Spiritual Meaning of
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That a hairy garment (tunica) signifies the truth of the natural, is evident from the signification of a garment (tunica) as being that which invests something else, and here therefore it signifies truth, because this invests good; for truth is as a vesture (AC 1073, 2576); or what is nearly the same, truth is a vessel receiving good (AC 1469, 1496, 1832, 1900, 2063, 2261, 2269); and also from the signification of hairy, as being the natural in respect to truth. Hair, or the hair of the head, is frequently mentioned in the Word, and there signifies the natural; the reason is that hair is an excrescence in the outermost parts of man, just as is the natural also relatively to his rational and to the interior things thereof. It appears to man, while he lives in the body, that the natural is his all, but this is so far from being true that the natural is rather an excrescence from his internals, as hair is from the things of the body. The two also proceed from the internals in almost the same way. Hence it is that men who in the life of the body have been merely natural, in the other life; when presented to view in accordance with that state, appear as if covered with hair over almost the whole face. Moreover man's natural is represented by the hair of the head; when it is from good, it is represented by becoming and carefully arranged hair; but when not from good, by unbecoming and disheveled hair.
 It is from this representative that in the Word hair signifies the natural, especially as to truth; as in Zechariah:--
And it shall come to pass in that day that the prophets shall be ashamed, a man by reason of his vision, when he hath prophesied, neither shall they wear a hairy tunic to deceive (Zechariah 13:4).
Prophets denote those who teach truths, here those who teach falsities (AC 2534); vision denotes truths, here falsities; a hairy tunic denotes the natural as to truth; and because there was no truth, but rather falsity, it is said, to deceive. Prophets were clothed with such raiment in order to represent that truth, because it is external. Therefore also Elijah the Tishbite from such clothing is called a hairy man (2 Kings 1:8); and John, who was the last of the prophets, had raiment of camel's hair (Matt. 3:4). Camels are memory-knowledges in the natural man, (AC 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145); and also memory-knowledges are the truths of the natural, (AC 3293).
 That the hair of the head signified the natural as to truth is plainly evident from the Nazirites, to whom it was commanded that during all the days of their Naziriteship no razor should pass upon their head, until the days were fulfilled during which they separated themselves to Jehovah, and then they should let down the locks of their head, and that then they should shave the head of their Naziriteship at the door of the tent of meeting, and should put the hair upon the fire which was under the eucharistic sacrifice (Num. 6:5, 18). The Nazirites represented the Lord as to the Divine Human; and thence the man of the celestial church, who is a likeness of the Lord (AC 51); and the natural of this man is represented by the hair; and therefore, when the Nazirites were sanctified they were to put off their old or former natural man, into which they were born, and were to put on a new man; which was signified by the command that when the days had been fulfilled during which they were to separate themselves to Jehovah, they were to let down the locks of their head, and put them upon the fire under the sacrifice. For the state of the celestial man is such that he is in good, and from good knows all truths, and never thinks and speaks from truths about good, still less does he think and speak about good from memory-knowledges (AC 202, 337, 2715, 2718, 3246). Moreover celestial men are such that before they put off that state they are in' a natural so strong as to truth that they are able to battle with the hells; for it is truth that fights, and never good, as the hells cannot make even a distant approach to good. Such is the case with truth and good, (AC 1950, 1951).
 From this it is evident whence Samson had strength from his hair; concerning whom it is said:--
The angel of Jehovah appeared to the woman saying, Behold thou shalt conceive, and bear a son, and no razor shall come upon his head for the child shall be a Nazirite unto God from the womb (Judges 13:3, 5);
and afterwards it is related that he told Delilah that if he should be shaven, his strength would depart from him, and be would. be rendered weak; and after he had been shaven his strength departed, and the Philistines seized him; and afterwards, when the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven, his strength returned, so that he pulled down the pillars of the house (Judges 16). Who does not see that in these things there is a heavenly arcanum, which no one knows unless he has been instructed concerning representatives; namely, that the Nazirite represents the celestial man, and that so long as he had hair he represented the natural of this man, which as before said is in truth thus powerful and strong. And as at that time all representatives that were commanded by the Lord had such force and effect, this was the source of Samson's strength. But Samson was not a sanctified Nazirite like those described above, namely, as having put on a state of good instead of truth. The effect of his strength by reason of his hair was principally from his representing the Lord, who from the natural man as to truth fought with the hells and subdued them, and this before He put on the Divine good and truth even as to the natural man.
