Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 6:21-22
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AC 676. Verse 21. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and gather it to thee; and it shall be for food, for thee and for them. That he should "take to himself of all food that is eaten," signifies goods and delights; that he should "gather to himself," signifies truths; that it should be "for food for him and for them," signifies both.

AC 677. As regards the food of the man who is to be regenerated, the case is this: Before a man can be regenerated he needs to be furnished with all things that may serve as means--with the goods and delights of the affections as means for the will; and with truths from the Word of the Lord, and also with confirmatory things from other sources, as means for the understanding. Until a man is furnished with such things he cannot be regenerated; these being for food. This is the reason why man is not regenerated until he comes to adult age. But each man has his peculiar and as it were his own food, which is provided for him by the Lord before he is regenerated.

AC 678. That his "taking to himself of all food that is eaten" signifies goods and delights, is evident from what has been said above: that goods and delights constitute man’s life; and not so much truths, for truths receive their life from goods and delights. From infancy to old age nothing of knowledge or of reason is ever insinuated except by means of what is good and delightful, and such things are called "food," because the soul lives and derives its sustenance from them; and they are food, for without them a man‘s soul cannot possibly live, as any one may know if he will but pay attention to the matter.

AC 679. That "gathering to himself" means truths, is therefore evident; for "gathering" is predicated of the things that are in man’s memory, where they are gathered together. And the expression further implies that both goods and truths should be gathered in man before he is regenerated; for without goods and truths gathered together, through which as means the Lord may operate, a man can never be regenerated, as has been said. From this then it follows that "it shall be for food for thee and for them," signifies both goods and truths.

AC 680. That goods and truths are the genuine foods of man must be evident to every one, for he who is destitute of them has no life, but is dead. When a man is spiritually dead the foods with which his soul is fed are delights from evils and pleasantnesses from falsities--which are foods of death--and are also those which come from bodily, worldly, and natural things, which also have nothing of life in them. Moreover, such a man does not know what spiritual and celestial food is, insomuch that whenever "food" or "bread" is mentioned in the Word he supposes the food of the body to be meant; as in the Lord‘s prayer, the words "Give us our daily bread," he supposes to mean only sustenance for the body; and those who extend their ideas further say it includes also other necessaries of the body, such as clothing, property, and the like. They even sharply deny that any other food is meant; when yet they see plainly that the words preceding and following involve only celestial and spiritual things, and that the Lord’s kingdom is spoken of; and besides, they might know that the Word of the Lord is celestial and spiritual.

[2] From this and other similar examples it must be sufficiently evident how corporeal is man at the present day; and that, like the Jews, he is disposed to take everything that is said in the Word in the most gross and material sense. The Lord Himself clearly teaches what is meant in His Word by "food" and "bread." Concerning "food" He thus speaks in John:--

Jesus said, Labor not for the meat (or food) which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you (John 6:27).

And concerning "bread" He says, in the same chapter:--

Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the Bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. I am the living Bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this Bread he shall live eternally (John 6:49-51, 58).

But at the present day there are men like those who heard these words and said: "This is a hard saying; who can hear it?" and who "went back and walked no more with Him" (John. 6:60, 66), to whom the Lord said: "The words that I speak unto you they are spirit and they are life" (John 6:63).

[3] And so with respect to "water," which signifies the spiritual things of faith, and concerning which the Lord thus speaks in John:--

Jesus said, Every one that drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up unto eternal life (John 4:13, 14).

But at the present day there are those who are like the woman with whom the Lord spoke at the well, and who answered, "Lord, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw" (John 4:15).

[4] That in the Word "food" means no other than spiritual and celestial food, which is faith in the Lord, and love, is evident from many passages in the Word, as in Jeremiah:--

The enemy hath spread out his hand upon all the desirable things of Jerusalem; for she hath seen that the nations are entered into her sanctuary, concerning whom Thou didst command that they should not enter into Thy congregation. All the people groan, they seek bread; they have given their desirable things for food to refresh the soul (Lam. 1:10, 11).

No other than spiritual bread and food are here meant, for the subject is the sanctuary. Again:--

I have cried out for my lovers, they have deceived me; my priests and mine elders in the city expired, for they sought food for themselves, to refresh their soul (Lam. 1:19),

with the same meaning. In David:--

These wait all upon Thee, that Thou mayest give them their food in its season; Thou givest them, they gather; Thou openest thine hand, they are satisfied with good (Ps. 104:27, 28).

Here likewise spiritual and celestial food is meant.

[5] In Isaiah:--

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no silver; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without silver, and without price (Isaiah 55:1),

where "wine" and "milk" denote spiritual and celestial drink. Again:--

A virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and thou shalt call His name Immanuel; butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good; and it shall come to pass that for the abundance of milk that they shall give they shall eat butter; for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the midst of the land (Isaiah 7:14, 15, 22).

Here to "eat honey and butter" is to appropriate what is celestial spiritual; "they that are left" denote remains, concerning whom also in Malachi:--

Bring ye all the tithes into the treasure-house, that there may be food in My house (Malachi 3:10).

"Tithes" denote remains. Concerning the signification of "food," see above, (n. 56-58, 276.)

AC 681. The nature of celestial and spiritual food can best be known in the other life. The life of angels and spirits is not sustained by any such food as there is in this world, but by "every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord," as the Lord teaches in (Matthew 4:4). The truth is that the Lord alone is the life of all, and that from Him come all things both in general and in particular that angels and spirits think, say, and do, and also what evil spirits think, say, and do. The reason why these latter say and do evil things is that they so receive and pervert all the goods and truths that are of the Lord. Reception and affection are according to the form of the recipient. This may be compared to the various objects that receive the light of the sun, some of which turn the light received into unpleasing and disagreeable colors, while others turn it into pleasing and beautiful colors, according to the form, determination, and disposition of their parts. The whole heaven and the entire world of spirits thus live by everything that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord, and from this each individual has his life; and not only the whole heaven and the world of spirits, but also the whole human race. I know that these things will not be believed, nevertheless from the continuous experience of years I can assert that they are most true. Evil spirits in the world of spirits are not willing to believe that this is so; and therefore it has often been demonstrated to them-to the life-even until they have acknowledged with indignation that it is true. If angels, spirits, and men were deprived of this food they would expire in a moment.

AC 682. Verse 22. And Noah did according to all that God commanded him; so did he. "Noah did according to all that God commanded him," signifies that thus it came to pass. That it is twice said he "did" involves both (good and truth).

AC 683. As regards the repetition of "did," that it involves both [good and truth], it should be known that in the Word, especially in the Prophets, one thing is described in a twofold manner. Thus in Isaiah:--

He passed through in peace, a way that He had not gone with his feet; who hath wrought and done it? (Isaiah 41:3, 4),

where one expression relates to good, and the other to truth; or, one relates to what is of the will, and the other to what is of the understanding; that is to say, "he passed over in peace," involves what is of the will, and "away he had not gone with his feet," involves what is of the understanding; and it is the same with the words "wrought" and "done." Thus the things that pertain to the will and to the understanding, or to love and faith, or what is the same, celestial and spiritual things, are so conjoined together in the Word that in each and every thing there is a likeness of a marriage, and a relation to the heavenly marriage. It is so here, in that the one word is repeated.