He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
By Mr. Brian P. David
The 23rd Psalm is one of the best-known and most-loved literary works in the world, and it may well be the best poem ever written. It is also a fine example of the power of figurative language: We read deep things into the vision of ourselves as sheep, led to green pastures and good water by a kind shepherd. It’s empowering to feel the confidence to go fearlessly into the valley of the shadow of death, and to feel the love and caring of a table prepared by the Lord and a cup so full it overflows.
What people don’t know, however, is that this language actually has precise internal meanings, and that when we see them there is an even deeper beauty in the poem. That’s because what it actually describes is the path to heaven, and the fierce desire the Lord has to lead us there.
The first step is to let the Lord be our shepherd – to accept His teaching and His leadership. The green pastures and the still waters represent the things He will teach us for the journey. Then He begins working inside is, setting our spiritual lives in order, so that we desire to do what’s good and to love one another. That’s represented by restoring our souls and leading us in the paths of righteousness.
But we will still face challenges. We still live external lives, out in the world, and we are subject to desires that arise in those externals, in our bodily lives. That’s the valley of the shadow of death. But the rod and staff represent truth from the Lord on both external and internal levels, ideas that can defend us against those desires.
And if we keep following, the Lord will prepare a table for us – a place inside us that he can fill with love (the anointing oil) and wisdom (the overflowing cup). Thus transformed, we can enter heaven, with love for others (“goodness”) and love from the Lord (“mercy”) and can love and be loved to eternity.
One of many beautiful things about this is the fact that it is the Lord who really does all the work. In the whole text, the only action taken by the sheep is walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Other than that, they follow the Lord, trust the Lord, accept the blessings of the Lord. And that is really true! In external states (in the valley) we might seem to be doing the work ourselves, but internally, spiritually, we simply need to give ourselves to the Lord and let Him bless us.
The underlying idea here is that the Lord created us so that He could love us, in loving us wants us to be happy, knows that our greatest happiness will come from being conjoined to Him in heaven, and Himself wants nothing more than to be conjoined to us. So everything He does, in every moment of every day for every person on the face of the planet, is centered on the goal of getting that person to heaven. He wants each and every one of us in heaven more than we are capable of imagining. We just need to cooperate.
386. And with famine, signifies by the deprivation, lack, and ignorance of the knowledges of truth and good. This is evident from the signification of "famine," as being the deprivation of the knowledges of truth and good, also the lack and ignorance of them. These are signified by "famine" in the Word. This is the signification of "famine" because "food and drink" signify all things that nourish and sustain spiritual life, and these in general are the knowledges of truth and good. The spiritual life itself needs nourishment and support just as much as the natural life does; so it is said to be famished when a man is deprived of these knowledges, or when they fail, or when they are unknown and yet are desired. Moreover, natural foods correspond to spiritual foods, as bread to the good of love, wine to the truths therefrom, and other foods and drinks to particular goods and truths, which have been treated of in several places before, and will be treated of in what follows. It is said that "famine" signifies 1. the deprivation of the knowledges of truth and good, 2. lack, and 3. ignorance of them, since there is deprivation with those who are in evils and in falsities therefrom; lack with those who cannot know them, because they are not in the church or in its doctrine; and ignorance with those who know that there are knowledges, and therefore desire them; these three things are signified by "famine" in the Word, as can be seen from the passages there in which "famine," "the hungry," "thirst," and "the thirsty," are mentioned.
(References: Revelation 6:8)
 1. That "famine" signifies the deprivation of the knowledges of truth and good which exists with those who are in evils and thence in falsities, is evident from the following passages. In Isaiah:
In the fury of Jehovah of Hosts is the land obscured, and the people are become as the food of the fire; a man shall not pity his brother. And if he shall cut down on the right hand he shall be hungry, and if he shall eat on the left hand they shall not be satisfied; they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm; Manasseh Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh; they together against Judah 1 (Isaiah 9:19-21).
