Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 41:5-7
AC 5209. Verses 5-7. And he slept and dreamed a second time, and behold seven ears of corn came up on one stalk, fat and good. And behold seven ears thin and parched with the east wind sprung up after them. And the thin ears swallowed up the seven fat and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and behold it was a dream. "And he slept," signifies an obscure state; "and dreamed a second time," signifies what was provided; "and behold seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk," signifies the memory-knowledges of the natural joined together; "fat and good," signifies into which the things of faith and charity could be applied; "and behold seven ears, thin," signifies memory-knowledges of no use; "and parched with the east wind," signifies full of cupidities; "sprung up after them," signifies appeared near; "and the thin ears swallowed up the seven fat and full ears," signifies that the memory-knowledges of no use banished the good memory-knowledges; "and Pharaoh awoke," signifies a general state of enlightenment; "and behold it was a dream," signifies in that obscurity.
AC 5210. And he slept. That this signifies an obscure state, is evident from the signification of "sleeping," as being an obscure state. Moreover in the spiritual sense "sleep" is nothing else, just as "wakefulness" is nothing else than a clear state; for there is spiritual sleep when truths are in obscurity, and spiritual wakefulness when truths are in clearness. Moreover in the degree of this clearness are spirits awake, and in the degree of the obscurity are they asleep. From this it is plain that "sleeping" means an obscure state.
AC 5211. And dreamed a second time. That this signifies what was provided, is evident from the signification of "dreaming," as being what is provided (n. 5195).
AC 5212. And behold seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk. That this signifies memory-knowledges of the natural joined together, is evident from the signification of "ears," or spikes, of corn, as being memory-knowledges belonging to the natural; and from the signification of "upon one stalk," as being joined together; for in respect to their origin things on one stalk are joined together. The reason why "ears" or spikes of corn signify memory-knowledges, is that "corn" signifies the good of the natural (n. 3580), because memory-knowledges are the containants of the good of the natural, as the ears are of the corn; for in general all truths are vessels of good, and so also are memory-knowledges, for these are lowest truths. Lowest truths, or truths of the exterior natural, are called memory-knowledges, because they are in man‘s natural or external memory, and because they partake for the most part of the light of the world, and hence can be presented and represented to others by forms of words, or by ideas formed into words by means of such things as are of the world and its light. The things in the inner memory, however, in so far as they partake of the light of heaven are not called memory-knowledges, but truths; nor can they be understood except by means of this light, or expressed except by forms of words, or ideas formed into words, by means of such things as are of heaven and its light. The memory-knowledges here signified by "ears," or spikes, are memory-knowledges of the church, in regard to which see above (n. 4749, 4844, 4964, 4965).
 The reason why there were two dreams, one of the seven kine and the other of the seven ears of corn, is that in the internal sense both naturals, the interior and the exterior, are treated of, and in what follows, the rebirth of both. By the "seven kine" are signified the things of the interior natural called truths of the natural (n. 5198); and by the "seven ears of corn," the truths of the exterior natural called memory-knowledges.
 Interior and exterior memory-knowledges are signified by "ears of the river Euphrates even to the river of Egypt," in Isaiah:--
It shall be in that day that Jehovah will shake off from the ear of the river even unto the river of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one to another, ye sons of Israel. And it shall be in that day that a great trumpet shall be sounded, and they shall come that are perishing in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt; and they shall bow themselves to Jehovah in the mountain of holiness at Jerusalem (Isa 27:12, 13);
"the perishing in the land of Assyria" denote interior truths, and the "outcasts in the land of Egypt," exterior truths or memory-knowledges.
 So also in Mark the comparison with the blade, the ear, and the corn, involves the rebirth of man by means of memory-knowledges, truths of faith, and goods of charity:--
Jesus said, So is the kingdom of God, as when a man casteth seed upon the earth; then sleepeth and riseth night and day, but the seed germinates and grows while he knoweth not. For the earth beareth fruit of itself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come (Mark. 4:26-29);
the "kingdom of God," which is compared to the blade, the ear, and the corn, is heaven in man through regeneration; for one who has been regenerated has the kingdom of God within him, and becomes in image the kingdom of God or heaven. The "blade" is the first memory-knowledge; the "ear" is the memory-knowledge of truth thence derived; the "corn’ is the derivative good. Moreover the laws enacted in regard to gleanings (Lev. 19:9; 23:22), and in regard to the liberty of plucking the ears from the standing corn of the neighbor (Deut. 23:25), and also in regard to eating no bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the offering of God was brought (Lev. 23:14), represented such things as are signified by "ears."
