Spiritual Meaning of

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That flesh signifies that man had become corporeal, appears from the signification of flesh in the Word, where it is used to signify both every man in general, and also, specifically, the corporeal man. It is used to signify every man, in Joel:--

I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy (Joel 2:28),

where flesh signifies man, and spirit the influx of truth and good from the Lord. In David:--

Thou that hearest prayers, unto Thee shall all flesh come (Ps. 65:2),

where flesh denotes every man. In Jeremiah:--

Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm (Jeremiah 17:5),

where flesh signifies man, and arm power. In Ezekiel:--

That all flesh may know (Ezekiel 21:4, 5).

In Zechariah:--

Be silent, all flesh, before Jehovah (Zechariah 2:13),

where flesh denotes every man.

[2] That it signifies specifically the corporeal man, is evident from Isaiah:--

The Egyptian is man and not God, and his horses are flesh and not spirit (Isaiah 31:3),

signifying that their memory-knowledge (scientificum) is corporeal; horses here and elsewhere in the Word denoting the rational. Again:--

He shall withdraw to the right hand, and shall be hungry; and he shall devour on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied; they shall eat every one the flesh of his own arm (Isaiah 9:20),

signifying such things as are man's own, which are all corporeal. In the same:--

He shall consume from the soul, and even the flesh (Isaiah 10:18),

where flesh signifies corporeal things. Again:--

The glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; the voice said, Cry; and he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass (Isaiah 40:5, 6),

flesh here signifies every man who is corporeal.

[3] In the same:--

In fire will Jehovah dispute, and with His sword with all flesh, and the slain of Jehovah shall be multiplied (Isaiah 66:16),

where fire signifies the punishment of cupidities; the sword, the punishment of falsities and flesh the corporeal things of man. In David:--

God remembered that they were flesh, a breath that passeth away, and cometh not again (Ps. 78:39),

speaking of the people in the wilderness desiring flesh, because they were corporeal; their desiring flesh represented that they desired only things corporeal (Num. 11:32, 33, 34).

from AC 574

That all flesh signifies every man, and thus the whole human race, is evident from the signification of flesh everywhere in the Word. See what was shown in (AC 574). As in Matthew:--

Except those days should be shortened, no flesh would be saved (Matthew 24:22; Mark 13:20).

In John:--

Jesus said, Father glorify Thy Son, as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh (John 17:2).

In Isaiah:--

And the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together (Isaiah 40:5).

And again:--

And all flesh shall know that I Jehovah am thy Saviour (Isaiah 49:26).

from AC 1050

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