Except from the internal sense no one can understand this, nor can even know what is treated of. This treats of the extinction of good by falsity, and of truth by evil. The perversion of the church through falsity is meant by "in the fury of Jehovah of Hosts is the land obscured;" and the perversion of it through evil is meant by "the people are become as the food of the fire;" "the land obscured" signifies the church where there is no truth, but only falsity; and "the food of the fire" signifies the consumption of the truth by the love of evil, "fire" meaning the love of evil. That falsity destroys good is meant by "a man shall not pity his brother," "man" [vir] and "brother" signifying truth and good, here "man" signifies falsity, and "brother" good, because it is said that "he shall not pity him." The consequent deprivation of all good and of all truth, however much it may be sought, is meant by "if he shall cut down on the right hand he shall be hungry, and if he shall eat on the left hand they shall not be satisfied," "right hand" signifying good from which is truth, and "left hand" truth from good, "to cut down, 2 and to eat these" signifies to seek, and "to be hungry and not be satisfied" means to be deprived of; that evil extinguishes all truth and falsity all good is meant by "they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm," "flesh of the arm" meaning the power of good through truth, "man" falsity, and "to eat" to extinguish. That thence all the will of good and the understanding of truth perishes is meant by "Manasseh shall eat Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh." (That "Manasseh" means the will of good, and "Ephraim" the understanding of truth, see Arcana Coelestia 3969, 5354, 6222, 6234, 6238, 6267, 6296.) That this is with those who are in evils and falsities is meant by "they together against Judah;" for when the will is in good and the understanding in truth these are with Jehovah, since they are both from Him; but when the will is in evil and the understanding in falsity they are against Jehovah.
 In the same:
Be not glad, O Philistia, all of thee, because the rod that smiteth thee is broken; for from the serpent's root shall come forth a basilisk, and his fruit shall be a fiery-flying serpent. I will cause thy root to die with famine, and it shall slay thy remnant (Isaiah 14:29-30).
Nearly the like is meant by this in the internal sense; but here those are treated of who believe that faith is merely the interior sight of the natural man, and that they are justified and saved by such sight or faith, thus denying that the good of charity has any effect. Such as these are meant by "the Philistines," and a collection of them by "Philistia" (see Arcana Coelestia 3412, 3413, 8093, 8313). That this false principle, which is faith alone or faith separated from charity, destroys every good and truth of the church is meant by "from the serpent's root shall come forth a basilisk," the "serpent's root" meaning that false principle, and "basilisk" the destruction of the good and truth of the church thereby. That reasoning from mere falsities springs from this is meant by "his fruit shall be a fiery-flying serpent," "fiery-flying serpent" meaning reasoning from falsities. The deprivation of all truth and thence of all good is meant by "I will cause thy root to die with famine, and famine shall slay thy remnant," meaning all things hatched out of that principle. That such is the meaning has been made evident also by experience itself. Those who in doctrine and in life have confirmed themselves in the principle of faith alone are seen in the spiritual world as basilisks, and their reasonings as fiery-flying serpents.
(References: Arcana Coelestia 3412-3413)
 In the same:
Who formeth a god, and casteth a molten image, and it profiteth not? he fashioneth iron with the tongs, and worketh it in the coal, and formeth it with sharp hammers; so he worketh it by the arm of his power; yea, he is hungry until there is no power, neither doth he drink, until he is weary (Isaiah 44:10, 12).
This describes the formation of doctrine both from one's own understanding and from one's own love. "To form a god" signifies doctrine from one's own understanding; and "to cast a molten image," from one's own love; "he fashioneth the iron with the tongs, and worketh it in the coal" signifies the falsity that he calls truth and the evil that he calls good, "iron" meaning falsity, and "the fire of coal" the evil of one's own love; "he formeth it with sharp hammers" signifies by ingenious reasonings from falsities so that they may seem to hold together; "so he worketh it by the arm of his power" signifies from what is his own; "yea, he is hungry until there is no power, neither doth he drink, until he is weary" signifies that there is nothing whatever of good or of truth, "to be hungry" signifies the deprivation of good, and "not to drink" the deprivation of truth, "until there is no power," and "until he is weary" signify till there is nothing of good and nothing of truth left. Who that looks at the Word from the sense of the letter only, can see in this anything but a description of the formation of a molten image? Yet he must see that there is nothing spiritual involved in such a description of the formation of a molten image; also that there is no need of saying that "he is hungry until there is no power, neither doth he drink until he is weary;" nevertheless not only here but elsewhere in many places in the Word, the formation of a religion and of the doctrine of falsity is described by "idols," "graven images" and "molten images." (That these signify the falsities of religion, and of doctrine originating from one's own understanding, and from one's own love, see Arcana Coelestia 8869, 8932, 8941, 9424, 10406, 10503)
 In the same:
These two things have met thee; who shall be sorry for thee? devastation and a breach, and famine and sword (Isaiah 51:19).
Here, too, "famine" means the deprivation of the knowledges of good, even till there is no more good; and "sword" the deprivation of the knowledges of truth, even till there is no more truth; therefore "devastation" and "breach" are mentioned, "devastation" signifying that there is no more good, and "breach" that there is no more truth.
 In the same:
Thus said the Lord Jehovih, Behold, My servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry; My servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty; behold, My servants shall be glad, but ye shall be ashamed (Isaiah 65:13).
