475. And have washed their robes, signifies the removal of falsities by means of temptations. This is evident from the signification of "to wash," as being to purify from falsities and evils, consequently to remove them; for the evils and falsities that are with man, spirit, and angel, are not taken away, but are removed, and when they have been removed the appearance is that they have been taken away (respecting this see in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 166, 170) thence "to wash" signifies to remove falsities, and thus to purify. Also from the signification of "robes," as being protecting truths in general (of which above, n. 395; but "robes" here, before they have been washed and made white, signify falsities from which they have [not yet] been purified; for those who are in falsities from ignorance appear in the spiritual world at first in dusky garments of diverse colors, and while they are in temptations in filthy garments; but when they come out of temptations they appear in white robes, glistening according to their purification from falsities. Each one in the other life appears in garments according to the truths and according to the falsities that are with him; 1
this is why "garments" signify truths, and in the contrary sense falsities (see above, n. 195, 271). From this the signification of "they have washed their robes and have made them white" can be seen.
 In ancient times, when all the externals of the church were representative and significative of things spiritual and celestial, washings were made use of, and they represented purifications from falsities and evils; "washings" had this signification because "waters" signified truths, and "filth" falsities and evils, and all purification from falsities and evils is effected by truths (that "waters" signify truths see above, n. 71). This is why washings were instituted with the sons of Israel by command; for with them there was a representative church, all things of which were significative of things spiritual, and "washings" signified purifications from falsities and evils, and thence regeneration. For this purpose:
A laver of brass was placed at the entrance of the tent of meeting (Exodus 30:18-20);
Also lavers of brass were placed outside of the temple, one great laver which was called the sea of brass, and ten smaller ones (1 Kings 7:23-39).
 Because of this signification of "washings," when Aaron and his sons were consecrated to the priesthood:
Moses was commanded to wash them with water at the entrance of the tent, and thus to sanctify them (Exodus 29:4; 40:12; Leviticus 8:6);
for the priests represented the Lord in relation to Divine good, as kings represented Him in relation to Divine truth, consequently the priests represented also the Divine holiness which is pure without blemish. Aaron and his sons were inducted into this representation by the washing by Moses; therefore it is said that "thus they should be sanctified," although no sanctity was conferred upon them by the washing.
 It was therefore also commanded that:
Aaron and his sons should wash their hands and feet before entering into the tent of meeting, and before they came near to the altar to minister; and it is said that they were to do this that they die not; and that it should be to them a statute of an age (Exodus 30:18-21; 40:30, 31).
Also that Aaron should wash his flesh before he put on the garments of ministry (Leviticus 16:4, 24).
"Washing the hands and feet" signified the purification of the natural man, and "washing the flesh" the purification of the spiritual man. It was therefore commanded also:
That the Levites should be sanctified by being sprinkled with the water of expiation, and by causing a razor to pass over their flesh, and that they should wash their garments (Numbers 8:6, 7).
This was done to the Levites because they ministered in the external things of the church under Aaron and his sons, and the purification of the external things of the church was represented by the sprinkling of the water of expiation, by shaving the hairs of the flesh, and by washing the garments.
Exodus 40:30-32, 40:30-31; Numbers 8:6-7)
 Furthermore, all who were made unclean by touching unclean things also washed themselves and their garments, and were said to be made clean thereby, as:
Those who ate of the dead body of a clean beast, or of what was torn (Leviticus 17:15, 16).
One who touched the bed of one who had an issue, or sat upon the vessel that he sat on, or who touched his flesh (Leviticus 15:4-12).
It was also commanded that the leper, after his cleansing, should wash his garments, shave off his hair, and wash himself with water (Leviticus 14:8, 9).
Also that such vessels as had become unclean by the touch of the unclean, should be passed through water (Leviticus 11:32; besides other statutes).
He is much mistaken who supposes that those who washed their flesh or hands and feet, or garments, were cleansed and sanctified, that is, purified from their sins; for sins are not washed away or taken away by water as filth is, but they are washed away, that is, removed, by means of truths and a life according to them, and this alone was what was represented by the washings; for "waters" signify truths, and truths when there is life according to them, purify the man.
