Spiritual Meaning of

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 Flour, Meal

That fine flour, and also meal, denote the truth which is from good, is evident from the following passages:--

Thou didst eat fine flour, honey, and oil, whence thou becamest beautiful exceedingly (Ezek. 16:13);

this is said of Jerusalem, by which is here meant the Ancient Church; fine flour denotes the truth from the good of this church; honey denotes its delight; oil denotes the good of love; and to eat denotes to appropriate; therefore it is said thou becamest beautiful, for spiritual beauty is from truths and goods.

[5] In Hosea:--

It hath no standing crop, the shoot shall yield no meal; if perchance it yield, strangers shall swallow it up (Hosea 8:7);

the standing crop denotes the truth of faith from good in conception (AC 9146); the shoot shall yield no meal denotes barrenness, because there is no truth from good; the strangers who shall swallow it up denote the falsities from evil which will consume it.

[6] In the first book of Kings:--

The woman of Zidon in Zarephath said to Elijah that she had nothing of which to make a cake, except a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse. Elijah said that she should make for him a cake in the first place, and the cask of meal would not be consumed, and the cruse of oil would not fail; which also came to pass (1 Kings 17:12-15);

by meal is here signified the truth of the church; and by oil its good; for by the woman in Zidon is represented the church which is in the knowledges of truth and good; and by Elijah the prophet, the Lord as to the Word; from which it is evident what this miracle involves, for all the miracles treated of in the Word involve such things as are of the church (AC 7337, 8364, 9086). From this it is evident what is signified by the barrel of meal not being consumed, and the cruse of oil not failing, if the woman made a cake of what little she had for Elijah in the first place, and for her son afterward. That woman denotes the church, (AC 252, 253); that Zidon denotes the knowledges of truth and good, (AC 1201); and that Elijah denotes the Lord as to the Word, (AC 2762, 5247).

[7] In Isaiah:--

O daughter of Babel, take the millstone and grind meal (Isa. 47:1, 2);

the daughter of Babel denotes those in the church who are in a holy external, but in a profane internal; to grind meal denotes to select from the sense of the letter of the Word such things as serve to confirm the evils of the loves of self and of the world, which evil is profane; to grind denotes to select, and also to explain in favor of these loves; and meal denotes truth serving for this (AC 4335).

[8] From this it is plain what is meant by grinding, consequently what by that which is ground; as in these passages:--

Princes were hanged up by their hand, the faces of elders were not honored, they carried away the young men to grind (Lam. 5:12, 13).

Moses took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, and ground it to powder; then he strewed it upon the faces of the waters, and made the sons of Israel drink (Exod. 32:20; Deut. 9:21).

Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left: two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left (Matt. 24:40, 41);

from this it is evident what is meant by grinding; that in a good sense it denotes to select truths from the Word and explain them so as to be of service to good; and in a bad sense so as to be of service to evil (AC 7780); from which it is also evident what is signified by that which is ground, consequently by meal, and fine flour.

from AC 9995

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