Here, also, "to be hungry and thirsty" means to be deprived of the good of love and the truths of faith, "to be hungry" to be deprived of the good of love, and "to be thirsty" to be deprived of the truths of faith; "to eat and to drink" signifies communication and appropriation of goods and truths; and "the servants of the Lord Jehovih," those who receive goods and truths from the Lord; this makes clear what is signified by "Behold, My servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry; My servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty;" that the Lord's servants shall have eternal happiness, but the others unhappiness is signified by "Behold, My servants shall be glad, but ye shall be ashamed."
 In Jeremiah:
By the sword, by famine, and by pestilence I consume them; Yet I said, Ah Lord Jehovih! behold the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine. Therefore thus said Jehovah against the prophets prophesying in My name, although I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land. By sword and by famine shall these prophets come to an end; the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem, and there shall be no one to bury them (Jeremiah 14:12-13, 15-16).
"Sword, famine, and pestilence," signifies the deprivation of truth and of good, and thus of spiritual life through falsities and evils; "sword" signifying the deprivation of truth through falsities, "famine" the deprivation of good through evils, and "pestilence" the deprivation of spiritual life. "Prophets" mean those who teach the truths of doctrine, and in an abstract sense, the doctrinals of truth. This makes clear what is signified by all this, namely, that those who teach the doctrine of falsity and evil shall perish through these things that are signified by "sword and famine;" and that those who receive the doctrine from them are separated from every truth of the church, and are damned, is signified by "they shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem, there shall be no one to bury them," "the streets of Jerusalem" meaning the truths of the church, "to be cast out in them" meaning to be separated from those truths, and "not to be buried" meaning to be damned.
 "Sword, famine, and pestilence," have a like signification in the following passages, "sword" signifying the deprivation of truth through falsities, "famine" the deprivation of good through evils, and "pestilence" the consequent deprivation of spiritual life. In Jeremiah:
They shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, that their carcass may be for food to the fowl of the heavens and to the beast of the earth (Jeremiah 16:4);
"their carcass may be for food to the fowl of the heavens" signifying damnation by falsities, and "for food to the beast of the earth" damnation by evils. In the same:
They have denied Jehovah when they said, It is not He; neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword and famine (Jeremiah 5:12).
In the same:
Behold I will visit upon them; the young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine (Jeremiah 11:22).
In the same:
Give their 3 sons to the famine, and make them flow down upon the hands of the sword, that their wives may become bereaved and widows, and their men be slain by death, their young men smitten by the sword in war (Jeremiah 18:21).
In the same:
I will send upon them sword, famine, and pestilence, and will make them like the horrible figs, that cannot be eaten for badness. And I will pursue after them with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence (Jeremiah 29:17-18).
In the same:
I will send against them the sword, famine, and pestilence, until they come to an end from upon the ground that I gave to them and to their fathers (Jeremiah 24:10).
In the same:
I proclaim to you a liberty, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will give you up for commotion by all the kingdoms of the earth (Jeremiah 34:17).
In the Gospels:
Nation shall be roused against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes, in diverse places (Matthew 24:17; Mark 13:8; Luke 21:11).
Because thou hast defiled My sanctuary, a third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee; and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and a third part I will disperse to every wind. When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, that shall be for destruction, when I shall send them to destroy you; but yet I will increase the famine upon you, until I have broken for you the staff of bread. And I will send upon you famine and the evil wild beast, and I will make thee bereaved; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee (Ezekiel 5:11-12, 5:16-17).
In the same:
The sword without, and pestilence and famine within; he that is in the field shall die by the sword, but he that is in the city famine and pestilence shall devour him (Ezekiel 7:15).
In the same:
Because of all the evil abominations, they shall fall by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. He that is far off shall die by pestilence; he that is near shall fall by the sword; and he that remaineth and is preserved shall die by famine (Ezekiel 6:11-12).
But if ye say, We will not dwell in this land, that ye may not obey the voice of Jehovah your God; saying No, but we will come into the land of Egypt, where we shall see no war, and shall not hear the sound of the trumpet, and shall not hunger for bread, and there will we dwell: hear ye the word of Jehovah, If ye wholly set your faces to enter into Egypt, and come to sojourn there, it shall come to pass that the sword that ye fear shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine about which ye were solicitous shall cleave to you there in Egypt, and there ye shall die. And they shall die there by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; neither shall one of them remain, because of the evil that I will bring upon you. 4 And ye shall be for an execration and an astonishment, and for a reproach; and ye shall see this place no more. Now therefore know certainly, that ye shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence in the place whither ye have desired to come to sojourn there (Jeremiah 42:13-18, 42:22; 44:12-13, 44:27).
