Spiritual Meaning of
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That Pharaoh is memory-knowledge in general, is evident in Isaiah:--
Fools are the princes of Zoan, the wise ones of the counselors of Pharaoh; counsel has become brutish; how say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of the kings of antiquity? (Isa. 19:11);
here Pharaoh is the memory-knowledge of the church in general, and therefore he is called the son of the wise, and the son of the kings of antiquity; the wise, and the kings of antiquity, denote the truths of the Ancient Church. But such knowledge made foolishness is here meant, for' it is said, fools are the princes of Zoan; the counsel is become brutish.
They depart to go down into Egypt, but they have not asked at My mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt. Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh become to you for a shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt for a reproach (Isa. 30:2, 3);
to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt denotes to trust to memory' knowledges in the things of faith, and not to have faith in any spiritual truth, unless memory-knowledge and what is sensuous dictate it, which nevertheless is of perverted order; for the truths of faith ought to be in the first place, and confirming memory-knowledges in the second place, because if these are in the first place nothing whatever of truth is believed.
 In Jeremiah:--
Hath said Jehovah Zebaoth the God of Israel, Behold I visit upon Amon in No, and upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt, and upon its gods, and upon its kings; especially upon Pharaoh, and them that trust in him (Jer. 46:25);
here also Pharaoh denotes memory-knowledge in general; they that trust in him are those who trust in memory-knowledges, but not in the Word, that is, in the Lord in the Word. Thus everything is perverted in the doctrinals of faith, and hence comes falsity, and also denial that the Divine and heavenly is anything. Such especially are in the habit of saying, Make me see these things with the eye, or show me scientifically that it is so, and then I will believe. And yet if they were to see, and if it were shown, they would not believe, because what is negative reigns universally.
 In the same:--
Against Pharaoh: Behold waters rise up from the north, which shall become an overflowing stream, and shall overflow the land and the fulness thereof, the city and them that dwell therein; so that the men shall cry, and all the inhabitant of the land shall howl, at the voice of the stamping of the hoofs of his strong horses, and at the tumult of his chariot, the rumbling of his wheels (Jer. 47:1, 2, 3);
from each of the things here said about Pharaoh, it is clear that Pharaoh is memory-knowledge in general, here in perverted order, which destroys the truths of faith. An overflowing stream is memory-knowledge destroying the understanding of truth, and thus vastating; they shall overflow the land and the fulness thereof denotes that this is done to the whole church; the city and them that dwell therein denotes to the truth of the church and the good thence derived; the stamping of the hoofs of the horses denotes the lowest memory-knowledges, which are direct from things of sense; the tumult of the chariot denotes the derivative false doctrine; the rumbling of the wheels denotes things of sense and their fallacies, which cause to advance.
 In Ezekiel:--
Hath said the Lord Jehovah; Behold I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great whale that lieth in the midst of his rivers, that saith, The river is mine, and I have made myself. Therefore I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick to thy scales (Ezek. 29:3, 4);
here also Pharaoh denotes memory-knowledge in general, as in like manner is evident from all that is said of him.
Take up a lamentation upon Pharaoh king of Egypt. Thou art as whales in the seas; and thou hast come forth with thy streams, and troubled the waters with thy feet, and fouled their streams. When I shall extinguish thee I will cover the heavens, and make the stars thereof black; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not make her light to shine; all the luminaries of light will I make black over thee, and will set darkness upon thy land (Ezek. 32:2, 3, 7, 8);
that these things, like many in the prophets, cannot be comprehended by anyone without the internal sense, is evident, as that Pharaoh is as whales in the seas, that he came forth from his streams, and troubled the waters with his feet; that over him the heavens should be covered, the stars should be made black, and all the luminaries of light; that the sun should be covered with a cloud, the moon not give her light, and darkness be set upon his land. But the internal sense teaches what these things signify, namely, that memory-knowledges pervert the truths of the church if a man enters by their means into the secrets of faith and believes nothing unless he sees it from them, nay, unless he sees it from things of sense. That this is the internal sense is evident from the explication of each expression.
 Pharaoh is called king of Eat from memory-truth; for memory-knowledge is truth in the natural. A king denotes truth, (AC 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044), and the king of a people has the like signification as the people (AC 4789). Thus Pharaoh has the like signification as Egypt, but in general. That Egypt is memory-knowledge has been frequently shown. Pharaoh is compared to whales in the seas, because a whale or sea-monster signifies the generals of memory-knowledges (AC 42), and seas signify collections of memory-knowledges (AC 28). It is also said that he came forth with his streams, because by streams are signified the things of intelligence (AC 108, 109, 2702, 3051), here of insanity, because derived from things of sense and memory-knowledges (AC 5196). It is then said that he troubled the waters with his feet, and fouled their streams, because by waters are signified spiritual truths (AC 680, 739, 2702, 3058, 3424, 4976, 5668), and by feet, the things of the natural (AC 2162, 3147, 3761, 3986, 4280, 4938-4952) thus to trouble the waters with his feet denotes to defile and pervert the truths of faith through the memory-knowledges of the natural; and to foul their streams is to do thus to intelligence.
 It is finally said that when he shall be extinguished the heavens shall be covered, because by the heavens are signified the interiors of man, since these are indeed his heavens. These are closed when memory-knowledges have dominion over the truths of faith, or the natural over the spiritual. That then the knowledges of truth and of good perish, is signified by the words, I will make the stars of the heavens black, and all the luminaries of light. The stars are these knowledges (AC 2495, 2849, 4697); and luminaries are goods and truths, (AC 30-38). That then neither can the good of love any more flow in, is signified by I will cover the sun with a cloud; and that neither can the good of faith flow in, is signified by the moon shall not make her light to shine. The sun is the good of love, and the moon the good of faith, (AC 1529, 1530, 2120, 2495, 3636, 3643, 4060, 4696). And that thus only falsities will have possession of the natural mind, is signified by I will set darkness upon thy land. Darkness is falsities, (AC 1839, 1860, 4418, 4531); and the land of Pharaoh or the land of Egypt is the natural mind, (AC 5276, 5278, 5280, 5288, 5301). From all this it is now evident what is the sense contained in these prophetic words. As by Pharaoh is signified memory-knowledge in general, by him is also signified the natural in general (AC 5799).
from AC 6015
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|