2781. 'And saddled [his] ass' means the natural man which He prepared. This is clear from the meaning of 'an ass', dealt with below. In man there are things of the will and there are those of the understanding; with the former go those things which spring from good, with the latter those which spring from truth. There are various kinds of animals, by which things of the will springing from good are meant, such as lambs, sheep, goats, she-goats, young bulls, and oxen, see 1823, 2179, 2180; and there are also those by which are meant things of the understanding springing from truth, namely horses, mules, wild asses, camels, and asses, in addition to birds. 'A horse' means the understanding part of the mind, as has been shown above in 2761, 2762; 'a wild ass' means rational truth separated from good, see 1949; and 'a camel' means factual knowledge in general, and 'an ass' factual knowledge in particular, see 1486.
Arcana Coelestia 2179-2180, 2761-2762)
 There are two elements which constitute the natural degree of man's mind, or what amounts to the same, the natural man - natural good and natural truth. Natural good is the delight that flows forth from charity and faith, natural truth is knowledge of these. That natural truth is what is meant by 'an ass', and rational truth by 'a mule', becomes clear from the following places:In Isaiah,
A prophecy of the beasts of the south. In the land of distress and repression are the lion and the tiger, and from them come the viper and the flying fiery-serpent. They will bear their riches on the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures on the humps of camels - on a people [who] will not be any use [to them]; for the Egyptians will help in vain and to no advantage. Isaiah 30:6-7.
The expression 'the beasts of the south' is used of those who possess cognitions of good and truth but who make them matters of knowledge, not of life. In reference to those beasts it is said that those people 'bear their riches on the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures on the humps of camels', for the reason that 'young asses' means facts in particular, and 'camels' facts in general. 'The Egyptians', of whom it is said that they will help in vain and to no advantage, means knowledge, see 1164, 1165, 1186. It is evident to anyone that this prophecy has an internal sense and that without this it is understood by nobody, for without the internal sense no one can know what 'the prophecy of the beasts of the south' is, or what 'the lion and the tiger', or what 'the viper and the flying fiery-serpent', or what is meant by the words that 'those beasts were to bear their riches on the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures on the humps of camels', or why the assertion immediately follows that 'the Egyptians will help in vain and to no advantage'. 'Ass' is used with a like meaning in Israel's prophecy concerning Issachar, in Moses,
Issachar is a bony ass lying down between burdens. Genesis 49:14.
Arcana Coelestia 1164-1165)
 In Zechariah,
This will be the plague with which Jehovah will smite all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem. It will be a plague of the horse, the mule, the camel, and the ass, and every beast. Zechariah 14:12, 15.
'The horse, the mule, the camel, and the ass' means things of the understanding residing in man which will suffer from the plague. This is clear from every single detail before and after those verses, for the subject there is the plagues which are to precede the Last Judgement or. Close of the Age and to which John makes much reference in Revelation, as do the rest of the Prophets in various places. Those who are going to wage war at that time against Jerusalem, that is, against the Lord's spiritual Church and its truths, are meant by those animals. It will be the things of the understanding that will suffer from such plagues
 In Isaiah,
Blessed are you who sow beside all waters, who send forth the foot of the ox and the ass. Isaiah 32:20.
'Sowing beside all waters' stands for those who allow themselves to be taught spiritual things - 'waters' meaning spiritual things and so things that constitute an understanding of truth, see 680, 739, 2702. 'Who send forth the foot of the ox and the ass' stands for natural things that are to be of service, 'ox' meaning the natural as regards good, 2180, 2566, 'ass' the natural as regards truth.
 In Moses,
Binding his young ass to the vine and the foal 1
of his she-ass to the choice vine. He washes his vesture in wine and his cloak in the blood of grapes. Genesis 49:11.
This is the prophecy of Jacob, by then Israel, concerning the Lord. 'The vine' and 'the choice vine' stand for the spiritual Church, external and internal, 1069. 'Young ass' stands for natural truth, 'the foal of a she-ass' for rational truth. The reason 'the foal of a she-ass' means rational truth is that 'a she ass' means the affection for natural truth, 1486, while her foal means rational truth, see 1895, 1896, 1902, 1910.
Arcana Coelestia 1895-1896)
 In former times a judge used to ride on a she-ass and his sons on young asses, the reason being that judges represented the goods of the Church and their sons truths derived from those goods. A king however used to ride on a she-mule and his sons on mules, the reason being that kings and their sons represented the truths of the Church, see 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069. The fact that a judge rode on a she-ass is clear in the Book of Judges,
My heart goes out to the law-givers of Israel offering themselves willingly among the people. Bless Jehovah, you who ride on white she-asses, you who sit on Middin. 2
The fact that judges' sons rode on young asses,
Jair the judge over Israel had thirty sons who rode on thirty young asses. Judges 10:3-4.
