1 THE burden concerning Egypt. Behold, Jehovah rideth on a light cloud, and He cometh to Egypt! and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at His presence; and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of her.
Verse 1. The burden. concerning Egypt.-[As it is most important that the prophecies respecting “Egypt” should be well understood, in order that a man may see the right application of the Word to his own states, we beg to direct the attention of the reader to the following extracts.]
That by “Egypt” [in a bad sense] is signified the natural man separate from the spiritual, and thence the falses flowing from the evils of the love of self, consequently from the conceit of self-derived intelligence, shall now be explained; for when the natural principle of man is separated from the spiritual, which takes place chiefly from the love of self, then from the evils of that love falses flow forth, all the false being derived from evil; for the false is the patron of evil, and the evil of the will is formed in the understanding by the ideas of the thought, which ideas are called falses; and whereas the falses flowing forth from the evils of the love of self, are attended with self-conceit, for man then thinks from bis proprium, therefore also by “Egypt” is here signified the conceit of self-derived intelligence. But inasmuch as by “Egypt” is signified the natural man in both senses, namely, as well conjoined ‘with the spiritual man as when separated from it, thus in a good sense and in a bad sense, therefore the various things which appertain to tbe natural man are also signified by “Egypt,” which in general have reference to knowledges and scientifics, for the truths and falses of the natural man are called knowledges and scientifics; but the truths themselves, when they have obtained life, which is effected by the life of faith, which is charity, appertain to the spiritual man, or spiritual mind of man, and these with their affections and pleasantnesses do not appear to the manifest sense and sight of the man, as is the case with the knowledges and scientifics of the natural man. The reason of this is, because man, so long as he lives in the world, thinks naturally and speaks naturally, and what is thought and spoken naturally is sensibly felt and perceived by him in a certain sight which appertains to his understanding, whereas his spiritual thought, which is conjoined with the affection of truth or of the false, does not appear before man has put off the natural body, and put on the spiritual body, which takes place after his decease, or departure from this world, and his entrance into the spiritual world, when he thinks spiritually and speaks spiritually, and no longer naturally as before. This comes to pass with every man, whether he be merely natural or at the same time spiritual; and thought with the merely natural man after death is still spiritual, but gross, without intelligence of truth or affection of good, for it consists of correspondent ideas, which indeed appear as material, but still are not so; but coucerning the spiritual thought and the speech also thence derived of merely natural men in the spiritual world, the Lord willing, more will be said elsewhere.
The reason why by ” Egypt,” in the Word, is signified the natural man in both senses, good and bad, consequently all that which properly belongs to the natural man, is, because in Egypt the sciences were cultivated, especially the science of correspondences and representations, at the time when churches were representative. But whereas they made to themselves resemhlances, according to correspondences, which, when from internal they became altogether external, they began to worship with holy rites, and thus perverted the representatives of things spiritual and celestial to idolatrous purposes, and also to magic : hence it is that by “Egypt,” in a bad sense, which is opposite to the former, is signified the false scientific of the natural man, and also what is idolatrous and magical.
That such things are signified by “Egypt” may be abundantly confirmed from the Word; but before we proceed to such confirmation it is proper to be known that with every man there is an internal, which sees from the light of heaven, which is called the internal spiritual man, or the internal spiritual mind, and an external, which sees from the light of the ‘world, which is called the external natural man, on the external natural mind. With every man of the church the internal must be conjoined with the external, or the internal spiritual man with the external natural man. When they are thus conjoined, then the spiritual man, inasmuch as it is the light of heaven, has dominion over the natural man, which is in the light of the world, and rules it as a master of a family rules his servant, and teaches it as a master teaches his disciple. From this conjunction man is a man of the church, and an angel; but when the natural man is not conjoined with the spiritual, nor subordinate thereto, as is especially the case when the spiritual man is shut, as it is with those who deny the divine, things of the Word and the church, who thence see nothing from the light of heaven, then the natural man is in blindness as to things spiritual, and by his rational principle perverts all the truths of the church, and by the ideas he has of them turns them into falses.
