Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 41:25-27
AC 5261. Verses 25-27. And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one; what God doeth He hath shown to Pharaoh. The seven good kine are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dream is one. And the seven thin and evil kine that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears parched with the east wind shall be seven years off famine. "And Joseph said unto Pharaoh," signifies the perception of the natural from the celestial of the spiritual; "the dream of Pharaoh is one," signifies the like in both, foreseen; "what God doeth He hath shown to Pharaoh," signifies what was provided, that it was given the natural to perceive; "the seven good kine are seven years," signifies states of the multiplication of truth in the interior natural; "and the seven good ears are seven years," signifies states of the multiplication of truth in the exterior natural; "the dream is one," signifies that there will be both by conjunction; "and the seven thin and evil kine that came up after them are seven years," signifies states of the multiplication of falsity that infests the interior natural; "and the seven empty ears parched with the east wind," signifies states of the multiplication of falsity that infests the exterior natural; "shall be seven years of famine," signifies hence a lack and seeming privation of truth
AC 5262. And Joseph said unto Pharaoh. That this signifies the perception of the natural from the celestial of the spiritual, is evident from the signification of "saying" in the historicals of the Word, as being to perceive; from the representation of Joseph, as being the celestial of the spiritual; and from the representation of Pharaoh, as being the natural, of all which often before.
AC 5263. The dream of Pharaoh is one. That this signifies the like in both, foreseen, is evident from the signification of a "dream," as being what is foreseen (n. 3698, 5091, 5092, 5104, 5233); from the representation of Pharaoh as being the natural (n. 5079, 5080, 5095, 5160); and from the signification of "is one," as here being the like in both, namely, in the interior and the exterior natural. That the natural is twofold may be seen above (n. 5118, 5126); for what Pharaoh dreamed about the kine was foreseen concerning the interior natural, and what he dreamed about the ears of corn was foreseen concerning the exterior natural; and because both naturals should act as one by conjunction, the like in both is signified.
AC 5264. What God doeth He hath shown to Pharaoh. That this signifies what was provided, that it was given the natural to perceive, is evident from the signification of "what God doeth," as being what is provided; from the signification of "showing," as being to communicate and give to perceive (n. 3608, 4856); and from the representation of Pharaoh, as being the natural (n. 5263). From this it is plain that by, "what God doeth He hath shown to Pharaoh," is signified what was provided, that it was given the natural to perceive. That "what God doeth" is what is provided, is because everything that God (that is, the Lord) does, is providence, which being from the Divine has within it what is eternal and infinite--what is eternal, because it does not look to any terminus from which, nor to any terminus to which, it proceeds; and what is infinite, because it simultaneously regards what is infinite in every singular, and every singular in what is universal. This is called "providence;" and because there is such a quality in each and all things the Lord does, therefore His doing cannot be expressed by any other word than "providence." That in each and all things the Lord does there is what is infinite and eternal, will of the Lord‘s Divine mercy be elsewhere illustrated by examples.
AC 5265. The seven good kine are seven years. That this signifies states of the multiplication of truth in the interior natural, is evident from the signification of "kine," as being in a good sense truths of the interior natural (n. 5198); and from the signification of "years," as being states (n. 482, 487, 488, 493, 893). That there were seven is because "seven" signifies what is holy, and hence adds holiness to the subject treated of (n. 395, 433, 716, 881); and it also involves an entire period from beginning to end (n. 728). Hence it is that seven kine and seven ears of corn were seen in the dream, and afterward that there were seven years of plenty, and seven years of famine. Hence also it is that the seventh day was hallowed, and that in the representative church the seventh year was the sabbatical year, and that after seven times seven years was the jubilee.
 That "seven" signifies holy things comes from the signification of numbers in the world of spirits, where every number involves some thing. Numbers, simple and compound, have sometimes appeared to my sight, and once in a long series; and when I wondered what they signified, I was told that they came forth from angelic speech, and that sometimes real things are wont to be expressed by numbers. These numbers do not appear in heaven, but in the world of spirits, where such things are presented to view. This was known to the most ancient people who were celestial men and conversed with angels, and hence they formed an ecclesiastical reckoning by means of numbers, by which they expressed universally the things they expressed particularly by words. But what each number had involved did not remain with their posterity, except only what was signified by the simple numbers, two, three, six, seven, eight, twelve and derivatively by twenty-four, seventy-two, and seventy-seven--especially that by "seven" was signified what is most holy, in the supreme sense the Divine Itself, and in the representative sense the celestial of love. This is the reason why the state of the celestial man was signified by the "seventh day" (n. 84-87). That numbers signify real things, is obvious from very many numbers in the Word, as from these in the Revelation:--
Let him that hath intelligence compute the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is six hundred and sixty-six (Rev. 13:18).