Leviticus 14:8-9, 15:5-13, Leviticus 17:15-16)
 That these external things contribute nothing to purification from evils and falsities, is clearly taught by the Lord in Matthew:
Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter that the outside of them may become clean also (Matthew 23:25, 26).
Like things were taught by the Lord when the Jews and Pharisees rebuked His disciples for not washing their hands before eating, for He taught:
That by this a man is not rendered unclean, but by every evil that goeth forth from the heart (Matthew 15:1-2, 19-20; Mark 7:1-23; Luke 11:38, 39).
From this it can be seen that the Jews by their washings were never sanctified and cleansed from their spiritual defilements, which are the evils going forth from the heart, since these evils reside within; and in the world they have nothing in common with the filth that adheres to the body. It is said that "the inside of the cup and platter must be cleansed that the outside may become clean also;" for the outside with man cannot be cleansed until the inside is cleansed, for the outside is cleansed by means of the inside. "The cup and platter" signify the interiors and exteriors of man, which receive truth and good, for the cup is what contains wine, and the platter is what contains food, and "wine" signifies truth, and "food" has a similar signification as "bread," namely, good. This makes clear the signification in the spiritual sense of "cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter, that the outside may become clean also."
Luke 11:38-39; Matthew 15:11, 15:17-20, Matthew 23:25-26)
 What the Lord says here has a similar meaning as His washing the feet of the disciples, respecting which He thus said to Peter, in John:
He that hath bathed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is wholly clean (John 13:10).
"He that hath bathed" signifies one who is inwardly clean; and "needeth not save to wash his feet" signifies that then he must be cleansed outwardly, for "the feet" signify the external or natural man (see above, n. 69. More may be seen respecting this arcanum in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 179, 181; and in Arcana Coelestia, where the following are made clear: For a man to be purified, both the internal or spiritual and the external or natural must be purified, and the external by means of the internal, n. 3868, 3870, 3872, 3876, 3877, 3882. The internal man is purified before the external, because the internal is in the light of heaven, and the external in the light of the world, n. 3321, 3325, 3469, 3493, 4353, 8746, 9325. The external or natural man is purified by the Lord through the internal or spiritual, n. 3286, 3288, 3321. A man is not purified until the external or natural man is also purified, n. 8742-8747, 9043, 9046, 9061, 9325, 9334. If the natural man is not purified the spiritual man is closed up, n. 6299; and in respect to the truths and goods of faith and love, it is as it were blind, n. 3493, 3969). The internal man is purified by knowing, understanding, and thinking the truths of the Word, and the external man by willing and doing them. This makes clear how the Lord's words to Peter must be understood, "He that hath bathed needeth not save to wash his feet;" likewise how the Lord's words to the Pharisees must be understood, "cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter, that the outside may become clean also."
Arcana Coelestia 3876-3877)
 That the internal man is purified by truths which are of faith, and the external by a life according to them, is meant also by these words of the Lord:
Except one be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5).
"Water" signifying the truths of faith, and "spirit" a life according to them.
 From this it can now be seen what "washing" signifies in the following passages. In Ezekiel:
I washed thee with waters; yea, I rinsed away thy bloods from upon thee, and I anointed thee with oil (Ezekiel 16:9).
This was said of Jerusalem, by which the church is signified; its purification from falsities and from evils is signified by "I washed thee with waters; yea, I rinsed away thy bloods from upon thee," "to wash with waters" signifying to purify the church by truths, and "to rinse away the bloods" signifying purification from falsities and evils. To imbue the church with the good of love is signified by "I anointed thee with oil," "oil" meaning the good of love.
 In Isaiah:
When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have washed away the bloods of Jerusalem out of the midst thereof, in the spirit of judgment, and in the spirit of cleansing (Isaiah 4:4).