This subject, viz., the conjunction of the spiritual man with the natural man, and the separation of the natural man from the spiritual, is much treated of in the Word, especially where treating concerning Egypt, inasmuch as by “Egypt” is signified the natural man as well conjoined, with the spiritual man as separate thereto, and where the natural man, is treated of separate from the spiritual, Egypt, is rebuked and rejected. Whereas “Egypt,” in an extensive sense, signifies the natural man, therefore the true scientific and the false scientific is also thereby signified, for truths and falses in the natural man are called scientiflcs; and whereas scientifics true and false are signified by “Egypt,” faith is also thereby signified, inasmuch as faith, is of truth, and truth is of faith, whence faith conjoined to charity is also signified by “Egypt” in a good sense, and faith separate from charity in the opposite sense; for faith is conjoined to charity when the spiritual man is conjoined with the natural, and then by “Egypt” is signified the true scientific; but faith is separate from charity when the natural man is separate from the spiritual, and then by “Egypt” is signified the false scientific; for when the natural man is separate from the spiritual, man has then no truths, and if he imbibes truths from the Word or from the doctrine of the church he still falsifies them by the ideas of his thought, whence all truth with him becomes false. So far concerning the significations of “Egypt” in the Word; it shall now be demonstrated from the Word itself [and, especially from this chapter], that by “Egypt.” [in a good sense] is signified the natural man conjoined to the spiritual, or, the scientific vivified by the influx of spiritual light, or, what is the same, faith conjoined to charity, which in itself is faith; and afterwards it shall also be, demonstrated that by “Egypt,” in the opposite sense, is signified the natural man separate from the spiritual, or the scientific not vivified by any influx of spiritual life, or, what is the same, faith separate from charity, which in itself is not faith. A. E. 654.
That by “Mizraim,” or Egypt, are, in the Word, signified sciences, or various scientifics, applied to explore the arcana of faith, and thence to confirm preconceived principles of the false; and that it also signifies simply sciences, and thus such as are useful, appears from this chapter from beginning to end, and also from many other passages too numerous to quote here. A. C. 1165.
That “Egypt” is the science of knowledges in respect to the Lord, but science in general in respect to other men, may appear from its signification in the Word. For the Ancient Church was seated in Egypt, as in rnany other places; and when the church was there, sciences, above everything else, flourished in that country; whence by “Egypt” is signified science. But after they became desirous to enter by sciences into the mysteries of faith, and thus from their own power to explore the truth of divine arcana, then they became addicted to magic, and by “Egypt” were signified scientifics which pervert, whence come falsities, and from these evils, as appears from Isaiah xix. 11. That by ” Egypt” are signified useful sciences, and thus, in the present case, that science of knowledges which is capable of serving as recipient vessels for things celestial and spiritual, may appear from the following passages in the Word :-“They have caused Egypt to err, the corner-stone of the tribes;” (Isaiah xix. 13.) where it is called “the corner-stone of the tribes,” as serving for a support to the things belonging to faith, which are signified by “tribes.” Again, in the same prophet-“In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to Jehovah of Hosts. In that day there shall be an altar to Jehovah in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar by the border thereof to Jehovah; and it shall be for a sign and for a witness to Jehovah of Hosts in the land of Egypt, for they shall cry unto Jehovah because of the oppressors, and He shall send them a Saviour and a Prince, and He shall deliver them, And Jehovah shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know Jehovah in that day, and shall offer sacrifice and oblation, and they shall vow a vow unto Jehovah, and shall perform it. And Jehovah shall smite Egypt, smiting and healing her; and they shall turn unto Jehovah, and He will be entreated of them, and will heal them.” (xix. 18-22.) Speaking of “Egypt” in a good sense, to denote those who are attached to scientifics, or natural truths, which are the vessels of spiritual truths. Again, in the same prophet-“In that day there shall be a highway- from Egypt to Assyria; and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria: and the Egyptian shall serve with the Assyrian. In that day shall Israel be a third, together with Egypt and Assyria; a blessing in the midst of the land, whom Jehovah of Hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be My people, Egypt, and Assyria, the work of My hands; and Israel, Mine inheritance !” (xix. :23-25.) Where, by “Egypt,” is signified the science of natural truths, by “Assyria” reason or things rational, and by “Israel? things spiritual,-which succeed each other in orderly arrangement; wherefore it is said that “in that day there shall be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and lsrael shall be a third together with Egypt and Assyria.” So in Ezeklel :-“Fine linen in broidered work from Egypt was thy spreading forth, that it might be to thee for a flag;” (xxvii. 7.) speaking of “Tyre,” by which is signified the possession of knowledges; “fine linen in broidered work” denotes the truths of sciences which are of service: scientifics, as belonging to the external man, ought to serve the internal. Again, in the same prophet-“Thus saith the Lord Jehovih: At the end of forty years I will gather Egypt from the people whither they were scattered, and I will bring again the captivity of Egypt;” (xx ix. 13, 14.) where “Egypt”, has a like signification. So in Zechariah :-” And it shall come to pass, that whoso will not coming up of the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King Jehovah Zebaoth, even upon them, shall be no rain; and if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not;” (xiv. 17, 18,) where “Egypt” also is used in a good sense, and has the same signification. That science, or human wisdom, is signified by “Egypt,” may appear likewise in Daniel, where the sciences of things celestial and spiritual are called “the treasures of gold and silver,” and also “the precious things of Egypt.” (xi. 43.) It is said also of Solomon, that his “wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east, and all the wisdom of Egypt.” (1 Kings iv. 30.) The house built by Solomon for Pharaoh’s daughter was representative of this alone. (1 Kings vii. 8.) The Lord’s being brought into Egypt when an infant had no other signification than what is here [Gen. xii.] signified by “Abram;” it being also done that He might “fulfil all things which were represented concerning Him.” The emigration of Jacob and his sons into Egypt represented nothing else, in the inmost sense, but the Lord’s first instruction in knowledges from the Word; as appears from the following passages.