"Egypt" here signifies the natural, and "to come into Egypt and to sojourn there" signifies to become natural. (That "Egypt" means the knowing faculty [scientificum] that belongs to the natural man, and thus the natural, and "the land of Egypt" means the natural mind, see Arcana Coelestia 4967, 5079-5080, 5095, 5276, 5278, 5280, 5288, 5301, 5160, 5799, 6015, 6147, 6252, 7353, 7648, 9340, 9391 and that "to sojourn" means to be instructed, and to live, n. 1463, 2025, 3672.) From this it can be seen what is signified in the spiritual sense by "their not going into Egypt, and their dying then by the sword, the famine, and the pestilence," namely, that if they became merely natural, they would be deprived of all truth and good and spiritual life; for the natural man separate from the spiritual is in falsities and evils, and thus in infernal life. (That the natural man separate from the spiritual is such, see in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 47-48.) Therefore it is said that if they went into Egypt "they should be for an execration and an astonishment and a reproach, neither would they see this place;" "the place they would not see" meaning the state of the spiritual man, the same as "the land of Canaan. " Like things are signified by the murmurings of the sons of Israel in the wilderness, because they so often desired to return into Egypt; therefore manna was also given to them, which signifies spiritual nourishment (Exodus 16:2-3, 16:7-9, 16:22).
 In Ezekiel:
When I shall stretch out Mine hand against the house of Israel to break for it the staff of bread, and send famine upon it, and cut off from it man and beast; then I will cause the evil wild beast to pass through the land, and will bereave it, that it may become a desolation; then I will send my four evil judgments upon Jerusalem, sword and famine, and the evil wild beast, and pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast (Ezekiel 14:13, 15, 21).
This describes the vastation of the church; "the house of Israel" and "Jerusalem" meaning the church; "to break the staff of bread" signifies to destroy everything celestial and spiritual by which the church should be nourished, for "bread" involves everything belonging to heaven and the church, or all spiritual nourishment; "to cut off man and beast" signifies every spiritual and natural affection; therefore "the sword, the famine, the evil wild beast, and the pestilence," signify the destruction of truth by falsity, of good by evil, of the affection of truth and good by the lusts arising from evil loves, and the consequent extinction of spiritual life. These are called "the four evil judgments," and are also meant by "the sword, famine, death, and the evil wild beast," in this verse of Revelation. Evidently it is the vastation of the church that is thus described.
 The three evils that are signified by "famine, sword, and pestilence" the prophet Gad also announced to David when he had numbered the people (2 Samuel 24:13). No one can know why David was threatened with these because of his numbering the people unless he knows that the people of Israel represented and thence signified the church in respect to all its truths and goods, and that "to number" signifies to know the quality thereof, and afterwards to arrange and dispose them according to it. Because no one but the Lord knows and does this, and because the man who does it deprives himself of all good and truth and of spiritual life, and because David did this representatively, therefore these three evils were offered him, one of which he might choose. Who cannot see that there was nothing wrong in numbering the people, and that the evil on account of which David and the people were punished was hidden interiorly, that is, in the representatives in which the church then was? In the passages that have been cited, "famine" signifies the deprivation of the knowledges of truth and good, and the consequent loss of all truth and good.
 2. That "famine" signifies also the lack of knowledges with those who cannot know them because they are not in the church or in the doctrine thereof, is evident from the following passages. In Amos:
Behold, the days shall come in which I will send a famine into the land, not a famine for bread, nor a thirst for waters, but for hearing the words of Jehovah; that they may wander from sea to sea, from the north to the sunrise, they may run to and fro seeking the word of Jehovah, and shall not find it. In that day shall the beautiful virgins and the youths faint for thirst (Amos 8:11-13).
This explains what is meant by "famine" and "thirst," namely, that a famine for bread is not meant, nor a thirst for waters, but for hearing the word of Jehovah, thus that it is a lack of the knowledges of good and truth that is meant; and that these are not in the church or in its doctrine is described by the words, "they shall go from sea to sea, and from the north to the sunrise, seeking the word of Jehovah, and shall not find it," "from sea to sea" signifying on every side, for the outmost boundaries in the spiritual world, where truths and goods begin and terminate appear like seas; consequently "seas" in the Word signify the cognitions of truth and good, also knowledges [scientifica] in general; "from the north to the sunrise" signifies also on every side where truth and good are, "the north" meaning where truth is in obscurity, and "the sunrise" where good is. Because "famine and thirst" signify a lack of the knowledges of good and truth, therefore it is also said "in that day shall the beautiful virgins and the youths faint for thirst," "the beautiful virgins" meaning the affections of truth from good, and "youths" the truths themselves that are from good, "the thirst for which they shall faint" meaning the lack of these. (That "virgins" signify the affections of good and truth, see Arcana Coelestia 2362, 3963, 6729, 6775, 6788; and "youths" the truths themselves, and intelligence, 7668[1-4 Arcana Coelestia 7668)
(References: Amos 8:11-14)
 In Isaiah:
Therefore My people shall be carried away for the lack of knowledge; and the glory thereof shall be men of famine, and the multitude thereof shall be parched with thirst (Isaiah 5:13).
