Spiritual Meaning of
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The signification of bitumen, is good mixed with evils; and the signification of pitch, is good mixed with falsities. Bitumen and pitch have these significations from their being of a fiery nature, and in the Word by what is fiery is signified good, and in the opposite sense evil; but as they are sulphurous, and also black, they signify evil and falsity; as in Isaiah:--
The day of the vengeance of Jehovah; the torrents thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into sulphur, and the land thereof into burning pitch (Isa. 34:8, 9);
pitch and sulphur denote falsities and evils. Hence then it is that by she daubed it with bitumen and pitch, is signified good mixed "with evils and falsities.
 As regards the thing itself-that encompassing the truth Divine there was good mixed with evils and falsities, no one can understand this unless he knows how the case is with the reformation of man. When a man is being reformed, he is kept by the Lord as to his internal in good and truth, but as to his external he is let into his evils and falsities, consequently among infernal spirits who are in these evils and falsities. These hover round him, and endeavor by every method to destroy him. But the good and truth which flow in through the internal render him so safe that the infernal spirits cannot do him the least harm; for that which acts inwardly prevails immeasurably over that which acts outwardly; because what is interior, in consequence of being purer, acts upon each and every individual particular of the exterior, and thus disposes the external to its will. But in this case there must be good and truth in the external, wherein the influx from the internal can be fixed; and in this way good can be among evils and falsities, and yet be in safety. Everyone who is being reformed is let into this state, and in this way the evils and falsities in which he is, are removed, and goods and truths are inserted in their place.
 Unless this secret is known, it cannot possibly be known why around the Divine truth in a man there are goods mixed with evils and falsities, signified by the bitumen and pitch wherewith the little ark was daubed in which the infant was laid. Be it known further that good can be mixed "with evils and falsities, but that nevertheless they are not on this account conjoined, for each shuns the other, and by a law of order each separates itself from the other. For good is of heaven, and evil and falsity are of hell; therefore, as heaven and hell are separate, so also each and all things from them separate themselves.
from AC 6724
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|