Spiritual Meaning of
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The subject here specifically treated of is the flood, by which is signified not only the temptations which the man of the church called Noah had to undergo before he could be regenerated, but also the desolation of those who could not be regenerated. Both temptations and desolations are compared in the Word to floods or inundations of waters, and are so called. Temptations are denoted in Isaiah:--
For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but in great compassions will I gather thee again. In an inundation of anger I hid my faces from thee for a moment; but in the mercy of eternity will I have compassion upon thee, saith Jehovah thy Redeemer. For this is the waters of Noah unto Me, to whom I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee and rebuke thee, O thou afflicted and tossed with tempests and not comforted (Isaiah 54:7-9, 11).
This is said of the church that is to be regenerated, and concerning its temptations, which are called the waters of Noah.
 The Lord Himself also calls temptations an inundation, in Luke:--
Jesus said, Every one that cometh unto Me, and heareth My sayings and doeth them is like unto a man building a house, who digged, and went deep, and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when an inundation came, the stream beat upon that house, but could not shake it, because it had been founded upon the rock (Luke 6:47, 48).
That temptations are here meant by an inundation must be evident to every one. Desolations are also denoted in Isaiah:--
The Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, the king of Asshur and all his glory; and he riseth up above all his channels, and shall go over all his banks: and he shall go through Judah; he shall inundate and go through; he shall reach even to the neck (Isaiah 8:7, 8).
The king of Asshur here stands for phantasies, principles of falsity, and the derivative reasonings, which desolate man, and which desolated the antediluvians.
 In Jeremiah:--
Thus hath said Jehovah, Behold waters rise up out of the north, and shall become an inundating stream, and shall inundate the land and the fullness thereof, the city and them that dwell therein (Jeremiah 47:2, 3).
This is said of the Philistines, who represent those who take up false principles, and reason from them concerning spiritual things, which reasonings inundate man, as they did the antediluvians. The reason why both temptations and desolations are compared in the Word to floods or inundations of waters, and are so called, is that they are similarly circumstanced; it being evil spirits who flow in with their persuasions and the false principles in which they are, and excite such things in man. With the man who is being regenerated, these are temptations; but with the man who is not being regenerated they are desolations.
from AC 705
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|