, acknowledge, and perceive, that everything of life, and consequently everything of power which they have, is from the Lord and not at all from themselves; whereas they who do not perceive this, because they do not so acknowledge, are also servants, yet more in the acknowledgment of the lips than of the heart. But they who are in what is contrary call themselves "servants" relatively to the Divine, and yet desire to be masters; for they are indignant and angry if the Divine does not favor them and as it were obey them; and at last they are opposed to the Divine, and take away all power from the Divine, and attribute all things to themselves. There are very many of this character within the church, who deny the Lord, and say they acknowledge one supreme Being.
AC 5165. And he brought back the prince of the butlers upon his butlership. That this signifies that the sensuous things of the intellectual part were received and made subordinate, is evident from the representation of the prince of the butlers, as being in general the sensuous things subject to the intellectual part; and from the signification of "bringing back upon his butlership," as being to reduce into order under the intellectual. "To bring back upon a station" is to reduce into order so as to be in the last place, (n. 5125). It is here said "upon the butlership," because the butlership and the things relating to it, such as wine, new wine, strong drink, and water, are predicated of what belongs to the understanding, as also are drinking and giving to drink (n. 3069, 3168, 3772, 4017); hence it is plain that by "bringing back the prince of the butlers upon his butlership" is signified reducing into order the sensuous things of the intellectual part, and thus receiving them and making them subordinate.
 These sensuous things are received and made subordinate when they minister and serve as means to interior things, both for bringing forth into act and for seeing inwardly; for man sees interior things in the sensuous things of the exterior natural almost as he sees affections in the face, and those still more interior in the eyes. Without such an interior face, or without such a plane, a man in the body cannot think at all of what is above sensuous things, for he sees what is above as one sees the affections and thoughts of another in his face, while not attending to the face itself; and as when one hears another speak, while not attending to the words, but to the sense of what is said, the very speaking of the words being the plane in which that sense is. It is similar with the exterior natural; unless this served interior things as a plane in which they see themselves as in a mirror, man could not think at all; and therefore this plane is formed first, even from infancy. But these matters are unknown, because that which comes forth interiorly in man does not come to view except by interior reflection.
 The quality of the exterior natural is very manifest in the other life, for the faces of spirits and angels are formed from it and according to it. In the light of heaven the interiors, and especially the intentions or ends, shine forth through that face. If love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor have formed the interiors, there is a consequent resplendence in the face, and the face itself is love and charity in form; but if the love of self and of the world, and the derivative hatred, revenge, cruelty, and the like, have formed the interiors, there is a consequent diabolical expression in the face, and the face itself is hatred, revenge, and cruelty in form. From this it is evident what the exterior natural is and what is its use, and also what it is when made subject to interior things, and what it is when interior things are made subject to it.
AC 5166. And he gave the cup upon Pharaoh’s palm. That this signifies instrumental to the interior natural, is evident from what has been said above, (n. 5126), where similar words occur.
AC 5167. And he hanged the prince of the bakers. That this signifies that the sensuous things of the will part were rejected, is also evident from what has been unfolded above (n. 5156), where similar words are used.
AC 5168. As Joseph interpreted to them. That this signifies prediction from the celestial in the natural, is evident from the signification of "interpreting," as being to say what the dream has in it, or what is within it, and also what would happen (n. 5093, 5105, 5107, 5141), thus to predict; and from the representation of Joseph, as being the celestial in the natural (n. 5086, 5087, 5106). How it was that the sensuous things of the intellectual part were retained, and those of the will part rejected, may be seen above (n. 5157).
 The subject treated of in the internal sense of this chapter is the subordination of the exterior natural, which is to be made subordinate in order that it may serve the interior natural as a plane (n. 5165); for unless it is made subordinate, interior truths and goods, and consequently interior thoughts which have in them what is spiritual and celestial, have not anything in which they can be represented; for they are presented in the exterior natural as in their face, or as in a mirror; and therefore when there is no subordination the man can have no interior thought; nay, he cannot have any faith; for there is no comprehension, whether distant or eminent, and therefore no perception of such things. The only thing that can make the natural subordinate, and reduce it to correspondence, is the good in which there is innocence, which good in the Word is called "charity." Sensuous things and memory-knowledges are only the means into which this good may flow, and in which it may present itself in form, and unfold itself for every use; but without this good in them, memory-knowledges, even if the very truths of faith, are nothing but scales among filth, which fall off.
 But how through good by means of memory-knowledges and truths of faith exterior things are reduced into order, and to correspondence with interior things, is at this day further from apprehension than it was formerly; and this for several reasons, the chief of which is that at this day there is no longer charity within the church; for it is the last time of the church, and therefore there is no affection of knowing such things. For this reason somewhat of aversion at once shows itself when anything is said that is within or above sensuous things, and consequently when anything of angelic wisdom is set forth. But as such things are in the internal sense (for the things contained in this sense are adapted to angelic wisdom), and as the Word is now being unfolded in respect to the internal sense, they must be declared, however remote they will appear from what is sensuous.
AC 5169. And the prince of the butlers did not remember Joseph. That this signifies that there was not as yet conjunction in every way with the celestial of the natural, is evident from the signification of "remembering Joseph," as being the reception of faith (n. 5130), and consequently conjunction, because conjunction is effected by means of faith; here therefore "not remembering" means that there was not as yet conjunction in every way; and from the representation of the prince of the butlers, as being the sensuous of the intellectual part; and from the representation of Joseph, as being the celestial of the natural.
AC 5170. And he forgot him. That this signifies removal, is evident from the signification of "forgetting," when not remembering is non-conjunction, as being removal; for it is according to non-conjunction that removal takes place. That which falls into oblivion is also removed. And such also is the case with the sensuous things subject to the intellectual part, for those which are retained are not therefore conjoined, for they are not yet free from fallacies, but as fast as they are purified they are conjoined. Of this however more will be said in the following chapter, where the butler is said to have remembered Joseph.