Spiritual Meaning of

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A pot denotes a containant of good, and in the opposite sense a containant of evil, for the reason that by the flesh which is boiled in it is signified good, and in the opposite sense evil. As a pot has this signification, therefore by it is also signified the corporeal or natural of man, because these are the containants of good or of evil. Therefore in the universal sense by a pot is signified a man, and in a still more universal sense a people or a city, and then flesh signifies the good or the evil therein; as in Ezekiel:

The men that devise iniquity, and that give wicked counsel in this city, saying, It is not near, itself is the pot, We are the flesh; therefore thus said the Lord Jehovah, Your slain whom ye have put in the midst of it, these are the flesh, but itself is the pot (Ezek. 11:2, 3, 7);

here the pot denotes the city, or the people there; and the flesh denotes evil; for the slain, who are called the flesh, denote those with whom good and truth have been extinguished (AC 4503).

[2] Again:--

Utter a parable against the house of rebellion, and say unto them, Thus said the Lord Jehovah, Set on the pot, set it on, and also pour the pieces into it, every good piece, the thigh, and the shoulder; fill it with the choice of the bones; said the Lord Jehovih, Woe to the city of bloods, to the pot whose scum is therein, and whose scum is not gone out of it (Ezek. 24:3, 4, 6);

here the pot' denotes a city, or the people there, in whom is the evil of the profanation of good; the good which is the flesh there, is the thigh and the shoulder, the evil is the scum therefrom; the profanation of good is the remaining scum; therefore also it is called the city of bloods."

[3] In Jeremiah:--

Jehovah said unto Jeremiah, What seest thou? I said, I see a pot that is boiling, whose face is toward the north; then Jehovah said, From the north evil shall be opened upon all the inhabitants of the land (Jer. 1:12-14);

here a boiling pot denotes a people whom falsities have taken possession of; the north denotes the sensuous and corporeal of man from which evil springs. The end of the church is here treated of, when the external, consequently the sensuous and corporeal, and with these falsity and evil, rule; for the Lord's church goes successively from internal to external, and then expires.

[4] In Zechariah:--

In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness to Jehovah; and the pots in the house of Jehovah shall be like the bowls before the altar; and every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness to Jehovah Zebaoth, and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them and shall boil in them (Zech. 14:20, 21);

the salvation of the faithful is here treated of; the faithful are the pots, so called from the reception of good from the Lord, and from this the pot is called Holiness to Jehovah; the bells of the horses upon which is Holiness denote truths corresponding to good. As pots denote recipients and containants of good, therefore also these together with the rest of the vessels of the altar were made of brass (Exod. 38:3); for brass signifies the good of the natural (AC 425, 1551).

[5] Moreover by a pot is signified doctrine. because of its containing the good and truth of the church. Doctrine is signified by the pot in which by command of Elisha pottage was boiled for the sons of the prophets of which we read in the second book of Kings:--

Elisha returned to Gilgal when there was a famine in the land, when the sons of the prophets were sitting before him: he said to his lad, Set on the great pot, and boil pottage for the sons of the prophets: one went out into the field to gather vegetables, and found a vine of the field, and gathered from it wild gourds of the field, and shred them into the pot of pottage: while they were eating of the pottage they cried, death in the pot, O man of God! but he said that they should take meal, which he threw into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the people, and let them eat; then there was no evil thing in the pot (2 Kings 4:38-41);

be it known that all Divine miracles involve such things as are of the Lord's kingdom and church (AC 7337, 8364), and that Elisha represents the Word of the Lord (AC 2762), and the prophets the doctrines therefrom (AC 2534, 7269); whence it is evident what of the church was represented by this miracle, namely, that the good of the church which has been falsified becomes good by means of truth from the Word; famine denotes a lack of the knowledges of truth and of good; the pot, doctrine; pottage, the good of the external rituals of the Jewish church; wild gourds from the vine of the field, falsification; meal, truth from the Word (AC 2177), whereby that which has been falsified, and which is death in the pot, becomes good. That pots signify containants of good, is because they were among the useful vessels in which food was prepared, and by food and all kinds of it are signified such things as nourish the soul, thus affections of good and of truth (AC 681, 1480, 3114, 4792, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5576, 5915).

from AC 8408

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