The angel measured the wall of the hold Jerusalem, a hundred and forty-four cubits, which is the measure of a man, that is of an angel (Rev. 21:17);
the number a hundred and forty-four is from twelve multiplied into itself, and from this comes seventy-two.
AC 5266. And the seven good ears are seven years. That this signifies states of the multiplication of truth in the exterior natural, is evident from the signification of "ears" of corn, as being in a good sense memory-knowledges (n. 5212), and consequently truths of the exterior natural, for these are called memory-knowledges; and from the signification of "years," as being states (n. 5265). What "seven" signifies can also be seen there.
AC 5267. The dream is one. That this signifies that there will be both by conjunction, is evident from what was said above (n. 5263).
AC 5268. And the seven thin and evil kine that came no after them are seven years. That this signifies states of the multiplication of falsity that infests the interior natural, is evident from the signification of "kine," as being in the genuine sense truths in the interior natural (n. 5198, 5265), but in the opposite sense falsity therein (n. 5202), and therefore the former are called "good" kine, but the latter "thin and evil;" from the signification of "coming up," as being progression toward interior things (n. 5202); and from the signification of "years," as being states (n. 5265). As "seven" signifies what is holy, so too in the opposite sense it signifies what is profane; for most of the expressions in the Word have also an opposite sense, and this for the reason that the same things that take place in heaven, on flowing down toward hell, are turned into the opposite things, and actually become opposite. Hence the holy things signified by "seven" there become profane.
 That by "seven" both holy and profane things are signified, may be confirmed from the passages in the Revelation alone where seven is mentioned. First, that holy things are signified:--
John to the seven churches, Grace and peace from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come; and from the seven spirits that are before His throne (Rev. 1:4).
These things saith He that hath the seven spirits, and the seven stars (Rev. 3:1).
Out of the throne went forth seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God (Rev. 4:5).
I saw upon the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals (Rev. 5:1).
I saw and behold in the midst of the throne stood a Lamb, as thou it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth (Rev. 5:6).
To the seven angels were given seven trumpets (Rev. 8:2).
In the days of the voice of the seventh angel the mystery of God should be consummated (Rev. 10:7).
The seven angels that had the seven plagues went forth from the temple, clothed in linen white and shining, and girt about their breasts with golden girdles. Then one of the four animals gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials (Rev. 15:6, 7).
 That in the opposite sense "seven" signifies profane things is plain from these passages also in the Revelation:--
Behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his heads seven diadems (Rev. 12:3).
I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten diadems, and upon his heads a name of blasphemy (Rev. 13:1).
I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. Here is intelligence, if anyone hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, where the woman sitteth upon them; and they are seven kings. The beast that was, and is not, is himself the eighth king, and is of the seven; and he goeth into perdition (Rev. 17:3, 7, 9-11).
AC 5269. And the seven empty ears parched with the east wind. That this signifies states of the multiplication of falsity that infests the exterior natural, is evident from the signification of "ears" of corn, as being memory-knowledges, which are truths of the exterior natural (n. 5266), and therefore in the opposite sense falsities there (n. 5202-5204). What is meant by being "empty and parched with the east wind" may be seen above.
AC 5270. Shall be seven years of famine. That this signifies a lack and seeming privation of truth, is evident from the signification of a "famine" as being a lack of knowledges (n. 1460, 3364), thus also a privation of truth; for that falsities banished truths so that it appeared as if they no longer existed, is signified by "the thin and evil kine did eat up the seven fat kine; and they came to their inwards, and it was not known that they had come to their inwards;" and also by "the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears" (verses 4, 7, 20, 21, 24); (n. 5206, 5207, 5217). The things here treated of, that in the beginning truth will be multiplied in both naturals, and that afterward it will so fail as scarcely to appear, is a secret no one can know unless it is given him to know how the case is with the reformation and regeneration of man. As this is the subject treated of in the internal sense of the following verses, a few words shall be said about it in advance.
 During his reformation a man first learns truths from the Word or from doctrine, and stores them up in the memory. When one who cannot be reformed has learnt truths and stored them up in the memory, he believes that this is sufficient; but he is much mistaken. The truths he has acquired must be initiated and conjoined with good; and this cannot be done so long as the evils of the love of self and the love of the world remain in the natural man. These loves were the first introducers, but the truths cannot possibly be conjoined with them; and therefore in order that conjunction may be effected, the truths introduced and retained by these loves must first be banished, though they are not really banished, but are drawn within so as not to appear, for which reason it is called a "seeming" privation of truth. When this has been done, the natural is illumined from within, and the evils of the love of self and the love of the world give way; and in the degree in which they give way truths are stored up, and are conjoined with good. The state when man is seemingly deprived of the truths is called in the Word "desolation," and is also compared to "evening," in which man is before he comes into the morning; and therefore in the representative church the day began from the evening.GENESIS 41:25-27 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|