10156. 'Who brought them out of the land of Egypt' means salvation from hell by the Lord. This is clear from the meaning of 'being brought out of the land of Egypt' as being delivered from hell, dealt with in 8866, 9197, thus being saved. 'The land of Egypt' means hell because that land in its true and proper sense means the natural level and the factual knowledge there; and 'being brought out of' the natural man and the factual knowledge there and being raised to the level of the spiritual man, to intelligence and wisdom there, also constitutes being brought out of hell. For a person is born natural, but becomes spiritual through regeneration; and if he does not become spiritual he is in hell. The knowledge which the natural man, that is, a person who has not been regenerated, possesses dwells in the light of the world, whereas the intelligence which the spiritual man, that is, a person who has been regenerated, possesses dwells in the light of heaven. And as long as a person sees things solely in the light of the world he is in hell; but when he sees them at the same time in the light of heaven he is in heaven.
(References: Genesis 1:27-28)
 But people who possess no more than natural knowledge and as a consequence do not see things in any light other than the light of the world can have no belief at all in the things that belong to heaven. Furthermore if they wish to investigate these things with the light they see by, called natural illumination, they encounter a kind of thick darkness which blinds them and blots out everything heavenly. For that in the mind which appears to be thick darkness is in reality such. This explains why a merely natural man, however much he thinks himself to be more enlightened than others, at heart rejects Divine and heavenly realities. It is also the reason why so many learned people are made brainless by their knowledge; for more of them than of simple people refuse to accept the things that constitute the faith of the Church and of heaven. It is different with those who allow themselves to be raised by the Lord to the light of heaven. These are first raised above the factual knowledge which the natural man possesses, and then in the light of heaven they behold the things within their natural man, which are called known facts, and clearly distinguish them, choosing those that make sense and are consistent, and rejecting or setting aside those that make no sense and are inconsistent.
 In short, the situation is that as long as a person is merely natural his interiors, which behold things in the light of heaven, are closed, and his exteriors, which behold things in the light of the world, are open. At this time the person looks downwards, that is, to the world and towards self; for everything composing his will and thought inclines in that direction. And the direction in which a person looks is also that in which his heart, that is, his will and his love, is turned. But when a person becomes spiritual his interiors, which behold things in the light of heaven, are opened, and then the person looks upwards, which is brought about through his being raised up by the Lord, so that he looks to heaven and towards the Lord. In this direction also everything that composes his will and his thought - thus his heart, that is, his love - is raised.
 For the human being has been created in such a way that his internal man should conform to an image of heaven, and his external man to an image of the world, 6057, 9279, to the end that heaven and the world might be brought together in the human being. Thus through him the Lord would flow from heaven into the world and govern it, with each individual person in particular and with all in general, and in this way would join the two together and thereby cause the likeness of heaven to exist in the world as well. When however a person is interested only in the world heaven with him has been closed; but when he allows himself to be raised by the Lord heaven with him is opened and the world becomes subordinate to it. And when this happens hell is separated and removed from him, at which point the person knows what good is and what evil is, but not before. This is what is called 'the image of God' with a person, Genesis 1:26-27.
 These matters have been stated in order that people may know what the spiritual man is and what the natural man is, and that the merely natural man, if he is not made spiritual by the Lord, is an embodiment of hell, consequently that they may know why hell is meant by 'Egypt', when yet the natural level and the factual knowledge there are meant by it.
'Egypt' means factual knowledge, see the places referred to in 9340.
It therefore means the natural level, see those referred to in 9391.
It also means hell, 8866, 9197.
(References: Exodus 29:45)