And elsewhere in the same book,
Abdon the judge of Israel had forty sons and thirty grandsons who rode on seventy young asses. Judges 12:14.
David said to them, Take with you the servants of your lord and cause Solomon my son to ride on the she-mule which is mine. And they caused Solomon to ride on King David's she-mule. And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed him king in Gihon. 1 Kings 1:33, 38, 44-45.
The fact that the king's sons rode on mules,
All King David's sons arose, and they rode each on his mule and fled because of Absalom. 2 Samuel 13:29.
 From all this it is evident that riding on a she-ass indicated the judge, and riding on a she-mule the king; riding on a young ass indicated the judge's sons, and doing so on a mule the king's sons. They indicated these personages because, as has been stated, 'a she-ass' represented and meant the affection for natural good and truth, 'a she-mule' the affection for rational truth, 'an ass or young ass' natural truth itself, and 'a mule' as well as 'the foal of a she-ass' rational truth. This shows what is meant by the prophetical words that refer to the Lord, in Zechariah,
Exult, O daughter of Zion! Rejoice, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King will come to you. He is just and having salvation, humble and riding on an ass, and on a young ass, the foal of she-asses. His dominion will be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. Zechariah 9:9-10.
The fact that the Lord wished to ride on these when He was about to enter Jerusalem is well known from the Gospels. The event is referred to in Matthew as follows,
Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a she-ass tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. This took place to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet saying, Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your King is coming to you, meek seated on a she-ass, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden. And they brought the she-ass and the colt and laid their garments on them and set Him on them. Matthew 21:2, 4-5, 7.
 'Riding on an ass' served to indicate that the natural was subordinate, and 'riding on a colt, the foal of a she-ass' that the rational was so; for 'the foal of a she-ass' is similar in meaning to 'a mule', as has been shown above, where Genesis 49:11 is referred to. 3
From this - the spiritual meaning of these animals - and because it was the right of the supreme judge and of the king to ride on them, and at the same time so that He might fulfil the representatives of the Church, the Lord was pleased to ride in this way. His doing so is described in John as follows,
The next day a great crowd who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went to meet Him, and cried, Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel! Jesus found a young ass and sat on it, as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming, sitting on a she-ass's colt! These things however His disciples had not understood at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of Him, and that they had done these things for Him. John 12:12-16; Mark 11:1-12; Luke 19:28-41.
Luke 19:28-40; Mark 11:1-11)
 From an this it may now be clear that every single thing in the Church of that period was representative of the Lord, and consequently of the celestial and spiritual things that are in His kingdom; even the she-ass and the colt of the she-ass were so, which represented the natural man as regards good and truth. The reason for the representation was that the natural man ought to serve the rational, and the rational to serve the spiritual; but the spiritual ought to serve the celestial, and the celestial to serve the Lord. This is the order in which one is subordinated to another.
 Because 'an ox and an ass' meant the natural man as regards good and truth many laws were therefore laid down in which oxen and asses are mentioned. At first glance these laws do not seem to be worthy of mention in the Divine Word, but when they are interpreted as to their internal sense, that which is spiritual and of great importance is seen within these laws, such as the following laws in Moses,
If anyone opens a pit, or if anyone digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or an ass falls into it, the owner of the pit shall recompense its owner with silver, and the dead animal shall be his. Exodus 21:33-34.
If you meet your enemy's ox or his ass going astray you shall certainly lead it back to him. If you see the ass of one who hates you lying under its burden, and you are disinclined to remove it, you shall certainly help to remove it from it. Exodus 23:4-5; Deuteronomy 22:1, 3.
You shall not see your brother's ass or ox falling down in the road and hide yourself from them; you shall certainly help to lift them. Deuteronomy 22:4.
You shall not plough with an ox and an ass together. You shall not wear mingled material made of wool and linen together. Deuteronomy 22:10-11.
Six days you shall do your works, and on the seventh day you shall rest, in order that your ox and your ass may rest, and the son of your woman servant, and the settler. Exodus 23:12.
Here 'ox and ass' in the spiritual sense means nothing other than natural good and truth.
1. literally, the son
2. A Hebrew word, the meaning of which is uncertain.
3. i.e. in subsection 5 of this paragraph 378:5
Genesis 22:3; Judges 12:13-14)