"To wash away the filth of the daughters of Zion" signifies to purify the affections of those who are of a celestial church from the evils of love of self, "filth" meaning the evil of the love of self," "daughters" the affection, and "Zion" the church that is in love to the Lord, which is therefore called a celestial church; "to wash away the bloods of Jerusalem" signifies to purify the same affections from the falsities of evil, "bloods" meaning the falsities of evil; "in the spirit of judgment and in the spirit of cleansing" signifies by means of the understanding of truth and the affection of truth, "spirit" meaning the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, "the spirit of judgment" the understanding of truth therefrom, and "the spirit of cleansing" the spiritual affection of truth, for that is what cleanses.
 In Job:
If I shall wash myself in waters of snow, and cleanse my hands with soap, yet wilt thou plunge me into the pit, and mine own garments shall abhor me (Job 9:30, 31).
This means that if one attempts to purify himself by his own efforts, although by means of truths and goods that are or that appear to be genuine, he will yet lead himself into falsities; "to wash oneself" means to purify oneself; "waters of snow" mean truths that are or that appear to be genuine; "soap" means the good from which they come, and "the pit" falsity. That from this come truths falsified is meant by "mine own garments shall abhor me;" "garments" meaning truths, which are said "to abhor one" when they are falsified, and this is done when man from self-intelligence speculates and draws conclusions.
 In Moses:
He washed his vesture in wine, and his covering in the blood of grapes (Genesis 49:11).
This is said of Judah, by whom is here meant the Lord in relation to Divine truth; that He altogether purified this in His Human, when He was in the world, is signified by "he washed his vesture in wine, and his covering in the blood of grapes," "vesture" and "covering" signifying His Human, and "wine" and "the blood of grapes" Divine truth. (This may be seen explained in Arcana Coelestia 6377, 6378.)
Arcana Coelestia 6377-6378)
 That "to wash" signifies to purify from falsities and evils is clearly evident in Isaiah:
Wash you, make you pure; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil (Isaiah 1:16).
Because "to wash" signifies to put away falsities and evils, it is added, "put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil."
 In Jeremiah:
Wash thine heart from wickedness, O Jerusalem, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall the thoughts of thine iniquity lodge in the midst of thee? (Jeremiah 4:14).
This has a similar signification. In David:
Wash me from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow (Psalms 51:2, 7).
Here "to wash" plainly means to purify from falsities and evils, for it is said, "Wash me from iniquity, and cleanse me from sin," and afterwards, "Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow;" "to wash from iniquity" means from falsities, and "from sin" means from evils, for "iniquity" is predicated of falsities, and "sin" of evils; and because the water of expiation was prepared from hyssop, it is said, "Thou shalt purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean. "
 In Jeremiah:
Although thou shalt wash thee with niter and take thee 2
much soap, thine iniquity shall still retain its spots before Me (Jeremiah 2:22).
Here, too, it is clear that washings only represented and thence signified spiritual washings, which are purifications from falsities and evils, for it is said, "Although thou shalt wash thee with niter, and take thee much soap, thine iniquity shall still retain its spots."
 Thus also in David:
In vain have I cleansed my heart, and washed my hands in innocence. All the day have I been plagued, and in the mornings was my reproof (Psalms 73:13, 14).
"To wash the hands in innocence" means to bear witness that one is innocent and pure from evils and falsities; for washing the hands was a testification of innocence; as can be seen also from the fact that:
Pilate washed his hands and said, I am innocent of the blood of this righteous person (Matthew 27:24).
 Because "washings" signified purifications from falsities and evils, and "one blind" signified those who do not see truths, and are therefore in falsities:
The Lord told the blind man whose eyes He anointed with clay made with spittle, to wash himself in the pool of Siloam, and when he had washed himself he came seeing (John 9:6, 7, 11, 15).
The "blind man" here represented those who can see nothing of truth because they are sensual, and see only those things that appear before the external senses, from which come fallacies instead of truths, and to the confirmation of these they apply the sense of the letter of the Word; "the clay made of spittle" signifies sensual truth, such as the Word contains for such persons; "the waters of the lake or pool of Siloam" signify the truths of the Word, for all things, even to the waters in Jerusalem were significative; and "to wash" signifies to purify from fallacies, which in themselves are falsities. From this it can be seen what these things signify in series; for all the miracles and works of the Lord when He was in the world signified Divine celestial and Divine spiritual things, that is, such things as pertain to heaven and the church, and this because they were Divine, and the Divine always operates in ultimates from first things, and thus in fullness; ultimates are such as appear before the eyes in the world. This is why the Lord spoke and the Word was written by means of such things in nature as correspond.
