8568. 'And the people thirsted there for water' means an increase in the desire for truth. This is clear from the meaning of 'thirsting' as craving and desiring, and as having reference to truth just as 'hungering' has reference to good; and from the meaning of 'water' as the truth of faith, dealt with above in 8562. The fact that 'thirsting' is craving and desiring - desiring truth, meant by 'water' - is plainly evident from a large number of places in the Word, such as in Amos,
Behold, the days are going to come, in which I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but for hearing the words of Jehovah. And they will wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; and they will run to and fro to seek the Word of Jehovah, and will not find it. On that day the beautiful virgins and the young men will faint for thirst. Amos 8:11-13.
The desire to know the truth is described here by 'thirsting'. The desire for truth is meant by 'I will not send a thirst for water, but for hearing the words of Jehovah' and by 'they will run to and fro to seek the Word of Jehovah'. The lack of truth and a resulting deprivation of spiritual life is described by 'on that day the beautiful virgins and the young men will faint for thirst', 'the beautiful virgins' being those with affections for good, and 'the young men' those with affections for truth.
 In Isaiah,
Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy [and] eat! Come and buy wine and milk without money and without price. Isaiah 55:1.
'Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters' plainly stands for one desiring the truths of faith. 'Buying wine and milk without price' stands for acquiring from the Lord, thus for nothing, the good and truth of faith. For the meaning of 'the waters' as the truth of faith, see above in 8562; for 'wine' as the good of faith, 6377; and also 'milk', 2184. Anyone may see that 'going to the waters and buying wine and milk' is not used to mean the acquisition of wine and milk, but the kinds of things that belong to heaven and the Church.
 The like occurs in John,
To him who thirsts I will give from the spring of the water of life for nothing. Revelation 21:6.
'The spring of the water of life' stands for the truth and good of faith. 'The thirsting one' stands for one desiring them from affection for them, as accords with the Lord's words in John,
Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but he who drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up into eternal life. John 4:13-14.
'Water' here plainly stands for the truth of faith obtained from the Word, and so from the Lord; and 'not thirsting' stands for his being never again in want of truth.
 Something similar appears elsewhere in John,
Jesus said, I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. John 6:35.
And in the same gospel,
Jesus cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, Out of his belly will flow rivers of living water. John 7:37-38.
'Thirsting stands for desiring truth, 'drinking for receiving instruction, and 'rivers of living water' for Divine Truth that flows from the Lord alone.
 In Isaiah,
To the thirsty bring water, O inhabitants of the land of Tema; meet with his bread the fugitive. Isaiah 21:14.
'To the thirsty bring water' stands for giving instruction in truths to one desiring them, and so refreshing the life of his soul. In the same prophet,
The fool will speak folly, and his heart will work iniquity, to practice hypocrisy, and to utter error against Jehovah; to empty the soul of the hungry one, and to cause the drink of the thirsting one to fail. Isaiah 32:6.
'The hungry one' stands for one desiring good, and 'one thirsting for drink' for one desiring truth.
 In the same prophet,
The poor and the needy are seeking water, but there is none; their tongue is parched with thirst. I will open streams on the sloping heights, and I will place springs in the midst of valleys; I will make the wilderness into a pool of water, and the dry land into wellsprings of water. Isaiah 41:17-18.
It is perfectly clear to anyone that 'seeking water' is seeking truth, that
'being parched with thirst' is being deprived of spiritual life owing to the lack of truth, and that 'streams, springs, a pool, and wellsprings of water' are the truths of faith in which they are to receive instruction.
In the same prophet,
Say, Jehovah has redeemed His servant Jacob. At that time they will not thirst; in waste places He will lead them. He will make water flow for them from the rock; and He will cleave the rock so that water flows out. Isaiah 48:20-21.
'They will not thirst' stands for their having no lack of truths; here 'water' plainly stands for the truths of faith.
 In the same prophet,
They will not hunger, nor will they thirst, nor will heat or the sun strike them; for the One having mercy on them will lead them, so that also by the wellsprings of water He will lead them. Isaiah 49:10.
'They will not hunger' stands for their having no lack of good, 'they will not thirst' for their having no lack of truth. 'Wellsprings of water' stands for cognitions of truth out of the Word.
 Something similar occurs in Moses,
Jehovah was leading you through a great and frightening wilderness, with serpents, fiery snakes, and scorpions, and dry places where there was no water; and He brought water for you out of the rock of the crag. Deuteronomy 8:15.
Behold, your God will come. At that time waters will break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the plain of the wilderness; and the dry place will become a pool and the thirsty ground wellsprings of water. Isaiah 35:4, 6-7.
'Waters in the wilderness which will break forth', 'streams', 'a pool', and
'wellsprings of water' plainly stand for the truths of faith and cognitions of those truths, which would be received from the Lord when He came into the world.
 In David,
O God, [You are] my God; in the morning I seek You. My soul thirsts for You; my flesh in a dry land longs for You, and I am weary without water. Psalms 63:1.
Here 'thirsting' has reference to truth, and 'I am weary without water' stands for the fact that there are no truths. 'Thirst' stands for a lack of truth and the resulting deprivation of spiritual life in Isaiah,
Therefore My people will go into exile because they have no knowledge, and their honourable men will be famished, 1
and their multitude parched with thirst. Isaiah 5:13.
In the same prophet,
I make the rivers into a desert; their fish become putrid because there is no water, and they will die of thirst. Isaiah 50:2.
 From all this one may now see what is meant in the present chapter by there was no water for the people to drink, verse 1; by their saying, Give us water and let us drink, verse 2; by the people thirsted there for water, verse 3; and by the declaration that water would come out of the rock, verse 6. All of this makes it clear that their grumbling because of the lack of water means temptation arising from a lack of truth. For when a person enters temptation because of a lack of truth he is gripped by an intense desire for it, and at the same time by despair of eternal salvation on account of this. These feelings are responsible for the grief at that time and for the complaining.
1. literally, their glory will be men (homo) of famine