Concerning the Lord it is thus written in Matthew :-“The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young Child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word. When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night, and departed into Egypt; and was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called My Son;” (ii. 13-15.) of which it is thus written in Hosea:-“When Israel ‘was a child, then I loved him, and out of Egypt have I called My Son.” (xi. 1.) Hence it appears that by the child “Israel” is meant the Lord, and that His instruction when a child is signified by these words–“Out of Egypt have I called My Son.” So again in the same prophet:- “By a prophet Jehovah brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved;” (xii. 13, 14.) where, in like manner, by “Israel” is meant the Lord; by a “prophet” is signified one that teaches, consequently, the doctrine of knowledges, So in David:-” Turn us again, O God of Hosts, and cause Thy face to shine, and we shall be saved. Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt, -Thou hast cast out the nations, and planted it ;” (Psalm lxxx. 7, 8.) speaking also of the Lord, who is called “a vine out of Egypt,” in respect to the knowledges in which He was instructed. A. C. 1462.
Behold, Jehovah rideth on a light cloud, and He cometh to Egypt! and the idols of Egypt shall be moved, &c.-Where by ” Egypt” is not meant [literally] Egypt, but, the natural man separate from the spiritual, who is then in falses and evils, and thereby perverts all the Truths and Goods of the church; that those falses and evils destroy him, when Truth from Good flows in from the Lord, is described by these words of the prophet, understood in the internal sense. “Jehovah rideth on a light cloud,” signifies that the Lord enlightens the understanding with truths; to “ride,” when predicated of Jehovah, or the Lord, denotes to enlighten the understanding, and a “light cloud” signifies the Truth: that in such case the “idols of Egypt are moved, and, the heart of the Egyptian melteth,” signifies that the evils and falses which are of the natural man separate from the spiritual then destroy him: “idols” denoting falses, the “heart” denoting evils, and “Egypt,” the natural man. This signification of a cloud is evident from appearances in the spiritual world: likewise from the Word, where “clouds” are mentioned. From appearances in the spiritual world thus,-the universal angelic heaven consists solely of the Divine Truth which proceeds from the Lord, the reception whereof makes them angels. In the supreme heaven this Truth appears as the pure aura, which is called ether; in the inferior heaven as less pure, almost as the atmosphere, which is called air : -in the lowest heaven it appears as a thin watery [element], upon which is vapour like a cloud. Such is the appearance of the divine Truth according to degrees in descent. There is a similar appearance when the angels of the superior heavens speak concerning divine Truths; their discourse in such case being presented to the view of those who are in the lowest heaven under the aspect of a cloud, which floats hither and thither, whilst the more intelligent amongst them know, from its gliding or floating, its brightness and form, what the angels of the superior heavens are discoursing about with each other ; hence it may appear whence it is that a “cloud” signifies divine Truth in ultimates. A. E. 594.
That the Lord comes in “clouds” to judgment, see Matt.xxiv, 30.
