Corn or grain


Women in the Wheat Fields, by Charles Caryl Coleman

The word “corn” can be a bit tricky when looking at spiritual meanings, because there are two different Hebrew words with different meanings which are both often translated as “corn.” The Hebrew dawgawn is used to mean grain in general, and shehber is used to mean food that is for sale, or that is shared in common. Shehber refers to true ideas that sustain us in times of spiritual need. You can read more about that at the entry on corn/rations. Dawgawn, or “grain,” in a general sense represents the desire to be good, the energy to do what is good and the actual good we can do – things that are loving and caring toward others and ultimately toward the Lord. This makes sense; grains are a primary source of energy in our diets; most of our actions are in a sense “grain-powered.” Spiritual grain gives us energy for spiritual work just as natural grain gives us energy for natural work. The precise meaning varies depending on context, from simple good that comes from obedience to higher good works that arise from love and wisdom. Grain that is still growing represents religious beliefs that will lead to good. And when the grain comes from the highest sources – Joseph, for instance, who represents love from the Lord – it represents the true ideas that spring naturally from love, and which contain love.

'Corn,' as in Genesis 42:2, here stands for a word in the original language that meant 'breaking' as well as a similar word meaning to buy or sell. This is shown in the context of Jacob's sons buying corn in Egypt and Joseph selling it there. The reason for this is that in the Ancient Church bread was broken when it was given to another, which meant the sharing of what was one's own and the passing of good from oneself to another. When someone breaks bread and gives it to another, he is sharing with him what is his own. This makes it clear that 'breaking bread' was a sign of mutual love. Because this had become an accepted and customary practice in the Ancient Church, 'breaking' referred to the common availability of corn.