 From this also it is evident why it was commanded that the high-priest, upon whose head was poured the oil of anointing, and whose hand was consecrated to put on the garments, should not shave his head, nor rend his clothes (Lev. 21:10); and similarly that the priests the Levites (where the new temple is treated of) were not to shave their heads, nor let down their hair (Ezek. 44:20); namely, that they might represent the Lord's Divine natural as to the truth which is from good, and which is called the truth of good. That hair, or a head of hair, signifies the natural as to truth, is evident also from the prophecies of the Word, as in Ezekiel:--
I set thee as the bud of the field, whence thou didst grow, and didst grow up into beauties of beauties; the breasts have become firm, and thine hair was grown (Ezek. 16:7)
where Jerusalem is treated of, which here signifies the Ancient Church, which in process of time had become perverted. The breasts become firm denote natural good; the hair that was grown, natural truth.
 In Daniel:--
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit. His raiment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool; His throne was fiery flames (Daniel 7:9).
And in John:--
In the midst of the lampstands One like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about at the paps with a golden girdle. And His head and His hair were white as white wool, as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire (Rev. 1:13, 14);
hair white like pure wool denotes the Divine natural as to truth. In the Word, and in the rituals of the Jewish Church, truth itself was represented by white, which being from good, is called pure wool The reason why the representation of truth is by white, and the representation of good by red, is that truth is of light, and good is of the fire from which the light proceeds.
 Like other expressions in the Word, hair has also an opposite sense, and signifies the natural as to truth perverted, as in Isaiah:--
In that day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, in the passages of the river, with the King of Assyria, the head and the hair of the feet; and it shall also consume the beard (Isa. 7:20).
Son of man, take thee a sharp sword, a barber's razor shalt thou take unto thee, and shalt cause it to pass upon thine head, and upon thy beard; and take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hairs. A third part shalt thou burn with fire in the midst of the city thou shalt take a third part and smite with the sword round about the city and a third part thou shalt scatter to the wind and thou shalt take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts and of these again shalt thou take, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire therefrom shall a fire come forth unto all the house of Israel (Ezekiel 5:1-4).
In this manner it is representatively described that there is no longer any interior and exterior natural truth, which is signified by the hair and the beard. That concupiscences have destroyed it is signified by its being burned with fire; that reasonings have destroyed it is signified by smiting with the sword round about the city; that false principles have destroyed it, is signified by scattering it to the wind. The meaning of this passage is similar to what the Lord teaches in Matthew, that of the seed, which is truth, some fell among thorns, some on the rock, and some upon the way (Matthew 13:1-9).
 That the hair of the head signifies the unclean truths and falsities which are of the natural man, was represented also by the command that when a woman that had been taken captive from the enemy was to be married, she was to be brought into the house, the hair of her head was to be shaved, her nails were to be pared, and the raiment of her captivity was to be put off (Deut. 21:12, 13); also that when the Levites were consecrated, the water of expiation was to be sprinkled upon them, they were to cause a razor to pass over all their flesh, and their clothes were to be washed, and thus they were to be cleansed (Num. 8:7); and also that Nebuchadnezzar was driven out from men to eat grass like oxen, and his body to be wet with the dew of heaven, until his hair grew like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws (Dan. 4:33). That in leprosy the colors of the hair and beard were to be observed, as to whether they were white, reddish, yellow, black, and also those of the garments; and that he who was cleansed from leprosy should shave off all the hair of the head, beard, and eyebrows (Lev. 13:1-59; 14:8, 9), signified unclean falsities from what is profane, which in the internal sense is leprosy.
 Baldness however signified the natural in which there was nothing of truth, as in Isaiah:--
He is gone up to Bayith, and to Dibon, to the high places, to weep over Nebo, and Moab shall howl over Medeba; on all their heads is baldness, every beard is shaved (Isa. 15:2).
In the same:--
It shall come to pass that instead of braided work there shall be baldness, and branding instead of beauty (Isa. 3:24).
That the children who said to Elisha, Go up, thou bald-head; go up, thou bald-head, were torn in pieces by bears from the wood (2 Kings 2:23, 24) represented those who blaspheme the Word, speaking as if there were no truth in it; for Elisha represented the Lord as to the Word (AC 2762).
from AC 3301
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|