Spiritual Meaning of

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 Ashes, Furnace

Ashes of the furnace signify falsities of cupidities, is because they are from burnt things; and burning, as also fire itself, in the Word, in a good sense, signify the good of heavenly affections; but in the opposite sense, the evil of infernal cupidities. Fire has this signification (AC 934, 1861, 2446, 4906, 5071, 5215, 6314, 6832, 6834, 6849, 7324); and burning denotes the evil of cupidities, (AC 1297, 5215); hence it is that ashes signify falsities, for falsities are from the evils of cupidities. And as the evils of cupidities are signified by fire, they are also signified by a furnace, which is the containant, and this frequently involves the same as that which it contains.

[6] That a furnace has this signification is evident from these passages:--

Behold, the day cometh, burning as a furnace; and all the proud, and everyone that worketh wickedness, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall set them on fire, it shall leave them neither root nor branch (Mal. 4:1);

where burning as a furnace denotes the cupidities of evil; setting them on fire, a kindling with cupidities.

[7] In Genesis:--

Abraham looked toward the faces of Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward the faces of all the land of the plain, and he saw, and the smoke of the land went up, as the smoke of a face (Gen. 19:28);

where the smoke of a furnace denotes falsities from the evils of cupidities, for Sodom denotes the evil of cupidities from the love of self, and Gomorrah the falsity thence derived (AC 2220, 2245, 2322). In John:--

There went up a smoke out of the pit of the abyss, as the smoke of a furnace (Rev. 9:2);

where the smoke of a furnace in like manner denotes falsities from evils of cupidities; the pit of the abyss denotes hell.

[8] In Matthew:--

The Son of man shall send His angels, who shall gather out of His kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and them that do iniquity, and shall send them into the furnace of fire (Matthew 13:41, 42);

where the furnace of fire denotes the evils of cupidities; for the fire of cupidities is what is meant in the Word by the fire of hell; moreover loves are nothing else than the fires of life, and cupidity is what is continuous of love.

[9] In Nahum:--

Draw thee waters for the siege, strengthen thy fortress; go into the mire, and tread the clay, repair the brick kiln; there shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off (Nahum 3:14, 15);

where going into the mire denotes into falsity; treading the clay, evil (AC 6669); the brick kiln, or furnace for brick, denotes the falsities which they invent, and which are injected by the evil (AC 1296, 6669, 7113); fire denotes the cupidity of evil (AC 1861, 2446, 5071, 5215, 6832, 7324); the sword denotes falsity (AC 4499).

[10] In Jeremiah:--

Take great stones in thy hand, and hide them in clay in the furnace for brick which is at the door of Pharaoh's house in Tahpanhes, in the eyes of the men of Judah; and say unto them, Behold I will send and take Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and I will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid, so that he may spread his tent over them; he shall come and shall smite the land of Egypt (Jer. 43:9-11);

what these words signify cannot be known without the internal sense; great stones denote falsities; the furnace for brick denotes the cupidity of falsity from evil; Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon denotes the devastator of truth and good; his throne and tent being set over these stones denotes that he will cause falsities to reign; the land of Egypt which be will smite denotes the natural mind.

from AC 7519

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