Spiritual Meaning of

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The signification of barley, is the good of the exterior natural. That barley has this signification is because it is produce of the field, and is a grain that serves for food; for grain in general signifies the good of truth (AC 3580, 5295, 5410, 5959), especially barley and wheat-- barley, the good of the exterior natural, and wheat, the good of the interior natural. The former good is signified by barley in Joel:--

The meat-offering and the drink-offering are cut off from the house of Jehovah the priests the ministers of Jehovah have mourned. The field hath been laid waste, the earth hath mourned, because the grain hath been devastated, the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. The husbandmen are ashamed, the vine-dressers have howled over the wheat and over the barley, because the harvest of the field hath perished (Joel 1:9-11);

the subject of this prophecy is the vastation of good and truth, as is evident from what follows in the chapter; and therefore by grain, new wine, wheat, and barley, are not signified these things, but spiritual things; thus by wheat, interior good; and by barley, exterior good. So with barley in (Ezek. 4:9; Deut. 8:8). In the book of Judges:--

When Gideon was come to the camp, a man was telling a dream to his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and lo a baked loaf of barley rolled unto the camp of Midian, and came even unto the tent, and smote it that it fell, and turned it upside down, and so the tent fell (Judges 7:13);

by Midian are signified those who are in the truth of simple good, and in the opposite sense those who are not in the good of life (AC 3242, 4756, 4788, 6773). This good is the good of the exterior natural, and is signified by a loaf of barley; but the delight of pleasures, if regarded as the end instead of this good, is what is signified by the baked loaf of barley; this is the state which the Midianites at that time represented, and which is there described.

from AC 7602

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