1 WOE to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, and to the fading flower of their glorious beauty! to those that are at the bead of the fat valley, that are overcome with wine!
VERSE 1. They are called “drunkards” in the Word, who believe nothing but what they comprebend [by the senses], and in this spirit inquire into the mysteries of faith; the consequence is, that they must needs fall into errors, inasmuch as they are under the guidance only of things sensual, scientific, or philosophical in their inquiries. The thinking principle of man is merely terrestrial, corporeal, and material, inasmuch as it is formed of things terrestrial, corporeal, and material, which continually adhere thereto, and in which the ideas of thought are founded and terminated; therefore to think and reason from those thlngs concerning things divine, is to plunge into errors and perverse opinions, and it is as impossible for a man thence to obtain faith, as it is for “a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.” The error and insanity thence derived are called, in the Word, “drunkenness;” nay, even souls or spirits in another life, who reason concerning the truths of faith, and against them, become like drunk persons, and behave in like manner; concerning whom, by the Divine Mercy of the Lord, more will be said hereafter. Spirits are manifestly discerned whether they be principled in a faith grounded in charity or not. They who are principled in faith grounded in chanty, do not reason concerning the truths of faith, but say that they are so, and likewise confirm them, so much as they are able, by the things of sense, of science, and of analytical reasoning; but as soon as any thing obscure intervenes, which they do not clearly apprehend, this they lay aside, nor ever suffer such a thing to lead them into doubt, urging that there are very few things which they can comprehend; and, therefore, that it is a great folly to think a thing not to be true because they do not comprehend it; these are they who are principled in charity but they, on the other hand, who are not principled in faith grounded in charity, are disposed only to reason whether a thing be true, and to know how it is true, urging that unless they know how it is so, they cannot possibly believe that it is so; by this clrcumstance alone they are instantly discovered to be principled In no faith, and the proof thereof is, because they not only doubt about all things, but even in their hearts deny them; and when they are instructed how the case is, still they continue obstinate and raise fresh scruples and objections, and would do so, if possible, to all eternity; and they who thus remain doubtful heap up errors upon errors. A. C. 1072.
Verses 1, 3, 7. Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, &c.-These things are said of those who are insane in spiritual things, in consequence of believing that they are intelligent from themselves, and therein glorying; the state of such is described in this passage by mere correspondences. They who are insane with respect to things spintual, or truths, are understood by “drunkards,” and they who thence behave themselves intelligent by “Ephraim,” and the glorying of their intelligence or erudition by the “crown of pride;” for they who are in falses of doctrine, and have confirmed themselves therein, when they are enlightened, and see truths in the other life, become as it were “drunkards;” such is the case of the learned who have confirmed themselves in falses, which is to confirm from self and not from the Lord; hence it is evident what is signified by ” Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim.” By “the fading flower of glorious beauty, of those that are at the head of the fat valley, that are overcome with wine,” is signified the truth of the church perishing in its birth, from the glorying of self-derived intelligence, which is of the natural man separated from the spiritual, in which case man sees “the false in the place of truth; the “fading flower of glorious beauty denotes truth in its birth falling or perishing; the “head of the valley” denotes the intelligence of the natural man; their being “overcome with wine” signifies their seeing the false in the place of truth. “The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim shall be trodden under feet,” signifies that that intelligence shall entirely perish. “These also have erred through wine, and through strong drink they have reeled,” signifies falses and the things thence derived; by “the priest and the prophet who have erred through strong drink, and are swallowed up with wine, and have reeled through strong drink,” is signified that they who ought to be in the doctrine of Good and Truth are of such a quality, and, abstractedly from persons, that then doctrine is of such a quality; and by their “erring in vision and stumbling in judgment,” is signified their not seeing the truths of intelligence. That such things are signified by these words, no one can see except from the spiritual sense, without which it could not be known, that the “crown” and the “head” signify intelligence, that “drunkards” signify those who are insane in things spiritual, that Ephraim signifies the understanding,- in the present case, self-derived, or originating in the proprium of man, that “valley” signifies the inferior or lower things of the mind, which are natural and sensual and that a “priest” and “prophet” signify the doctrine of Good and Truth. A. E. 370.