 It is similar with the miracle performed on Naaman the leper by command of Elisha, which is thus described in the second book of Kings:
Naaman of Syria, being affected with leprosy, was commanded by a messenger from Elisha to wash himself seven times in the Jordan, and his flesh would come again and he would be clean. At length Naaman went down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan; and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little lad, and he was clean (2 Kings 5:10, 14).
"Naaman a leper of Syria" represented and signified those who falsify the knowledges of truth and good from the Word, for "leprosy" signifies falsifications, and "Syria" the knowledges of truth and good. "The waters of Jordan" signified the truths that introduce into the church, which are the knowledges of truth and good from the Word, for the river Jordan was the first boundary across which the land of Canaan was entered, and "the land of Canaan" signified the church; this is why "the waters of Jordan" signified introductory truths, which are the first knowledges of truth and good from the Word. Because of this signification of "the waters of Jordan," Naaman was commanded to wash himself in them seven times, which signified purification from falsified truths; "seven times" signifies fully, and is predicated of things holy, such as truths Divine are. Because "seven times" has this signification, it is said that "his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little lad," the flesh coming again signifying spiritual life, such as those have who are regenerated through Divine truths.
 Because "the waters of Jordan" signified the truths that introduce into the church, which are the knowledges of truth and good from the Word, and "washing" therein signified purification from falsities, and consequent reformation and regeneration by the Lord, therefore baptism was instituted, which was first performed in Jordan by John (Matthew 3:11-16; Mark 1:4-13). This rite signified initiation into the knowledges from the Word respecting the Lord, His coming, and salvation by Him; and as man is reformed and regenerated by the Lord by means of truths from the Word, baptism was commanded by the Lord (Matthew 28:19); for it is by means of truths from the Word that man is reformed and regenerated, and it is the Lord who reforms and regenerates. (Respecting this more may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 202-209.)
 It was said by John:
That he baptized with water; but that the Lord would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Luke 3:16; John 1:33).
This means that John only inaugurated them into knowledges from the Word respecting the Lord, and thus prepared them to receive Him, but that the Lord Himself regenerates man by means of Divine truth and Divine good proceeding from Him; for John represented the like as Elijah, namely, the Word; "the waters" with which John baptized signified introductory truths, which are knowledges from the Word respecting the Lord; "the Holy Spirit" signifies Divine truth proceeding from the Lord; and "fire" signifies Divine good proceeding from Him; and "baptism" signifies regeneration by the Lord by means of Divine truths from the Word.
 Washings were instituted in the ancient churches, and afterwards baptisms in their place, which nevertheless are only representative and significative rites, in order that heaven might be conjoined with the human race, and in particular with the man of the church; for heaven is conjoined to man when man is in ultimates, that is, in such things as are in the world in regard to his natural man, while he is in such things as are in heaven in regard to his spiritual man; in no other way is conjunction possible. This is why baptism was instituted; also the holy supper; likewise why the Word was written by means of such things as are in the world, while there is in it a spiritual sense, containing such things as are in heaven, that is, that the sense of the letter of the Word is natural, while in it there is a spiritual sense. (That by means of this sense the Word conjoins the angels of heaven with the men of the church, may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell 303-310; and in the small work on The White Horse from beginning to end. That the holy supper likewise conjoins, see in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 210-222, and the same is true of baptism.) But he is much mistaken who believes that baptism contributes anything to a man's salvation unless he is at the same time in the truths of the church and in a life according to them; for baptism is an external thing, which without an internal contributes nothing to salvation, but it does contribute when the external is conjoined to an internal. The internal of baptism is, that by means of truths from the Word and a life according to them, falsities and evils may be removed by the Lord, and thus man be regenerated, as the Lord teaches (Matthew 23:26, 27), as explained above in this article.
Leviticus 15:5-13; Matthew 15:11, Matthew 15:17-20, 23:25-26, Matthew 23:26-27; Revelation 7:14)