Verses 1-15. The burden, concerning Egypt, &c.—-That by “Egypt,” in a bad sense, is signified the natural principle of man separate from his spiritual, may appear also from these words viewed in their internal sense; and a man becomes merely natural whe in his life he does not look to the Lord, but only to himself and to the world, whence he comes into the conceit of self-derived intelligence, which is common with the learned, who thereby pervert their rational principle, and shut the spiritual rnind. In order that it may be known that the natural man is signified by “Egypt,” self-derived intelligence by “the river thereof,” and falses by “the waters of the river of Egypt,” we will explain in a series the things, which are here summarily adduced from that chapter. “Jehovah rideth on a light cloud, and cometh into Egypt,” signifies the visitation of the natural man from divine Truth spiritual-natural; for visitation is inquisition into the quality of man, and inquisition is effected by divine Truth ; a “light cloud” denotes the divine Truth spiritual-natural, from which it appears what is the quality of man as to his natural principle, whence the “idols of Egypt shall be moved at His presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of her,” signifies a heap and crowd of falses in the natural man, whence worship is derived, and his terror on account of visitation. “I will shut up the Egyptians in the hand of a hard lord, and a fierce king shall rule over them,” signifies that the evil of the false and the false of evil shall reign therein; a “hard lord” denoting the evil of the false and a “fierce king” the false of evil. Then “the waters shall fail from the sea, and the rivers shall be wasted and dried up,” signifies that in that case there shall not be any truths in the natural man, nor any intelligence thence derived. “And the streams shall recede, the rivers of Egypt shall be dried up,” signifies that it shall turn itself from truths to falses, whence intelligence, being without truths from the light of the spiritual man, will become dead. “The reed and the flags shall wither,” signifies that all perception of truth and good from the sense of the letter of the Word, otherwise appertaining to the sensual man, will vanish. Therefore “the fishermen shall mourn, and all they that cast the hook into the rivers shall be sad, and they that spread the net on the face of the waters shall lauguish,” signifies that they who teach and instruct will labour in vain by truths from the Word to reform the natural man; “fishermen and they who spread the net on the face of the waters” denoting those that teach and instruct natural men from the Word, specifically from the literal sense thereof; “fish” signify knowledges thence derived, and to be “sad” and to “languish” denote labouring. ” They that work threads of silk, and they that weave curtains, shall be confounded,” signifies those who teach spiritual truths in a natural manner: “threads of silk” denoting truths, “curtains” natural truths from a spiritual origin; and to “work and weave thern” is to teach. “How will ye say unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of the kings of antiquity? Where are they; where, thy wise ones?” signifies that the wisdom and intelligence of the natural man from the spiritual are perished, for the natural man is formed to receive intelligence and wisdom. from the spiritual man, which takes place when both act as a one, like cause and effect. “‘the princes of Zoan are become fools; the princes of Noph are taken away,” signifies, that the truths of wisdom and intelligence derived from spiritual light in the natural man are turned into the falses of insanity; “Zoan” and “Noph” were in the land of Egypt, and signified the illustration of the natural man from spiritual light: and “they have caused Egypt to err, the corner-stone of the tribes,” signifies that the natural man was perverted, in which, notwithstanding, all the goods and the truths of the church have their foundation. “Nor shall there be any work in Egypt, which the head or tail, the branch or rush can perform,” signifies that they have no longer any intelligence, nor science of truth, consequently, no truth, either spiritual or natural; A.E.654.
The idols of Egypt.-As to the meaning of “idols,” see above, Chap. ii. 20, Exposition.
2 And I will mingle the Egyptians with the Egyptians: and they shall fight, every man against his brother, and every man against his neighbour; city against city, kingdom against kingdom.
Verse 2. By the” Egyptian” here is signified the natural man separate from the spiritual, who, inasmuch as he is in no light of Truth, disputes continually concerning what is good and evil, and concerning what is true and false: and that disputation is signified by “I will mingle the Egyptians with the Egyptians, and they shall fight, every man against his brother, and every man against his neighbour;” by “brother” and” neighbour” is signified Good from which is Truth, and Truth from Good, and, in the opposite sense, evil from which is the false, and the false from evil; wherefore it is also said “city against city, kingdom against kingdom;” “city” denoting doctrine, and “kingdom” the church from it, which, in like manner, were about to combat with each other. A. E. 746.
The crowds of falses appertaining to a man (when his external is separated. from his internal, as is signified by “Egypt” in this case), reasoning and combating against the truths of the spiritual mall, is signified by “I will mingle the Egyptians with the Egyptians, andthey shall fight,” &c. A “man” and his “brother” signify Truth and Good, and, in the opposite sense, the false and evil; and a “man” and his “neighbour” signify truths amongst themselves, and, in the opposite sense, falses among themselves, This dissension and this combat take place when falses reign, inasmuch as falses continually dispute with falses, but not truths with truths. That similar contentions of the doctrines among themselves, or of churches among themselves, will take place, is signified by “city shall fight against city, and kingdom against kingdom ;” “city” denoting doctrine, and “kingdom” the church thence derived. A. E. 734. See also A. C. 2547.
3 And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst of her; and I will swallow up her counsel: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the sorcerers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards:
Verse 3. Familiar spirits.-See above, Chap. viii. 19, Exposition:
4 And I will shut up the Egyptians in the hand of a hard lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, Jehovah of Hosts.
