Arcana Coelestia #10050

Par Emanuel Swedenborg

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10050. 'And its legs' means purification of the more external things belonging to the natural man. This is clear from the meaning of 'washing the legs' as purification of the natural man (for the meaning of 'washing' as purifying, see immediately above in 10049); and from the meaning of 'the legs' as the more external things belonging to the natural man. The reason why these things are meant by 'the legs' is that one must at the same time understand the feet, since an animal's four legs are closely connected to its feet, and 'the feet' by virtue of their correspondence mean the natural or external level in a person, see 2162, 3147, 3761, 4938-4952.

[2] Much the same is meant by 'the legs' in Amos,

As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs or a piece of an ear, so will the children of Israel dwelling in Samaria be rescued, on the corner of a bed and on the end of a couch. Amos 3:12.

'The lion' here means those who lay the Church waste, 'legs' the external part of it, which is also the external part of the natural man, 'a piece of an ear' its discernment, and those 'dwelling in Samaria' those whose worship is external. 'The corner of a bed and the end of a couch' is the lowest part of the natural, which is external sensory awareness and its truth and good.

[3] In Daniel's description of Nebuchadnezzar's statue - its head made of pure gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and side of bronze, legs of iron, and feet partly of iron and partly of clay, Daniel 2:32-33 - what is meant by 'the legs' is the truth of faith in the external or natural man; and the same thing is also meant by 'iron', see 10030. The reason why the legs in the description are distinguished from the feet is that human legs are by nature different from animal legs.

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Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.