The desolation or destruction of the church from lack of the knowledges of good and truth is signified by, "My people shall be carried away for lack of knowledge." The Divine truth that constitutes the church is signified by "glory;" that this is not, and consequently good is not, is signified by "the glory thereof shall be men of famine," "men of famine" meaning those who are in no perception of good, and in no knowledges of truth; and that consequently there is no truth is signified by "the multitude thereof shall be parched with thirst," "to be parched with thirst" meaning the lack of truth, "multitude" in the Word being predicated of truths.
 In the same:
The people shall seek after their God, the law, and the testimony; for they shall pass through it perplexed and famished; and it shall come to pass that when they shall hunger they shall rage, and shall curse their king and their gods, and shall look upwards; they shall look also to the earth, but behold distress and thick darkness (Isaiah 8:19-22).
This treats of those who are in falsities from lack of the knowledges of truth and good, and their indignation on that account; the lack is described by "they shall look upwards, and they shall look also to the earth, but behold distress and thick darkness," "to look upwards and to look to the earth" means to look everywhere for goods and truths; "but behold distress and thick darkness" means that these are nowhere to be found, but mere falsities only, "thick darkness" meaning dense falsity. Their indignation on this account is meant by "it shall come to pass that when they shall hunger they shall rage, and shall curse their king and their gods," "to hunger" meaning to desire to know, "king" falsity, "the gods" the falsities of worship therefrom, and "to curse" to detest.
 In Lamentations:
Lift up thy hands to the Lord respecting the soul of thy babes, who have fainted for famine at the head of all the streets (Lamentations 2:19).
Lamentation over those who ought to be instructed in the knowledges of good and truth, by which they may have spiritual life, is described by "Lift up thy hands to the Lord respecting the soul of thy babes;" and the lack of these knowledges is described by "who have fainted for famine at the head of all the streets," "famine" meaning lack, "streets" the truths of doctrine, "to faint at the head of them" meaning that there are no truths.
 In the same:
Servants have ruled over us, there is no one to free us out of their hand. We bring in our bread with the peril of our souls because of the sword of the wilderness. Our skins are black like an oven because of the tempests of famine (Lamentations 5:8-10).
"Servants that have ruled with no one to free us out of their hand" signify the evils of life and the falsities of doctrine, in general, evil loves and false principles; "we bring in our bread with the peril of our souls because of the sword of the wilderness" signifies that there is no good from which there may be spiritual life itself, because of the falsity everywhere reigning; "bread" means the good from which there may be spiritual life; "sword" falsity destroying; and "the wilderness" where there is no good because no truth; for all good with man is formed by truths, therefore where there are no truths but only falsities there is no good; "our skins are black like an oven because of the tempests of famine" signifies that because of the lack of the knowledges of good and truth the natural man is in its own evil love; "the skin," from correspondence with the Greatest Man or heaven, signifies the natural man; "to be black like an oven" signifies to be in one's own evil from falsities; and "tempests of famine" signify a complete lack of the knowledges of good and truth.
 In Luke:
Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger (Luke 6:25).
"The full" in the Word mean those who have the Word, in which are all the knowledges of good and truth; and "to hunger" means to lack these, and also to be deprived of them. In Job:
Blessed is the man whom God hath chastened; therefore reject not the discipline of Schaddai. In famine He shall redeem thee from death; and in war from the hands of the sword (Job 5:17, 20).
This treats of those who are in temptations; temptations are signified by "whom God hath chastened," and by "the discipline of Schaddai." "The Almighty (Schaddai)" signifies temptations, deliverance from them, and consolation after them (see Arcana Coelestia 1992, 3667, 4572, 5628, 6229). "The famine in which he shall be redeemed" signifies temptation in respect to the perception of good, in which he shall be delivered from evil; "to redeem" meaning to deliver; and "the hand of the sword in war" signifies temptations in respect to the understanding of truth, "war" also meaning temptation or combat against falsities.