Woe to the drunkards of Ephraim, and to the fading flower of their glorious beauty! &c.–“Drunkards” stand for those who reason from falses. see n. 1072; “Ephraim” for the intellectual principle of the church,-in this case perverted, n. 5354, 6222; (see also above, Chap. vii. 2, Exposition.) “glory” signifies Divine Truth, n. 4809, 9222.
Hence it is evident that a “flower” or “blossom” is the scientific by which Truth [is acquired]. That “flowers” or “blossoms” signify such things, is because blossoms are the germinations which precede, and in their manner produce fruits and seeds. That trees and plants blossom before they bear fruit, is known. The case is similar with man as to intelligence and wisdom. The scientifics of Truth precede, and in their manner produce those things which are of wisdom with man; for they serve his rational mind with objects, and thus with the means of becoming wise. Hence it is that the scientifics of Truth are like blossoms, and the good of life, which is the good of wisdom, is like fruit. Since all things in the spiritual world relate to such things as are with man, by reason that heaven resembles one man, and corresponds to all things, even to the most minute, which are with man, wherefore all things which are in the natural world, according to their agreement with such things as are with a man, correspond, represent, and signify. (A. C. 9496.) Hence now it is evident whence it is that “blossoms” and “flowers” signify the scientifics of Truth, and, in general, truths; and “fruits” and “seeds,” goods. A. C. 9553.
Woe to the drunkards of Ephraim! they have erred through wine, and through strong drink they have reeled, &c.-That to the “drunken with wine and with strong drink” signifies to be insane and infatuated in regard to spiritual things, may indeed be seen without being confirmed from other passages in the Word; but inasmuch as many people do not see this, by reason that they do not think spiritually but sensually, and thus materially, of everything in the Word, when they read it, I will adduce some passages from the Word to prove that being made “drunk” signifies to be insane or infatuated in regard to things of a spiritual, that is, of a theological nature, which are the following:-“They are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.” (Isa. xxix, 9.) “Hear, thou afflicted, thou drunken, but not with wine.” (Isa. li, 21.) “Babylon is a cup of gold in the hand of Jehovah, making all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of the wine thereof; therefore the nations are mad.” (Jer. li. 7.) “Babylon shall be an hissing: when they are heated, I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may exult, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not awake,” (Jer. li. 37, 39.) “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, because she made all nations drunk of the wine of her whoredom.” (Apoc. xiv. 8; xviii. n.) “Let every bottle be filled with wine; behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, the priests and the prophets, with drunkenness.” (Jer. xiii. 12, 13.) “Thou shalt be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of devastation and desolation.” (Ezek. xxiii, 32, 33.) “O daughter of Edom, unto thee also the cup shall pass; thou shalt be drunken, and shalt be uncovered.” (Lam. iv. 21.) “Thou also shalt be made drunken. (Nah. iii. 11.) “Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, to rrse no more.” (Jer. xxv. 27.) A. R. 721. See also above, Chap, v. 11, 12, 21, 22, Exposition.
As to the enormous sin of drunkenness, in a literal sense, see above Chap, xix. 14, Exposition.
2 Behold, a mighty one, a strong one from the Lord! like a storm of hail, like a tempest of slaughter, like ta flood of mighty waters overflowing, He shall cast them to the earth with His hand.
3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:
4 And the fading flower of their glorious beauty, which is upon the head of the fat valley, shall be as the early fruit before the summer; which one looketh at, and while it is yet in his hand, he swalloweth it.
Verses 2, 22 Speaking of the day of Judgment upon those who are of the said church. The day of Judgment, when the church is at its end, is understood by “I have heard a consummation and decision, from the Lord Jehovih of Hosts, upon the whole earth; “wherefore it is said, that “like a storm of hail, like a tempest of slaughter, like a flood of mighty waters overflowing. He shall cast them to the earth with His hand.” By “hail” and the “storm” thereof, are signified falses which destroy the truths of the church; by “slaughter” and its “tempest,” are signified evils which destroy the goods of the church; by “mighty waters” are signified the falses of evil. That an “inundation” and a “flood” signify immersions into evils and falses, and hence the destruction of the church, may be seen in. A. C. 660, 705; also above, Chap. viii. 7, 8, Exposition. The same is signified by “casting down to the earth,” or by a violent pouring down of rain. A. E. 304.
