Spiritual Meaning of

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 River of Egypt

A river, is things that belong to intelligence (AC 108, 109, 2702, 3051), and in the opposite sense, things contrary, thus falsities.

[2] That the river of Egypt denotes what is contrary to intelligence, thus falsity, is evident also in Isaiah:--

The rivers shall recede; the rivers of Egypt shall diminish and be dried up; the papyri beside the river, beside the mouth of the river, and all the seed of the river, shall become dry, shall be driven forward; and therefore the fishers shall mourn, and all they that cast a hook into the river shall be sad, and they that spread a net upon the faces of the waters shall languish (Isa. 19:6-8);

that here by the river of Egypt no river is meant, nor by fishers fishers, but that other things are meant, which do not appear unless it is known what is meant by Egypt, by the river there, and by fishers, is also evident: if these things are known, the sense is manifest. That by the river of Egypt is signified falsity, is plain from the particulars here.

[3] In Jeremiah:--

Who is this that riseth up like the river, whose waters are tossed like the rivers? Egypt riseth up like the river, and his waters are tossed as the rivers; for he hath said, I will go up, I will cover the earth, I will destroy the city, and them that dwell therein (Jer. 46:7, 8);

here also the river of Egypt denotes falsities; to go up and cover the earth denotes to do so to the church; to destroy the city, denotes to destroy the doctrine of the church; and them that dwell therein, denotes the goods thence derived. The earth" is the church (AC 6649); and the city, the doctrine of the church, (AC 402, 2449, 3216, 4492, 4493); and inhabitants, the goods therein, (AC 2268, 2451, 2712).

[4] In Ezekiel:--

Behold I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great whale that liest in the midst of his rivers; who hath said, The river is mine, and I have made myself. Therefore I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will mad the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will make thee go up out of the midst of thy rivers, and every fish of thy rivers shall stick in thy scales. I will leave thee in the wilderness, and every fish of thy rivers (Ezek. 29:3-5, 9, 10);

what these things signify no one can know without the internal sense (that Egypt is not meant, is evident), thus unless it is known what is meant by Pharaoh, and what by a river, a whale, a fish, and scales. Pharaoh is the natural where memory-knowledge is, (AC 5160, 5799, 6015); and whales are the generals of memory-knowledges in the natural, (AC 42); and fishes memory-knowledges under the general, (AC 40, 991). Scales denote those things which are manifestly external, thus sensuous, to which memory-knowledges which are falsities adhere. When these things are known, it is evident what is meant in the above passage by the river of Egypt, namely, falsity.

[5] Again:--

In that day when Pharaoh shall go down into hell I will make a mourning; I will cover the abyss over him, and I will curb his rivers, and the great waters shall be dammed up (Ezek. 31:15).

Shall not the earth he shaken for this, and everyone mourn that dwelleth therein, so that it shall go up all of it like a brook, and be driven out, and overwhelmed as by the river of Egypt? In that day I will make the sun to set at noon, and I will darken the earth in the day of light (Amos 8:8, 9; 9:5);

the earth which shall be shaken denotes the church (AC 6649); to be overwhelmed as by the river of Egypt denotes to perish by falsities and because falsities are signified, it is said that the sun shall set at noon, and that the earth shall be darkened in the day of light. By the sun setting at noon is signified that the good of celestial love would recede, and by the earth being darkened in the day of light, that falsities would take possession of the church. That the sun is the good of celestial love, may be seen above (AC 1529, 1530, 2441, 2495, 3636, 3643, 4060, 4696); also that darkness is falsity, (AC 1839, 1860, 4418, 4531); and that the earth is the church (AC 82, 662, 1066, 1067, 1262, 1411, 1413, 1607, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2928, 2355, 4447, 4535, 5577). Everyone can see that other things are signified here than what appear in the letter, as that the earth shall be shaken, and that everyone that dwelleth therein shall mourn, that the sun shall set at noon, and the earth be darkened in the day of light. Unless the church is understood by the earth, falsity by the river, and celestial love by the sun, no sense which can be unfolded is found there.

[6] As the river of Egypt signifies falsity, therefore Moses was commanded to smite with his staff upon the waters of that river, and they were consequently turned into blood, and every fish died in the river, and the river stank (Exod. 7:17-21); and Aaron also was commanded to stretch out his hand with the rod over the rivers, over the streams, and over the pools, whereupon frogs came up over the land of Egypt (Exod. 8:1, 2). That waters in the opposite sense signify falsities (AC 790); and as the waters are those of the river, the river relatively denotes falsity in general.

from AC 6693

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