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Arcana Coelestia #1480

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1480. 'That the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful' means that the knowledge which is comprised of cognitions is to itself highly pleasing. This is clear from what has been stated above at verse 11, to the effect that in childhood knowledge is of such a nature. Within knowledge an inclination so to speak exists - for that inclination is innate in man - which disposes it first of all to take pleasure in knowing just for the sake of knowing, and with no other end in view. This is so with everyone: his spirit takes great delight in knowing, so that it scarcely desires anything better, knowledge being its food by which it is sustained and renewed, as the external man is by earthly food. And this which nourishes his spirit is communicated to the external man to the end that the external man may be adapted so as to serve the internal. These foods exist consecutively, in the following order: Celestial food consists in every good of love and charity received from the Lord, while spiritual food consists in every truth of faith; these are the kinds of food by which angels live. From these comes the food - also celestial and spiritual, but of a lower angelic degree - by which angelic spirits live. And from this again comes celestial and spiritual food of a still lower degree, which is that of reason and from this of knowledge, by which good spirits live. Last of all comes bodily food, which is proper to man while he lives in the body. All these foods correspond to one another in a remarkable manner. From this it is also evident why and how knowledge is to itself most pleasing, for that pleasure is as appetite and taste; therefore also eating with man corresponds in the world of spirits to facts, and appetite and taste themselves to the intense desire for facts, as is clear from experience which will in the Lord's Divine mercy be presented further on.

(References: Genesis 12:14)


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

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Arcana Coelestia #9412

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9412. 'And ate and drank' means being told about the good and truth of worship. This is clear from the meaning of 'eating' as being joined to and making good their own, dealt with in 2187, 2343, 3168, 3513 (end), 3596, 3832, 4745, 5643; and from the meaning of 'drinking' as being joined to and making truth their own, dealt with in 3089, 3168, 4017, 4018, 5709, 8562. The reason why being told about is also meant - that is to say, being told about good is meant by 'eating', and being told about truth by 'drinking' - is that spiritual food consists in every good of faith that is a source of wisdom, while spiritual drink consists in every truth of faith that is a source of intelligence, 56-58, 681, 1480, 3069, 3114, 3168, 3772, 4792, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5410, 5426, 5487, 5576, 5579, 5582, 5588, 5655, 5915, 8562, 9003. This explains why feasts, banquets, midday meals, and suppers were instituted among the ancients, to the end that such good and truth belonging to wisdom and intelligence might bind them into fellowship with one another, 3596, 3832, 5161, 7836, 7996, 7997.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 4017-4018, 7996-7997)


[2] It also explains why banquets, midday meals, and suppers in the Word mean instances of being bound together in faith and love, as in Matthew,

Many will come from the east and the west and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 8:11.

In Luke,

Jesus said to the disciples, You will eat and drink at My table in My kingdom. Luke 22:30.

In the same gospel,

Blessed are the servants whom the Lord comes and finds watching. Truly, I say to you that He will gird Himself and make them sit down, and He Himself will come and minister to them. Luke 12:37.

In John,

The disciples asked Jesus, saying, Master, eat. But He said to them, I have food to eat of which you do not know. John 4:31-32.

In the same gospel,

Jesus said, I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. John 6:51.

Heavenly bread is plainly meant here. Heavenly bread consists in all the good of love and faith which comes from the Lord, 2165, 2177, 3464, 3478, 3735, 3813, 4211, 4217, 4735, 4976, 5915, 6118, 9323.

[3] The fact that being told about the good and truth of faith is meant by 'eating and drinking' is clear from the following places: In Luke,

Then you will begin to say, We ate in Your presence and we drank; and You taught in our streets. But He will say, I say to you, I do not know where you come from; depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity. Luke 13:26-27.

'Eating and drinking in the Lord's presence' stands for giving instruction from the Word regarding forms of the good and the truths of faith. 'Teaching in the streets' stands for preaching truths from the Lord's Word, for in former times preaching took place in the streets, because truths composing the teachings of the Church are meant by 'the streets', 2336.

[4] In Isaiah,

Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy, and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money on that which is not bread, and your labour on that which does not satisfy? Pay thorough attention to Me and eat what is good, that your soul may delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear and come to Me; hear, that your soul may live. Lo, I have given Him as a witness to the peoples, a Prince and Lawgiver to the peoples. 1 Isaiah 55:1-5.

Here it is evident that 'drinking' and 'eating' mean being told things by the Lord, and that 'the waters', 'wine', 'milk', 'bread', and 'fatness' are forms of the truth and the good of faith which come from Him, for it says, 'Incline your ear, come to Me; hear, that your soul may live. Lo, I have given Him as a witness to the peoples, a Prince and a Lawgiver to the peoples'.

(References: Isaiah 55:1-4)


[5] In Ezekiel,

Behold, I am breaking the rod of bread in Jerusalem, so that they may eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and drink water by measure and with dismay, and may be in want of bread and water, and waste away on account of their iniquity. Ezekiel 4:16-17.

'Eating bread' and 'drinking water' stand for receiving instruction in forms of the good and the truths of faith, 9323. Something similar occurs 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. Amos 8:11.

'A famine of bread' and 'a thirst for water' are a scarcity and lack of the cognitions or knowledge of goodness and truth, see 3364, 4958, 5277, 5279, 5281, 5300, 5360, 5376, 5415, 5568, 5579, 5893, 6110, 8576. All this now makes clear what the meaning is of the words which say that the disciples' eyes were opened and they recognized the Lord when the Lord broke the bread and gave it to them, Luke 24:29-31. For in the spiritual world 'breaking the bread and giving it to them' means instructing them in the good and truth of faith, by means of which the Lord is seen. It also makes clear what the meaning is of 'the bread and wine' and 'eating and drinking' in the Holy Supper, and what the meaning is of the Lord's words to the disciples, after He had instituted that Supper, that He would not drink of that fruit of the vine until the day when He would drink it new with them in the Father's kingdom, Matthew 26:26-29. The reason why 'eating and drinking' means being told about the good and truth of worship is that after they had offered sacrifices they also ate and drank from them, and sacrifices represented all worship in general, 9391.

Footnotes:

1. The Latin means nations but the Hebrew means peoples, which Swedenborg has in some places where he quotes this verse.

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


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