AC 5213. Fat and good. That this signifies into which the things belonging to faith and charity could be applied, is evident from the signification of "fat," when predicated of the memory-knowledges signified by "ears" of corn, as being things capable of receiving the good of faith, consequently those into which the things of faith can be applied; for memory-knowledges are vessels, and when "fatness" is predicated of them, it signifies fitness for receiving such things as are of faith from charity; and from the signification of "good," when predicated of the memory-knowledges signified by "ears" of corn, as being those receptible of the good of charity, consequently those into which the things of charity can be applied. That "fat" has regard to the things of faith, and "good" to the things of charity, is in accordance with the constant usage everywhere in the Word, in which wherever two adjectives are applied to one thing, one involves what is of faith, and the other what is of charity; and this because of the marriage of truth and good in every detail of the Word (n. 683, 793, 801, 2173, 2516, 2712, 4137, 5138). That "fat" signifies the things of faith, and "good" the things of charity, is plain also from the foregoing parallel passages about the kine (n. 5199, 5200). The memory-knowledges into which the things of faith and of charity can be applied are very many, such as all the memory-knowledges of the church which are signified by "Egypt" in a good sense (n. 4749, 4844, 4964, 4965); and consequently all those memory-knowledges which are truths about correspondences, representatives, significatives, influx, order, intelligence and wisdom, and the affections; and also all truths of inner and outer nature, both visible and invisible, because these correspond to spiritual truths.
AC 5214. And behold seven ears, thin. That this signifies memory-knowledges of no use, is evident from the signification of "ears," as being memory-knowledges (n. 5212); and from the signification of "thin," as being what is of no use. For "thin" is here contrasted with "full," and that is said to be "full" in which there is use, or what is the same thing, in which there is good; for every good thing is of use; and therefore "thin" is what is of no use. The memory-knowledges of no use are those which have no other end than glory and pleasure. These ends are of no use, because they do not benefit the neighbor.
AC 5215. And parched with the east wind. That this signifies full of cupidities, is evident from the signification of "parched with the east wind," as being to be consumed by the fire of cupidities. For the "east wind" and the "east," in the genuine sense, are love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor (n. 101, 1250, 3249, 3708, 3762); hence in the opposite sense they are love of self and love of the world, consequently evil desires and cupidities; for these belong to the loves referred to. "Fire" is predicated of these things for the reason spoken of above (n. 5071), and consequently "to be parched" is predicated of them.
 For there are two sources of heat, as also of light; one source of heat is the sun of the world, and the other source is the sun of heaven, which is the Lord. It is known that the sun of the world pours forth heat into its world, and into all the things therein; but that the sun of heaven pours heat into the whole heaven is not so well known. And yet this may be known, if anyone will reflect upon the heat that is within man, and that has nothing in common with the heat of this world, that is, the heat called vital heat. From this it might be known that this heat is of a different nature from that of the heat of this world; and that true heat is living, while that of this world is not living; and that because spiritual heat is living, it kindles man‘s interiors, of his will and understanding, and gives him to desire and to love and also to be affected. For this reason also desires, loves, and affections are spiritual heat, and are so called. That they are heat is very manifest, for heat is exhaled on all sides from living bodies, even in the greatest cold; and also when the desires and affections, that is, the loves, grow warmer, the body also grows warm in the same degree. This is the heat that is meant in the Word by "burning," "fire," and "flame;" and in the genuine sense it is heavenly and spiritual love, but in the opposite sense bodily and earthly love. From this it is evident that here by being "parched with the east wind" is signified being consumed by the fire of cupidities, and when predicated of memory-knowledges, which are the "thin ears" of corn, there is signified that thy are full of cupidity.
 That by the "east wind" is signified what is of cupidities and the derivative phantasies, is evident from the passages in the Word where it is mentioned, as in David:--
He made the east wind to go forth in the heavens, and by His power He brought forth the south wind, and He made it rain down flesh upon them as dust, and winged fowl as the sand of the sea (Ps. 78:26, 27);
that by the "flesh" which that wind brought are signified evil desires, and by the "winged fowl" the derivative phantasies, is plain in Moses (Num. 11:31-35), where it is said that the name of the place in which the people were smitten with a plague because of their eating flesh, was called "The graves of lust, because there they buried the people that lusted."
