Spiritual Meaning of
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That dung signifies what is unclean, consequently evil and falsity, for in the spiritual sense these are unclean, is because all that is useless and worn out of the food goes into dung and into ordure, and in the spiritual sense food denotes the truth and good of faith and of love (AC 4792, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5576, 5915, 8562, 9003). Hence also it is that dung, ordure, and excrement correspond to evils which are in hell, which also in the Word is called the draught, in regard to which correspondence (AC 954, 2755, 4948, 5394, 5395, 7161).
 Hence then it is that such things in the Word signify things infernal, as can be seen from the following passages. In Isaiah:--
He that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, everyone that is written unto life in Jerusalem, when the Lord shall have washed away the excrement of the daughters of Zion, and shall have washed away the bloods of Jerusalem (Isa. 4:3, 4);
by Zion and Jerusalem is signified the church, by Zion the church with those who are in the good of love, and by Jerusalem with those who are in truths from this good; to wash away the excrement of the daughters of Zion denotes to purify from evils those in the church who are in the good of love, and to wash away the bloods of Jerusalem denotes to purify from falsities of evil those in the church who are in truths.
 In Jeremiah:--
They shall draw out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and shall spread them before the sun and the moon, and all the army of the heavens, which they had loved, and which they had served; they shall not be gathered, nor buried; they shall be for dung upon the faces of the earth (Jer. 8:1, 2);
by these words is described the state of those who have profaned the goods and truths of the church, which state at that time was also represented by the drawing out of bones from the sepulchres; the bones of kings and of princes drawn out from sepulchres signify truths profaned; the bones of priests and of prophets signify goods profaned; to be spread before the sun, the moon, and all the army of the heavens, signifies removal from all good and truth; not to be gathered, nor buried, signifies no resurrection to life; to be dung on the faces of the earth signifies to be nothing but infernal. Again:--
They shall die by deaths of malignant diseases, so that they shall not be bewailed, neither shall they be buried; they shall be for dung on the faces of the earth (Jer. 16:4; 25:33);
by dung on the faces of the earth is signified the like as above.
 In Lamentations:--
They who did eat dainties were devastated in the streets; they that were brought up on crimson have embraced dunghills (Lamentations 4:5);
they who did eat dainties denote those who have the Word and from it the knowledges of truth; they that were brought up on crimson denote those who are in the knowledges of good; to embrace dunghills denotes to learn and choose falsities in place of these. In Malachi:--
If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay to heart, I will send a curse upon you, and will scatter dung upon your faces, the dung of your feasts (Mal. 2:2, 3);
to scatter dung upon the faces denotes to defile the interiors of life with the falsities of evil; the dung of feasts denotes to defile the holy things of worship.
 In Ezekiel:--
The prophet was commanded to make a cake of barley with the dung of human excrement, because thus do the sons of Israel eat their unclean bread. But he said, Ah, Lord Jehovah, my soul hath not been polluted; there hath not come into my mouth the flesh of abomination. Then He answered, I give thee the excrement of an ox instead of the dung of man, that thou mayest make thy bread with it; for I will cause them to lack bread and water, and a man and his brother shall be desolated, and shall pine away because of their iniquity (Ezek. 4:9, 12-17);
by these things was represented the quality of the good and truth of the church of the Jewish nation; a cake of barley with the dung of human excrement signifies the interior good of the church defiled with the evils of the love of self; a cake with the excrements of an ox signifies the external good of the church defiled with the evils of this love.
 Because these things are signified by the cake, it is said that they should lack bread and water, and should be desolated; bread and water denote good and truth; to lack them, and to be desolated, denote to be deprived of them. Because such things were signified by dung, ordure, and excrement, it is plain what is signified by these words in Moses:--
There shall be a space without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad; and thou shalt have a paddle, with which thou shalt cover thine excrement; for Jehovah God walketh in the midst of thy camp; that thy camp may be holy, and He see not in thee the nakedness of anything, and turn back from behind thee (Deut. 23:12-15);
this was commanded because what is unclean was represented by the ordure; for by the camp where the sons of Israel were, was represented heaven and the church, where the Lord is present through faith and love; and therefore by the space without the camp was represented where heaven and the church are not, thus where the Lord is not present through faith and love. Therefore it is said that the camp should be holy, lest Jehovah walking in the midst of the camp should see the nakedness of anything and should turn back. Nakedness denotes what is unclean by reason of evils and falsities. The camp there signified heaven and the church, where the Lord is.
from AC 10037
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|