 3. That "famine" in the Word also signifies ignorance of the knowledges of truth and good, such as are with those who know that there are knowledges and therefore desire them, is evident from the following passages. In Matthew:
Blessed are they that hunger after righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (Matthew 5:6).
"To hunger after righteousness" signifies to desire good, for in the Word "righteousness" is predicated of good. In Luke:
God hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away (Luke 1:53).
"The hungry" are those who are ignorant of the knowledges of truth and good, and yet desire them; and "the rich" are those who have an abundance of them, but no desire for them. That the former are enriched is signified by "God hath filled them with good things;" and that the latter are deprived of them is signified by "The rich He hath sent away empty."
 In David:
Behold, the eye of Jehovah is upon them that fear Him, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine (Psalms 33:18-19).
"Those that fear Jehovah" mean those who love to do His commandments; "to deliver the soul from death" signifies from evils and falsities, and thus from damnation; and "to keep them alive in famine" signifies to give spiritual life according to desire. A desire for the knowledges of truth and good is a spiritual affection of truth, which is given only to those who are in the good of life, that is, who do the Lord's commandments; and these, as has been said, are meant by "those that fear Jehovah."
 In the same:
Let them confess to Jehovah His mercy, for He satisfieth the longing soul, and the hungry soul He filleth with good (Psalms 107:8-9).
"To satisfy the longing soul, and to fill with good the hungry soul," applies to those who long for truths and goods, "the longing soul" signifying those who long for truths, and "the hungry soul" those who long for goods. In the same:
There is no want to them that fear Jehovah. The young lions shall lack, and suffer hunger; but they that seek Jehovah shall not want any good (Psalms 34:9-10).
Here, too, "those that fear Jehovah to whom there is no want," signify those who love to do the Lord's commandments; and "they that seek Jehovah who shall not want any good," signify those who in consequence are loved by the Lord, and receive truths and goods from Him. "The young lions that lack and suffer hunger", signify those who have knowledge and wisdom from themselves, "to lack and suffer hunger" meaning that they have neither truth nor good. (What "lions" in both senses signify, see n. 278)
(References: The Apocalypse Explained 278)
 In the same:
Jehovah who executeth judgment for the oppressed; who giveth bread to the hungry; Jehovah, who looseth the bound (Psalms 146:7).
The "oppressed" here mean those who are in falsities from ignorance; such are oppressed by spirits who are in falsities; therefore it is said that "Jehovah executeth judgment for them," by rescuing them from those that oppress. "The hungry" mean those who desire goods; and as such are nourished by the Lord, it is said "Jehovah giveth bread to the hungry," "to give bread" meaning to nourish, and spiritual nourishment is knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom. "The bound" mean those who desire truths but are withheld from them by the falsities of doctrine or by ignorance, because they have not the Word; therefore "to loose the bound" means to free from falsities. (That such are called "bound," see Arcana Coeles (Arcana Coelestia 5037 Arcana Coelestia 5037[1-6], 5086, 5096) tia, n. 5037, 5086, 5096.)
 In the same:
Jehovah turneth the wilderness into a pool of waters, and a land of drought into a springing forth of waters. And there He maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city of habitation, and sow fields, and plant vineyards, and make fruit of increase (Psalms 107:35-37).
The meaning of these words is wholly different from the sense of the letter, namely, that those who are ignorant of the knowledges of truth and yet desire to know them shall be enriched and abundantly supplied with them; for "Jehovah turneth the wilderness into a pool of water" signifies that in place of ignorance of truth there shall be abundance of truth, "wilderness" meaning when there is ignorance of truth, and "a pool of waters" abundance of it; "to turn a land of drought into a springing forth of waters" signifies the like in the natural man, for "a land of drought" means where there is ignorance of truth, "the springing forth of waters" is abundance, the natural man is "the springing forth," and "waters" are truths; "there He maketh the hungry to dwell" signifies those who desire truth, "to dwell" meaning to live, and "the hungry" those who desire; "that they may prepare a city of habitation" signifies that they form for themselves a doctrine of life, "city" meaning doctrine, and "habitation" life; "that they may sow fields and plant vineyards, and make fruit of increase," signifies to receive truths, to understand them, and to do them; "to sow fields" meaning to be instructed and to receive truths; "to plant vineyards" meaning to receive truths in the understanding, that is, in the spirit, for "vineyards" mean spiritual truths; therefore "to plant" them means to receive them spiritually, that is, to understand them; "to make fruit of increase" means to do them and to receive goods, for "fruits" are the deeds and goods of charity.
