Spiritual Meaning of

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And so with respect to water, which signifies the spiritual things of faith, and concerning which the Lord thus speaks in John:--

Jesus said, Every one that drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever 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 unto eternal life (John 4:13, 14).

But at the present day there are those who are like the woman with whom the Lord spoke at the well, and who answered, Lord, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw (John 4:15).

from AC 680

That waters signify spiritual things, is evident from many passages in the Word; and that they also signify falsities, let the following passages, in addition to those already cited, serve for confirmation. In Isaiah:--

This people hath refused the waters of Shiloah that go softly; therefore behold the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, and he shall go over all his banks (Isaiah 8:6, 7).

The waters that go softly, here denote things spiritual, waters strong and many, falsities. Again:--

Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia; that sendeth ambassadors upon the sea, and in vessels of papyrus upon the waters. Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled (Isaiah 18:1, 2),

denoting the falsities which are of the land shadowing with wings.

[3] Again:--

When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee, and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee (Isaiah 43:2).

The waters and rivers denote difficulties, and also falsities. In Jeremiah:--

What hast thou to do with the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Shihor? And what hast thou to do with the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river? (Jeremiah 2:18),

where waters denote falsities from reasonings. Again:--

Who is this that riseth up as a river? as the rivers his waters are in commotion. Egypt riseth up as a river, and as the rivers his waters toss themselves; and he said, I will rise up, I will cover the earth, I will destroy the city and the inhabitants thereof (Jeremiah 46:7, 8),

where again waters denote falsities from reasonings.

[4] In Ezekiel:--

Thus saith the Lord Jehovih, When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited, when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and the great waters shall cover thee, then will I bring thee down with them that descend into the pit (Ezekiel 26:19, 20).

Waters here denote evils and the falsities therefrom. In Habakkuk:--

Thou didst tread the sea with thine horses, the mire of many waters (Habakkuk 3:15),

where waters denote falsities. In John:--

And the serpent cast forth after the woman, out of his mouth, water as a river, that he might cause her to be carried away by the stream (Rev. 12:15, 16).

Here waters denote falsities and lies. In David:--

Send Thine hand from above, rescue me and deliver me out of great waters, out of the hand of the sons of the stranger, whose mouth speaketh a lie, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood (Ps. 144:7, 8).

Great waters here manifestly denote falsities; the sons of the stranger also signify falsities.

from AC 790

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