Spiritual Meaning of

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 Bruising, Grinding

What is specifically signified by "bruising" and "grinding" cannot be known unless it is known how the case is with man in respect to the goods and truths which are signified by "wheat," "barley," "meal," "fine flour," "oil," "frankincense," and "spices," when these goods and truths have been disposed for uses; for "grinding" and "bruising" denote so to dispose them that they may be of use. When "grinding" is said of the goods which are signified by "wheat" or "barley," then by "grinding" is signified the disposing and bringing forth of good into truths, and in this way its application to uses. Moreover good never puts itself forth into uses except by means of truths. In these it is disposed, and thus qualified, for unless good has been disposed in truths it has no quality; but when it is disposed in truths, it is then disposed, into series in application to things according to uses, into which things good enters as the affection of love, whence comes what is grateful, pleasant, and delightful. The like is here signified by "bruising small," for "pure frankincense" denotes spiritual good (AC 10296); and the truths which are disposed by this good are denoted by the spices stacte, onycha, and galbanum (AC 10292-10294).

It therefore being evident what is signified by bruising, and grinding, it can be known what is signified in the internal sense by the statement that:--

The sons of Israel ground the manna in mills, or bruised it in a mortar, and baked it into cakes (Num. 11:8);

for by the manna was signified celestial and spiritual good (AC 8464); and by grinding and bruising, a disposing that it might serve for use; for whatever is said in the Word is significative of such things as are in heaven and the church, for every detail has an internal sense. It can also be known what is signified by the statement that:--

They should not take to pledge the mill or the millstone, for he taketh the soul to pledge (Deut. 24:6);

for by the mill and the millstone is signified that which prepares good so that it can be applied to uses; by barley also and by wheat is signified good, and by meal and fine flour truths; and as before said, good is applied to use by means of its own truths.

[6] From this it can be seen what is signified by the mill, by the millstone, and by sitting at the mills, in the following passages:--

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

He that shall cause to stumble one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that an ass millstone were hanged on his neck, and he were sunk into the depth of the sea (Matt. 18:6; Mark 9:42).

A mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall Babylon be thrown down, and the voice of the mill shall be heard no more at all in her (Rev. 18:21, 22).

I will cause to cease from them the voice of joy, and the voice of the millstones, and the light of the lamp (Jer. 25:10).

O daughter of Babylon, sit on the earth; there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans; take the mill and grind meal (Isa. 47:1, 2).

As in a good sense a mill, and grinding, signify application to good uses, so in the opposite sense they signify application to evil uses; hence when they are said of Babylon and Chaldea, they signify application in favor of their loves, which are the loves of self and of the world; for by the barley and wheat with them is signified good adulterated, and by the meal thence, truth falsified. The profanation of good and truth by application in favor of these loves is also signified by the statement that:--

Moses ground to powder the golden calf, and scattered it upon the waters that came down from Mount Sinai, and made the sons of Israel drink it (Exod. 32:20; Deut. 9:21).

from AC 10303

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