Verse 4, 5. By the “Egyptians” are here signified the knowledges which belong to the natural man; by the “hard lord in whose hand they shall be shut up,” is signified the evil of self-love; by a “fietce king,” the false principle thence derived. By “the waters failing from the sea,” is signified that although there is an abundance of knowledges, or scientifics, still there are no truths [in such minds]; and by “the rivers being wasted and dried up,” is meant that there is no doctrine of Truth, and hence no intelligence. A. E. 275.
Jehovah of Hosts.-See above, Chap. i. 9, 24, Exposition.
5 And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the rivers shall be wasted and dried up.
Verses 5-7. These things are said concerning “Egypt,” whereby is signified the scientific principles which is of the natural man; and by “the rivers thereof” is signified the knowledge and apperception of truth; that these would perish, is signified by “the stream being wasted and dried up;” that thus there would be no longer any truths, not even such as are natural and sensual, which are the lowest of all, is signified by “the reed and the flags withering, the papyrus by the stream, and fill that is sown by the river, withering, and being driven away, so as to beno more.” A.E. 518; See also A. C. 9755.
6 And the streams shall recede; the rivers of Egypt shall be diminished and dried up: the reed and the flags shall wither.
Verse 6. By these words, in the spiritual sense, is understood that all intelligence of divine Truth should perish. “The streams shall recede,” signifies . that all things of spiritual intelligence shall depart; “the rivers of Egypt shall be diminished and dried up,” signifies that all things of natural. intelligence shall perish; “the reed and the flags shall wither,” signifies that ultimate truth, which is called sensual, and is only scientific, shall vanish; “streams and rivers” denote the things appertaining to intelligence. “Egypt” is the natural principle; the reed and flags,” scientific sensual truth, or the sensual scientific principle; to “recede,” “diminish,” “dry up,” and to “wither,” denote to perish and disappear. A. E. 627.
Verses 6-8. And the streams shall recede, and the fishermen shall mourn, &c.-By the “river and streams of Egypt” are not signified a river, nor by “fishermen” flshermen; but other things are thereby signified, which do not appear except it be known what is signified by “Egypt,” and by its” river,” and by “fishermen.” If these things are known, then the sense becomes evident. A. E. 6693.
7 The papyrus by the river, even at the mouth of the river, and all that is sown by the river, shall wither, be driven away, and be no more.
8 And the fishermen shall mourn, and all they that cast the hook into the rivers shall be sad, and they that spread the net on the face of the waters shall languish.
Verse 8. And the fishermen shall mourn, and all they that cast the hook into the rivers shall be sad, &c. -Where, by “the fishermen who cast the hook into the rivers, and spread the net,” are understood those who desire to procure to themselves knowledges, and thereby intelligence; in this case, that they are not able to procure these knowledges by reason of there not being anywhere any knowledge of Truth. A.E. 513.
A “fisherman,” in the spiritual sense of the Word, signifies a man who investigates and teaches natural truths, and afterwards spiritual truths in a rational manner, as may be demonstrated from these passages:-“The fishermen. shall mourn, and all they that cast the hook,” &c. (Isaiah: xix, 8.) In another place it is said respecting the sea whose waters were healed-“The fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto En-eglaim; they shall be present to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many.” (Ezek. xlvii. 10.) And in another place-“Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith Jehovah, and they shall fish them.”(Jer. xvi. 16.) . Hence it is evident why the Lord chose fishermen for His disciples, and said-” Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men;” (Matt. iv.18, 19; Mark i.16, 17.) and He said to Peter, after he had caught a rnultitude of fishes-“Henceforth thou shalt catch men.” (Luke v. 10.) The origin of this signification of “fishermen” may be seen demonstrated in the Apocalypse Revealed namely, that since “water” signifies natural truths, (n. 50, 932.) as does also a “river;” (n. 409, 932.) a “fish” signifies those who are in possesslon of natural truths; (n. 405.) and thence” fishermen,” those who investigate and teach truths. Doct. of Influx, 20.
9 And they that work threads of silk, and they that weave curtains, shall be confounded.
Verse 9. Here, as said of Egypt in a bad sense, to “work threads of silk,” signifies to feign or counterfeit truths. That “flax” [linum], or linen, signifies Truth, is from representatives in heaven, for in heaven they who are in the Truth of the natural principle, that is, from a spiritual
origin, appear clothed in white, which white appears as of [fine] linen. The Truth itself of the rational principle is also there represented as texture of the purer [or finer] threads of flax, which threads appear like the threads of silk, splendid, beautifully translucent [or shining], and soft; and the garment from those silky threads appears in like manner, if the Truth thus represented is from Good. On the contrary, those threads which are like the threads of linen do not appear translucent, nor splendid, nor soft, but as hard and fragile, but still white, if the Truth which is thus represented, is not from Good. From this it is evident why angels appeared in “linen and shining garments.” (Matt. xxviii. 3; John xx. 11, 12.) A. C. 7601.
