Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 41:17-24
previous  -  next  -  text  -  summary  -  Genesis  -  BM Home  -  Full Page

AC 5258. Verses 17-24. And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph, In my dream behold I stood beside the bank of the river; and behold out of the river there came up seven kine, fat in flesh and beautiful in form, and they fed in the sedge; and behold seven other kine came up after them, thin and evil in form exceedingly, and lean in flesh, such as I have never seen in all the land of Egypt for badness; and the lean and evil kine did eat up the first seven fat kine, and they came to their inwards and it was not known that they had come to their inwards; and their look was bad as in the beginning. And I awoke. And I saw in my dream, and behold seven ears came up upon one stalk, fat and good; and behold seven ears, withered, thin, and parched with the east wind, sprung up after them; and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears; and I told it unto the magicians, and no one telleth it to me. "And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph," signifies the thought of the celestial of the spiritual from the natural; "In my dream," signifies what was foreseen in obscurity; "behold I stood beside the bank of the river," signifies from boundary to boundary; "and behold out of the river," signifies that in the boundary; "there came up seven kine," signifies truths of the natural; "fat in flesh," signifies that were of charity; "and beautiful in form," signifies that were of faith thence; "and they fed in the sedge," signifies instruction; "and behold seven other kine came up after them," signifies falsities that were of the natural, near; "thin and evil in form exceedingly," signifies that were empty and of no faith; "and lean in flesh," signifies that neither were of charity; "such as I have never seen in all the land of Egypt for badness," signifies such as could in no way be conjoined with truths and goods; "and the lean and evil kine did eat up," signifies that falsities not of charity nor of faith banished; "the first seven fat kine," signifies the truths of faith from charity; "and they came to their inwards," signifies interior banishment; "and it was not known that they had come to their inwards," signifies that the truths of good were no longer perceived; "and their look was bad as in the beginning," signifies that there was nothing of communication and conjunction; "and I awoke," signifies a state of enlightenment; "and I saw in my dream," signifies what was further foreseen in obscurity; "and behold seven ears came up upon one stalk," signifies memory-knowledges that were of the natural, conjoined; "full and good," signifies to which the things of faith and charity could be applied; "and behold seven ears, withered, thin, and parched with the east wind," signifies memory-knowledges of no use and full of cupidities; "sprung up after them," signifies appearing near; "and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears," signifies that the memory-knowledges of no use banished those that were of use; "and I told it unto the magicians," signifies a consultation with interior memory-knowledges; "and no one telleth it to me," signifies that nothing was perceived from them.

AC 5259. And Pharaoh spoke unto Joseph. That this signifies the thought of the celestial of the spiritual from the natural, is evident from what was said above (n. 5251), where similar words are used, save only that it is there written that "Pharaoh said unto Joseph," while here it is said that he "spake unto him;" for "saying" signifies perception, but "speaking" thought (n. 2271, 2287, 2619). That by "Pharaoh spake unto Joseph" is signified the thought of the celestial of the spiritual from the natural, and not the converse, is because what is exterior never thinks from itself, but from what is interior, or what is the same thing, what is lower does not think except from what is higher; although while the interior or higher is thinking in the exterior or lower, it appears as if the exterior or lower thought from itself, which however is a fallacy. It is like one who sees something in a mirror, and not knowing that a mirror is there, imagines that the object is where it appears to be, when yet it is not there.

[2] Now because the celestial of the spiritual is interior or higher, and the natural is exterior or lower, the thought of the celestial of the spiritual from the natural is signified in the internal sense by "Pharaoh spake unto Joseph." In a word, nothing that is beneath can do anything of itself; but that which it can do, it has from what is higher; and because this is so, it evidently follows that everything is from the Most High, that is, from the Divine. Consequently manís thinking from the understanding and acting from the will, he has from the Most High or from the Divine. But his thinking falsely and acting evilly comes from the form he has impressed upon himself; and his thinking truly and acting well is from the form he has received from the Lord; for it is known that one and the same power and energy produces different motions according to the configurations in the mediates and the extremes; thus in man, life from the Divine produces diverse thoughts and actions, according to the forms.

AC 5260. The things that follow in this series are almost the same as those before unfolded in this chapter (n. 5195-5217); and therefore any further unfolding is needless.

GENESIS 41:17-24    previous  -  next  -  text  -  summary  -  Genesis  -  Full Page

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