 In the same:
Jehovah knoweth the days of the perfect, and He shall be their inheritance forever. They shall not be ashamed in the time of evil; and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied (Psalms 37:18-19).
"The days of the perfect" signify the states of those who are in good and in truths therefrom, or those who are in charity and in faith therefrom. "Jehovah shall be their inheritance forever" signifies that they are His own and are in heaven; "they shall not be ashamed in the time of evil" signifies that they shall conquer when they are tempted by evils; and "in the days of famine they shall be satisfied" signifies that they shall be upheld by truths when they are tempted and infested by falsities, "time of evil" and "days of famine" signifying the states of temptations, and temptations are from evils and falsities.
 In the first book of Samuel:
The bows of the mighty are broken, but they who had stumbled have girded strength about them; they that are full have hired themselves for bread; and they that are hungry have ceased; even until the barren hath borne seven, and she that hath many sons hath failed (1 Samuel 2:4-5).
"They that are full have hired themselves for bread, and they that are hungry have ceased," signify those who wish for and long for goods and truths. The rest may be seen explained above (n. 257, 357).
 In Isaiah:
For the fool speaketh foolishness, and his heart doeth iniquity, to practice hypocrisy, and to speak error against Jehovah, to make empty the hungry soul, and to cause the drink of the thirsty to fail (Isaiah 32:6).
He is here called "a fool" who is in falsities and evils from the love of self, consequently from self-intelligence. Falsities are meant by the "foolishness" that he speaks; and evils by the "iniquity" that his heart does. The evils that he speaks against goods are meant by "the hypocrisy" that he practices; and the falsities that he speaks against truths, by the "error" that he speaks against Jehovah; "to make empty the hungry soul, and to cause the drink of the thirsty to fail" means to persuade and destroy those who desire goods and truths, "the hungry soul" meaning those who desire goods, and "he that thirsteth for drink" meaning those who desire truths.
 In the same:
If thou shalt draw out thy soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, thy light shall arise in darkness and thy thick darkness be as the noonday (Isaiah 58:10).
This describes charity towards the neighbor, here towards those who are in ignorance, but at the same time in a desire to know truths, and in grief on account of the falsities that possess them, and signifies that with those who are in such charity falsities are dispersed and truths shine and become radiant. Charity towards those that are in ignorance and at the same time in a desire to know truths is meant by "If thou shalt draw out thy soul to the hungry," "the hungry" meaning those who desire, and "the soul" is the understanding of truth instructing. This being done to those who are in grief because of the falsities that possess them is meant by "if thou shalt satisfy the afflicted soul;" that ignorance is dispelled and truths shine and become radiant with those who are in such charity is meant by "thy light shall arise in darkness, and thy thick darkness be as the noon day;" "darkness" signifying the ignorance of the spiritual mind, and "thick darkness" the ignorance of the natural mind, "light" truth in light, "noonday" the like. Such illustration those have who from charity or spiritual affection instruct such as are in falsities from ignorance; for such charity is a receptacle of the influx of light or of truth from the Lord.
 In the same:
Is not this the fast that I choose, to break thy bread to the hungry, and to bring the afflicted outcasts into thy house, when thou shalt see the naked and shalt cover him? (Isaiah 58:6-7).
These words have a like meaning, for "to break bread to the hungry" signifies from charity to communicate to and instruct those who are in ignorance and at the same time in a desire to know truths; "to bring the afflicted outcasts into the house" signifies to correct and reform those who are in falsities, and thence in grief, "afflicted outcasts" meaning those who are in grief from falsities; for those who are in falsities stand without, while those who are in truths are in the house, "house" meaning the intellectual mind, into which truths only are admitted, since that mind is opened by means of truths from good. Because this is what is signified it is added, "when thou shalt see the naked and shalt cover him," the "naked" signifying those that are without truths, and "to cover" signifying to instruct; for "garments" in the Word signify truths investing (see above, n. 195.
(References: The Apocalypse Explained 195)
 In the same:
They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor the sun smite them; for He that hath compassion on them leadeth them forth, even unto the springs of waters shall He guide them (Isaiah 49:10).
That "they shall not hunger nor thirst" does not mean that they are not to hunger nor thirst for natural food and drink; and "neither shall the heat nor sun smite them" does not mean that they will not become heated by these; the same is true of their being led unto the springs of waters. Who that thinks about it does not see that something else is here meant? "To hunger and thirst" therefore signifies to hunger and thirst for such things as pertain to eternal life or give that life, and these, in general, have reference to the good of love and the truth of faith, "hunger" to the good of love, and "thirst" to the truth of faith; "heat" and "sun" signify the heat from the principles of falsity and the love of evil, for these take away all spiritual hunger and thirst; "the springs of waters, unto which the Lord will guide them" signify illustration in all truth, "spring" or "fountain" meaning the Word, and also the doctrine from the Word, "waters" truths, and "to guide" in reference to the Lord, meaning to illustrate. From this the significance can be seen of the Lord's words in John:
I am the bread of life; he that cometh to Me shall not hunger, and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst (John 6:35).