10 And her foundations shall he broken up; all that make a gain of pools for fish [shall be confounded].
11 Surely, the princes of Zoan are fools; [as to] the wise counsellors of Pharaoh, their counsel has become brutish. How will ye say unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of the kings of antiquity?
12 Where are they; where, thy wise ones? let them now tell thee, and let them know what Jehovah of Hosts hath determined upon Egypt.
Verse 10. All that make a gain of pools for fish [animae, see note], &c.-“Pools for fish” [animae] signify those things which are of intelligence from knowledges; and because Egypt is here treated of “pools for fish” are those things which are of intelligence from the scientifics of the church; for Egypt is a type of those scientifics which are knowledges, but in an inferior degree. A.C. 7324.
[That to “make a gain” of these things, is to investigate, to learn, and to teach truths from merely selfish and mercenary motives relating to honour and gain, see above. Chap. XVI. 14, Exposition; see also the note, In which the “foundations being broken up” is explained.]
That the “fish-pool of Siloam” signifies the Word in the sense of the letter, is evident from Isa. viii. 6 ; (see above, Exposition, p. 88.) and, in general, the “fish-pools” that were at Jerusalem. A.. E. 239.
Verses 11, 12. The princes of Zoan are fools; the wise counsellors of Pharaoh have become brutish, &c.-“Pharaoh” signifies here the scientific principle of the church in general; hence he is called “the son of the kings of antiquity,”-the “wise” and the “kings of antiquity for the truths of the ancient church. But that scientific principle is here understood to be infatuated, or foolish, for it is said-“The princes of Zoan are fools; their counsel has become brutish.” ” !hat Pharaoh is here called “the son of the kings of antiquity, is because the scientifics, signified by “Egypt,” were from the truths of the ancient church. A. C. 5044. 6015.
By the “wisdom ” of Egypt nothing else is signified than the science of natural things, and by “magic” the science of spiritual things; thus by “the wise of Egypt” are understood exterior scientifics, and by “the magi of Egypt” interior scientifics, and by “Egypt” itself, scence In general. A. C. 5223.
13 The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of Noph are deceived; and they have caused Egypt to err, the corner-stone of her tribes.
14 Jehovah hath mingled in the midst of her a spirit of perversities; and they have caused Egypt to err in all her works, as a drunkard staggereth in his vomit:
15 Nor shall there be any work in Egypt, which the head or tail, the branch or rush, can perform.
Verse 13. The princes of Zoan and Noph, &c.-Zoan and Noph were ancient places in Egypt, (Numb. Xlll. 22.) the princes of which being “taken away” [or deceived], signified that ancient wisdom was taken away, and that Egypt was led astray. (Swedenborg’s Noles on Isaiah, p. 46.)
Verse 14. Jehovah hath mingled in the midst of her [Egypt] a spirit of perversities, &c.-By “Egypt” is signified the science of things as well spiritual as natural; by “mingling in the midst thereof the spirit of perversities” is signified to pervert and falsify those things;” by “the drunkard” are signified those who are insane in spiritual things; and inasmuch as truths commixed with falses are cast out [like vomit], it is therefore said-“Even as a drunkard staggereth In his vomit.” A. E. 235.
As a drunkard staggereth in his vomit.–I have spoken with spirits respecting “drunkenness,” and it was declared by them to be an enormous sin; for a man thereby becomes a brute, and is no longer a man, because a man is a man by virtue of his intellectual faculty, which, when destroyed, he becomes a brute. Moreover, by drunkenness he brings destruction upon his body, and hastens his death; besides which, he destroys in luxury what would be of use to others. Wherefore drunkenness appears so filthy to spirits, that they abhor such a life which, nevertheless, mortals [in this age] have permitted among themselves as belonging to civil life. June 27, 1748. Spiritual Diary, 2422.
As to what “strong drink” signifies, see above, Chap. v. 11, 22, Exposition.
For the signification of “drunkenness,” in its spiritual sense, see below” Chap. xxviii. 1-8, Exposition.
Verse 15. Nor shall there be any work in Egypt, which the head or tail, the branch or rush, can do.-By “Egypt” is signified the science as well of spiritual things as of natural; by “there being no work for it which the head and the tail can do,” is signifieded that it has no spiritual things, nor natural things, by which the spiritual are confirmed; the” head” denoting the knowledges of things spiritual, by which comes intelligence, and the “tail” natural scientifics, which are serviceable to things spiritual as means of intelligence; similar things are signified by “the branch and the rush” the “branch” denoting spiritual truth, and the “rush” the sensual scientific, which is ultimate truth; for if the former and the latter, or first and ultimate principles, do not make one in man, he has not “the head and the tail,” [that is, he is not a perfect man.] A. E. 559.
