Spiritual Meaning of

Bible Meanings Back to Words index Back to Food words index

That famine signifies a scarcity of knowledges, is evident from the Word in other places, as in Isaiah:--

They do not look into the work of Jehovah, and see not the doing of His hands. Therefore My people go into captivity because they have no knowledge (cognitio), and their glory are mortals of famine, and their multitude are parched with thirst (Isaiah 5:12, 13);

mortals of famine denote a scarcity of the knowledges of celestial things; a multitude parched with thirst, a scarcity of the knowledges of spiritual things. In Jeremiah:--

They have lied against Jehovah, and have said, It is not He neither shall evil come upon us neither shall we see sword nor famine and the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them (Jeremiah 5:12, 13);

sword and famine denote the deprivation of the knowledges of truth and of good; the prophets are those who teach, in whom the word is not. That to be consumed by the sword and famine, is to be deprived of the knowledges of truth and of good; and that vastation is denoted, by the sword as to spiritual things, and by famine as to celestial things, is evident in various places in the Word (Jer. 14:13-16, 18; Lam. 4:9).

[3] So too in Ezekiel:--

And I will increase famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread; and I will send upon you famine, and the evil wild beast; and they shall bereave thee, and I will bring the sword upon thee (Ezek. 5:16, 17);

famine denotes the deprivation of the knowledges of celestial things, or of the knowledges of good, whence come falsities and evils. In David:--

And He called for a famine upon the land, He brake the whole staff of bread (Ps. 105:16);

to break the staff of bread, signifies to be deprived of heavenly food; for the life of good spirits and angels is sustained by no other food than the knowledges of good and truth, and the goods and truths themselves, whence comes the signification of famine and of bread, in the internal sense. Again:--

He hath satisfied the longing soul, and hath filled the hungry soul with good (Ps. 107:9);

denoting those who desire knowledges. In Jeremiah:--

Lift up thy hands for the soul of thy young children, who faint for hunger at the head of all the streets (Lam. 2:19)

hunger denotes the lack of knowledges; the streets, truths. In Ezekiel:--

They shall dwell confidently, and none to make afraid. And I will raise up for them a plant for a name, and they shall be no more consumed with famine in the land (Ezekiel 34:28, 29),

denoting that they shall no longer be made destitute of the knowledges of good and truth.

[4] In John:--

They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more (Rev. 7:16);

concerning the Lord's kingdom, where there is an abundance of all celestial knowledges and goods, which is not to hunger; and of spiritual knowledges and truths, which is not to thirst. In like manner spake the Lord in John:--

I am the Bread of life he that cometh to Me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst (John 6:35).

And in Luke:--

Blessed are ye that hunger now, for ye shall be filled (Luke 6:21).

And again:--

He hath filled the hungry with good things (Luke 1:53);

where celestial goods and their knowledges are treated of. That famine signifies a scarcity of knowledges, is plainly said in Amos:--

Behold, the days are coming, that I will send a famine upon the land; not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for waters, but of hearing the words of Jehovah (Amos 8:11, 12).

from AC 1460

Back to Words index, Back to Food words index

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