Here evidently "to hunger" is to come to the Lord, and "to thirst" is to believe on Him; to come to the Lord is to do His commandments.
 This signification of "hungering and thirsting" makes evident also the signification of the Lord's words in Matthew:
The king said to them on the right hand, I was an hungered, and ye gave me to eat, I was thirsty and ye gave me to drink, I was a sojourner and ye took me in. And he said to them on the left hand, that he was an hungered and they gave him not to eat, and he was thirsty and they gave him not to drink; that he was a sojourner and they took him not in (Matthew 25:34-35, 37, 41-44).
"To hunger and to thirst" signifies to be in ignorance and in spiritual want, and "to give to eat and drink" signifies to instruct and to illustrate from spiritual affection or charity; it is therefore also said, "I was a sojourner and ye took me not in," "sojourner" signifying those who are out of the church, but who wish to be instructed and to receive the doctrinals of the church and to live according to them (see Arcana Coelestia 1463 Arcana Coelestia 1463[1-3], 4444, 7908, 8007, 8013, 9196).
Furthermore, we read in the Word that the Lord hungered and thirsted, which means that from His Divine love He willed and desired the salvation of the human race.
 That He hungered we read in Mark:
When they were come from Bethany, Jesus hungered; and seeing a fig-tree afar off having leaves, He came, if haply He might find anything thereon; but when He had come to it He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. Therefore He said unto it, No one eat any fruit of thee forever. And the disciples in the morning as they passed by, saw the fig-tree dried up from the roots (Mark 11:12-14, 20; Matthew 21:19-20).
One who does not know that all things of the Word contain a spiritual sense, may believe that the Lord did this to the fig-tree from indignation because He was hungry; but "fig-tree" means here not a fig-tree, but the church in relation to natural good, in particular, the Jewish Church. That there was no natural good in that church, because nothing spiritual, but only some truths from the sense of the letter of the Word, is signified by "Jesus seeing a fig-tree afar off having leaves, came, if haply He might find anything thereon; but when He had come to it He found nothing but leaves," "leaves" signifying the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word. That with that nation, because they were in dense falsities and in evil loves, nothing whatever of the natural good of the church would ever exist is signified by "Jesus said, No one eat any fruit of thee forever, and the fig-tree was dried up from the roots." It is also said that "it was not the season for figs," and this means that the church was not yet begun; that the beginning of a new church is meant by "a fig-tree," is clear from the Lord's words (Matthew 24:32, 33; Mark 13:28, 29, and in Luke 21:28-31). From this it can be seen what "hungering" here signifies. (That "a fig-tree" signifies the natural good of the church, see Arcana Coelestia 217, 4231, 5113; and that "leaves" signify the truths of the natural man, see above, n. 109.)
 That the Lord thirsted we read in John:
Jesus, knowing that all things were now finished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled said, I thirst. And there had been placed a vessel full of vinegar; and they filled a sponge and placed it upon hyssop, and put it to His mouth. And when Jesus had received the vinegar He said, It is finished (John 19:28-30).
Those who think of these things only naturally and not spiritually may believe that they involve nothing more than that the Lord thirsted, and that vinegar was then given Him; but it was because all things that the Scriptures said of Him were then finished, and because He came into the world to save mankind that He said, "I thirst," which means that from Divine love He willed and desired the salvation of the human race; and that "vinegar was given Him" signifies that in the coming church there would be no genuine truth, but truth mixed with falsities, such as there is with those who separate faith from charity or truth from good; this is what "vinegar" signifies; "they placed it upon hyssop" signifies some kind of purification by it, for "hyssop" signifies an external means of purification (see Arcana Coelestia 7918). That every particular related in the Word respecting the Lord's passion involves and signifies Divine celestial and Divine spiritual things, may be seen above n. 83. From the passages cited above it can be seen what "famine" signifies in the Word. Let them be examined and considered, and it will be seen by those who are in any interior thought that natural famine, hunger, and thirst, can by no means be meant, but spiritual famine, hunger, and thirst.
1. The photolithograph has "Jehovah," as is also found in AE 440. Hebrew has "Judah," which is also found in AC 5354.
2. The photolithograph has "fall."
3. The photolithograph has "his." Hebrew "their (sons," and "their men").