16 In that day Egypt shall be as women; it shall tremble and be afraid at the shaking of the hand of Jehovah of Hosts, which He shall shake over it.
Verse 16. -“Women,” in a good sense, signify those who are in good from the affection of Truth, and in the opposite sense [as in this passage], those who are in evils from the affection of the false. A. E. 55.
Shall tremble at the shaking of the hand of Jehovah.-What is meant by “the stretched out hand of Jehovah,” see above, Chap. v. 25, Exposition.
17 And the land of Judah shall be a terror to Egypt; everyone that maketh mention thereof unto them shall tremble, because of the counsel of Jehovah of Hosts, which He hath determined against it.
Verse 17. The land of Judah shall be a terror to Egypt, &c.-The “land of Judah” is faith from a celestial origin, separate from the proper intelligence of man. Here it signifies heaven and the church. Whilst the natural man is being regenerated, especially when he is in false principles, at the approach of heaven, or of heavenly influences, as at the time of judgment, he is borne away with terror. (See Swedenborg’s Notes on Isaiah, p. 47.)
Verses 18, 19. In that day there shall be five cities in the land of Egypt, speaking the language of Canaan, &c.-” Five cities in the land of Egypt, speaking the language of Canaan,” signify truths of doctrine in abundance, according to the genuine truths of the church; “five” denote many, or abundance; “cities” denote truths of doctrine; “the lip [or language] of Canaan” signifies the genuine truths of the church. The “altar to Jehovah” means worship from the good of love. A. E. 223.
18 In that day there shall be five cities in the land of Egypt speaking the language of Canaan, and swearing unto Jehovah of Hosts; one of them shall be called, The city of the Sun.
19 In that day there shall be an altar to Jehovah in the midst of the land of Egypt; and a pillar by the border thereof to Jehovah:
20 And it shall be for a sign and for a witness to Jehovah of Hosts in the land of Egypt; for they shall cry unto Jehovah because of oppressors, and He shall send unto them a Saviour and a Prince, and He shall deliver them.
Verses 18-25. The land of Egypt, &c.-Here “Egypt” is put for the natural man conjoining to the spiritual, thus for the nations and people who were without the church, and who, not being in truths, were natural men, but who, when they heard the Gospel, acknowledged the Lord, and, being thence instructed in the truths of doctrine, received faith. The advent of the Lord is understood by “in that day,” which is here five times mentioned, “In that day there shall be five cities in the land of Egypt, speaking with the language of Canaan,” signifies that there shall be with them several doctrinals, according to the truths of the doctrine of the church itself; “five” denoting several: “cities,” doctrinals; the “land of Egypt,” the church of such nations; and the “lip [or language] of Canaan,” the truths of the doctrine of the church. ” Everyone shall be called, The city Cherez” [or, of the Sun], signifies the doctrine of the good of charity in everyone; “city” denoting doctrine, and “Cherez,” which, in the Hebrew tongue, signifies the sun and the beaming of its splendour, denotes the good of charity, and faith thence derived. “In that day there shall be an altar to Jehovah in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar by the border thereof to Jehovah,”signifies the worship of the Lord from the goods of charity, and thence from the truths of faith, in all things appertaining to the natural man; by the “altar to Jehovah” is signified worship from the good of charity, and by the “pillar” worship from the truths of faith; by “in the midst of the land of Egypt,” is signified everywhere and in all things of the natural man; and by the “border” or boundary, scientific truth. “They shall cry unto Jehovah because of oppressors, and He shall send unto them a Saviour and a Prince,” signifies their grief on account of the defect or want of truth, and thence of spiritual good, and the advent of the Lord, from whom they will receive them; to “cry” denotes grief; “oppressors” signify the want of truth, and thence of spiritual good; and “Saviour and Prince” signify the Lord, who is called “Saviour” from the Good of love, and “Prince” from the Truth of faith. ” Jehovah shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know Jehovah in that day,” signifies the acknowledgment of the Lord, and of His Divine [Principle]; and “they shall offer sacrifice and oblation,” signifies the worship of the Lord according to His precepts from the Word, thus from truths of doctrine and from the good of love. “And Jehovah shall smite Egypt, smiting and healing her; and they shall turn unto Jehovah, and He will be entreated of them, and will heal them,” signifies temptations, and thus conversion and healing from falses by truths. ” In that day there shall be a highway from Egypt to Assyria; and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, signifies that then the rational principle shall be opened to them by scientific truths, and man shall view the scientifics appertaining to the natural man rationally, and thus intelligently; “Egypt” is the scientific principle which appertains to the natural man, and “Assyria” is the rational. “In that day Israel shall be a third, together with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land,” signifies influx into each from spiritual light; “Israel” is the spiritual man who has light from heaven; “Egypt” is the natural man who has light from the world; and “Assyria” is the rational man who is middle or mediate, and who receives light from the spiritual, and transmits it into the natural, whom it thereby illustrates. “Whom Jehovah of Hosts shall bless,” signifies influx from the Lord; “saying, Blessed be My people, Egypt,” signifies the natural man Illustrated; and “AssyrIa, the work of My hands,” signifies the rational, not from self, but from the Lord; and “Israel, Mine inheritance,” signifies the spiritual man, who is called “inheritance” because all the spiritual principle is of the Lord, for it is His Divine Proceeding, from which is heaven and the church. Without such spiritual sense, how could these prophecies be understood? A. E. 654. See also A. C. 6017.
