Spiritual Meaning of
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The signification of thirsting, is to strive after and long for, and is predicated of truth, as hungering is predicated of good; and as the signification of water is the truth of faith (AC 8562). That to thirst denotes to strive after and long for the truth which is signified by water, is very plain from many passages in the Word, as in Amos:--
Behold the days come wherein I will send a famine into the land, not a famine for bread, nor a thirst for waters, but for hearing the words of Jehovah; and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek the word of Jehovah, and shall not find it; in that day shall the beautiful virgins and the young men faint with thirst (Amos 8:11-13);
a longing to know truth is here described by thirsting; the longing for truth is signified by I will not send a thirst for waters, but for hearing the words of Jehovah; the lack of truth and the consequent privation of spiritual life are described by, in that day shall the beautiful virgins and the young men faint with thirst; beautiful virgins denote those who are in affections of good, and young men those who are in affections of truth.
 In Isaiah:--
No, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no silver; come ye, buy, eat, come ye and buy wine and milk without silver and without price (Isa. 55:1);
everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, manifestly denotes one who longs for the truths of faith; to buy wine and milk without price denotes to procure the truth and good of faith for themselves from the Lord, thus gratuitously. Waters denote the truth of faith (AC 8562); wine denotes the good of faith, (AC 6377), and also milk, (AC 2184). Everyone can see that by coming to the waters and buying wine and milk, is not here meant wine and milk, but such things as are of heaven and the church.
 In like manner in John:--
I will give to him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life free (Rev. 21:6);
where the fountain of the water of life denotes the truth and good of faith; he that is athirst denotes one who longs from affection, according to the Lord's words in John:--
Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, Everyone that drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but he that drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up into eternal life (John 4:13, 14);
here water plainly denotes the truth of faith from the Word, thus from the Lord; never thirsting here denotes that truth shall no longer fail him.
 In like manner elsewhere in John:--
Jesus said, I am the bread of life; he that cometh to Me shall never hunger, and he that believeth in Me shall never thirst (John 6:35).
Jesus cried, saying, If anyone thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink; whosoever believeth in Me, as the Scripture hath said, Out of his belly shall flow streams of living water (John 7:37, 38).
In these passages to thirst denotes to long for truth; to drink denotes to be instructed; streams of living water denote Divine truth, which is from the Lord alone.
 In Isaiah:
Bring ye waters to meet him that is thirsty; O ye inhabitants of the land of Tema, come before the wanderer with his bread (Isa. 21:14);
where bringing waters to meet him that is thirsty denotes instructing in truths him who longs for them, and thus refreshing the life of his soul. In the same:--
The fool will speak folly, and his heart will do iniquity, to do hypocrisy, and to utter error against Jehovah, to make empty the soul of the hungry one, and he will make the drink of the thirsty one to fail (Isa. 32:6);
the hungry one denotes him who longs for good; and he that thirsteth for drink, him who longs for truth.
The poor and needy seek water but there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst; I will open rivers upon the hillsides, and I will put fountains in the midst of the valleys, the wilderness for a pool of waters, and the dry land for springs of waters (Isa. 41:17, 18);
everyone can plainly see that seeking water denotes seeking truth; that failing for thirst denotes being deprived of spiritual life from a lack of truth; that rivers, fountains, a pool, and springs of waters denote the truths of faith in which they were to be instructed.
Say ye, Jehovah hath redeemed his servant Jacob; then shall they not thirst, He shall lead them in the wastes; He shall cause the waters to flow out of the rock for them, and He will cleave the rock that the waters may flow out (Isa. 48:20, 21);
they shall not thirst denotes that truths shall not fail them; waters here manifestly denote the truths of faith. Again:--
They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor the sun smite them; for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, so that even upon the springs of waters He will lead them (Isa. 49:10);
they shall not hunger denotes that good shall not fail them; they shall not thirst denotes that truth shall not fail them; springs of waters denote the knowledges of truth from the Word.
 In like manner in Moses:--
Jehovah leadeth thee through the great and fearful wilderness, of the serpent, of the fire-serpent, and of the scorpion, and of thirst, where are no waters; who bringeth forth for thee waters out of the stone of the crag (Deut. 8:15).
Again in Isaiah:--
Behold your God will come; then in the wilderness shall waters break out, and rivers in the plain of the desert; and the dry place shall become a pool, and the thirsty one for springs of waters (Isa. 35:4, 6, 7);
the waters in the wilderness that shall break out, rivers, a pool, springs of waters, plainly denote the truths of faith and the knowledges of them, which would be given from the Lord when He should come into the world.
 In David:--
O God, my God, in the morning do I seek Thee; my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee, in a land of drought, and weary without waters (Ps. 63:1);
where thirsting is predicated of truth; weary without waters denotes that there are no truths. Thirst denotes a lack of truth and the consequent privation of spiritual life, in Isaiah:--
Therefore My people will go into exile, for not acknowledging, and their glory are men of famine, and their multitude are parched with thirst (Isa. 5:13).
I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh because there is no water, and dieth for thirst (Isa. 50:2).
 From these passages it can now be seen what is signified in this chapter by there being no water for the people to drink (verse 1); by their saying, Give us water and we will drink (verse 2); by the people thirsting there for waters (verse 3); by that there shall come waters out of the rock (verse 6). Consequently by their murmuring on account of the lack of water is signified temptation from the lack of truth; for when a man comes into temptation from the lack of truth, he is kept in a vehement longing for it, and at the same time in despair of eternal salvation on this account: these things then cause suffering, and complaint.
from AC 8568
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|