 In Ezekiel:--
Behold the vine that has been planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind toucheth it? Upon the beds of its shoots it shall wither (Ezek. 17:10).
The vine was plucked up in anger, it hath been cast forth to the earth, and the east wind hath withered its fruit; all the rods of its strength have been plucked off and withered; the fire hath devoured everyone, for fire hath gone forth from a rod of its branches, it hath devoured its fruit, so that there is not in it a rod of strength, a scepter for ruling (Ezek. 19:12, 14);
where the "east wind" denotes what belongs to cupidities. In Isaiah:--
He meditated upon His rough wind, in the day of the east wind (Isa. 27:8).
 In Hosea:--
The east wind shall come, the wind of Jehovah coming up from the wilderness; and its spring shall become dry, and its fountain shall be dried up; it shall make a prey of the treasure of all vessels of desire (Hosea 13:15);
where also the "east wind" denotes what belongs to cupidities. Likewise in Jeremiah:--
As the east wind I will scatter them before the enemy (Jer. 18:17).
 In David:--
With the east wind Thou wilt break the ships of Tarshish (Ps. 48:7).
Thou hast forsaken Thy people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled with the east wind, and the soothsayers are Philistines (Isa. 2:6).
Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind; every day he multiplieth a lie and a wasting (Hosea 12:1);
"wind" here denotes phantasies, and the "east wind," cupidities. Similar also is the meaning in the internal sense of the "east wind" by which locusts were produced, and by which they were driven into the sea (Exod. 10:13, 19); and also by which the waters of the sea Suph were divided (Exod. 14:21).
AC 5216. Sprung up after them. That this signifies appearing near, is evident from the signification here of "springing up," as being to appear; and from the signification of "after them," as being near, or in the boundary, just as is signified by the evil and lean kine coming up "after them," that is, after the beautiful and fat kine (n. 5202). That "after them" means near, is because "after" denotes what is successive in time; and in the spiritual world, and consequently in the spiritual sense, there is no notion of time, but instead of it the kind of state that corresponds.
AC 5217. And the thin ears swallowed up the seven fat and full ears. That this signifies that the memory-knowledges of no use banished the good memory-knowledges, is evident from the signification of the "thin ears," as being memory-knowledges of no use (n. 5214); and from the signification of the "fat and full ears," as being memory-knowledges into which the things of faith and charity could be applied (n. 5213), consequently good memory-knowledges; and from the signification of "swallowing up," as being to banish--the same as "eating up," which is said above of the kine (n. 5206). The good memory-knowledges were banished by those of no use, or truths were banished by falsities, (n. 5207). So also is it in the spiritual world: where falsities are, truths cannot subsist; and on the other hand, where truths are, falsities cannot subsist. The one banishes the other, for they are opposites. The reason is that falsities are from hell and truths are from heaven. It sometimes appears as if falsities and truths are in one subject; but these are not falsities that are opposite to the truths in him, but are those which are associated by applications. The subject in whom truths, and at the same time falsities which are opposite to them, subsist, is called "lukewarm;" and the subject in whom falsities and truths are mingled is called "profane."
AC 5218. And Pharaoh awoke. That this signifies a general state of enlightenment, is evident from what was explained above (n. 5208), where the same words occur.
AC 5219. And behold it was a dream. That this signifies in that obscurity, is evident from the signification of a "dream," as being an obscure state (n. 1838, 2514, 2528, 5210). It is called "obscure," because truths had been banished; for where truths are not there is obscurity, because the light of heaven flows only into truths; for the light of heaven is Divine truth from the Lord. Hence the truths with angels and spirits, and also with men, are subsidiary lights; but they have their light from the Divine truth by means of the good in the truths; for unless truths are from good, that is unless they have good in them, they cannot receive any light from the Divine. They receive it by means of good, for good is like fire or flame, and truths are like the rays of light from it. In the other life truths without good do indeed shine, but they shine with a wintry light, that in the light of heaven is thick darkness. From this it is evident that what is here meant by "obscure," is the state of the natural when the good memory-knowledges had been banished by those of no use. An obscurity like this can be enlightened in a general manner (n. 5208, 5218), but by no means can that obscurity which comes from falsities; for falsities are so many darknesses that shut out the light of heaven, and thus cause an obscurity that cannot be enlightened until the falsities have been removed. GENESIS 41:5-7 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
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