21 And Jehovah shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know Jehovah in that day; and they shall offer sacrifice and oblation, and they shall vow a vow unto Jehovah, and shall perform it.
22 And Jehovah shall smite Egypt, smiting and healing her; and they shall turn unto Jehovah, and He will be entreated of them, and will heal them.
Verse 21. They shall vow a vow unto the Lord, and shall perform it.-By “vowing a vow” denotes, in the internal sense, to will that the Lord may provide; hence in the supreme sense, in which the Lord is treated of, it denotes a state of Providence. The reason why “vowing a vow,” in the internal sense, denotes to will that the Lord may provide, is grounded in this, that in vows there is a desire and an affection that what is willed may come to pass, thus that the Lord may provide. Somewhat also of stipulation is implied, and at the same time somewhat of debt on the part of man, which he engages to discharge in case he comes to possess the object of his wish” A.C. 3732.
23 In that day there shall be a highway from Egypt to Assyria; and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria: and the Egyptian shall serve with the Assyrian.
24 In that day Israel shall be a third, together with Egypt and Assyria; a blessing in the midst of the land:
25 Whom Jehovah of Hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be My people, Egypt; and Assyria, the work of My hands; and Israel, Mine inheritance!
Verses 23-25. By “Israel, Assyria, and Egypt,” are signified the three principles which appertain to the men of the church, namely, the spiritual, rational, and scientific; by “Israel” the spiritual, by “Assyria” the rational, and by “Egypt” the scientific; inasmuch as all the rational principle of man is formed by scientifics, and both from the spiritual, which is out of heaven from the Lord, for all intelligence of truth, and all applications of the sciences to truths, is thence. It is therefore said that “in that day there shall be a highway from Egypt to Assyria; and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria: and the Egyptian shall serve with the Assyrian; and afterwards, that “Israel shall be a third, together with Egypt and Assyria; a blessing in the midst of the land;” the “midst” signifies the inmost, from which the rest or from which the whole is derived, as may be seen above. n. 213 and “land,” or earth, denotes the church, where these things are; and, inasmuch as it is the spirtual [principle] from which the rational and scientific are applied to genuine truths, therefore Israel is called the “inheritance,” or the heir of the house who possesses all things; and Assyria “the work of My hands,” because the rational is thence formed; and Egypt is called “a people blessed,” because in the scientific, as In their ultimate, all things are togrether; hence also it is evident that by “blessing,” in the Word, is understood spiritual blessing. A. E. 340. .
By these words, in their spiritual sense, is signified that, at the time of the Lord’s coming, the scientific, the rational, and the spiritual should make a one, and that then the scientific should serve the ratlonal, and both the spiritual. By the repetition of the words “in that day,” is meant the first and second coming of the Lord T. C. R. 200.
How a man thlinks, and how angels think, when these words are read, can be evident from the literal sense of the Word, and from its internal sense. A man, from the literal sense, thinks that the EgyptIans and Assyrians are to be converted to God, and accepted, and that they will make one with the Israelitish people. But the angels think, when these words are read, according to the internal sense, respecting the man of the spiritual church, which in that sense is there described; whose spiritual principle is “Israel,” whose natural is “Egypt,” and whose rational, which is intermediate, is “Assyria.” But both these senses make a one, because they correspond. Wherefore when the angels think thus spiritually, and man thus naturally, they are conjoined together almost like the soul and the body. The internal sense of the Word is also its soul, and the literal sense its body. Such a nature is the Word in every part; hence it is evident that it is the medium of conjoining heaven with man, and that the literal sense serves as a basis and foundation. H. H. 307.
Author: Emanuel Swedenborg [Compiled by J. H. Smithson 1860]