Spiritual Meaning of

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 Whales, Great fishes

Whales signify their general principles, in subordination to which, and from which, are the particulars; for there is nothing in the universe that is not under some general principle, as a means that it may exist and subsist. Whales, or great fishes, are sometimes mentioned by the Prophets, and they there signify the generals of memory-knowledges. Pharaoh the king of Egypt (by whom is represented human wisdom or intelligence, that is, knowledge (scientia) in general), is called a great whale. As in Ezekiel:--

Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great whale that lieth in the midst of his rivers, that hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made myself (Ezekiel 29:3).

[2] And in another place:--

Take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say unto him, Thou art as a whale in the seas, and hast gone forth in thy rivers, and hast troubled the waters with thy feet (Ezekiel 32:2),

by which words are signified those who desire to enter into the mysteries of faith by means of memory-knowledges, and thus from themselves. In Isaiah:--

In that day Jehovah, with His hard and great and strong sword, shall visit upon leviathan the longish (oblongum) serpent, even leviathan the crooked serpent, and He shall slay the whales that are in the sea (Isaiah 27:1).

By slaying the whales that are in the sea, is signified that such persons are ignorant of even the general principles of truth. So in Jeremiah:--

Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath troubled me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed me as a whale, he hath filled his belly with my delicacies, he hath cast me out (Jeremiah 51:34),

denoting that he had swallowed the knowledges of faith, here called delicacies, as the whale did Jonah; a whale denoting those who possess the general principles of the knowledges of faith as mere memory-knowledges, and act in this manner.

from AC 42

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