5 In that day shall Jehovah of Hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the remnant of His people:
Verse 5. A “crown of glory” [or of adornment] signifies wisdom which is of Good from the Divine; a “diadem of beauty” signifies intelligence which is of Truth from that Good. This crown and this diadem are predicated of the divine things which are with “the [residue of]people,” or the church. A. C. 9930. See also A. E. 272.
That “residue” or “remnant” signifies the remains of what is Good and True, or of those who are in what is Good and True at the period of Judgment, see above, Chap. i. 9; iv. 2, 3, Exposition.
6 And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment; and for strength to them that turn the battle from the gate.
Verse 6. In that day shall Jehovah be for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment; and for strength to them that turn the battle front the gate.-These things are said coucerning those who are not in the conceit of self-derived intelligence, which is treated of in this chapter, and is understood in verse 1 by ” the crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim.” That they who are not in that conceit shall be in intelligence from the Lord, is signified by “Jehovah shall be for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment;” “judgment” denoting the understanding of Truth, thus intelligence. “Jehovah shall be for strength to them that turn the battle from the gate” signifies that the Lord gives power to those who defend the Word and doctrine from the Word, and who endeavour to preserve them from being violated; a “city” denoting doctrine, and the “gate,” that which gives entrance thereto, denoting natural truths. Hence it was that the elders “sat to judge in the gates of the city.” A. E. 734.
For strength to them that turn the battle from the gate.-As to the meaning of “gates,” see Chap. lx. 11, 18, Exposition.
7 But these also have erred through wine, and through strong drink they have reeled; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink; they are swallowed up with wine; they have reeled through strong drink; they have erred in vision, they have stumbled in judgment:
8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness; no place [is clean].
Verses 7, 8. “Wine” and” strong drink,” by which they err, signify truths mixed with falses; the “priest” and the “prophet” signify those who teach goods and truths, and, in an abstract sense, the goods and truths of the church; the “seeing,” amongst whom they err, signify those who are about to see truths: to “stumble in judgment” signifies insanity. “Tables” signify all things which should nourish the spiritual life, for by “tables” is understood the food which is upon them, and “food” means all truths and goods, because they are what nourish the spiritual life; here, therefore, by “tables full of vomit,” are signified the same things falsified and adulterated. A. E. 235.
9 Whom should He teach knowledge? and whom should He make to understand doctrine? Those that are weaned from the milk, that are withdrawn from the breasts.
10 For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
Verses 9, 10. [These words imply, in their literal sense, that children should be taught at the earliest period of life, and that they should be trained for heaven, as the end of their birth into the world. In the spiritual sense, to be “weaned” is to be separated,-in relation to the Lord, from His infirm Human, and in relation to man, from his proprium. (A. C. 2647, 2649.) Such as are thus separated from their proprium, are capable of receiving instruction in spiritual and divine things, or in the Truths of the Word. “Precept upon precept, line upon line,” &c., implies the successive and gradual process of instruction; as in the building of a house one line or layer of stones is laid upon another, so in the building up of the mind the knowledges of Truth and Good are acquired in successive order.]
11 Therefore with a stammering lip and in another tongue will He speak unto this people.
Verse 11. ” Stammerers” signify those who with difficulty can apprehend [and pronounce] the Truth of the church. A. E. 4551. See also Chap. xxxii. 4, Exposition.
12 To whom He said, This is the rest which ye shall give unto the weary; and this is the refreshment: but they would not hear.
Verse 12. To be “weary” denotes a state of temptation-combat. A. C. 3318. See also 3321.
13 Therefore shall the Word of Jehovah be indeed unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: but they will go on, and fall backward; and be broken, and ensnared, and caught.
14 Wherefore hear ye the word of Jehovah, ye scornful men, who rule this people in Jerusalem:
Verse 13. But they will go on, and fall backward; and be broken, and ensnared, and caught.-To ”fall backward,” is to avert themselves from what is Good and True; to be “broken,” signifies to dissipate Truths and Goods; to be “ensnared,” is to be allured by the love of self and of the world; to be “caught,” is to be carried away by those loves. A. C. 9348.
As to the meaning of “going or falling backwards,” see Chap. i. 4 ; of “snares,” “nets,” and” traps,” see Chap. xxiv. 17, Exposition.
15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death; and with hell have we made a vision: the overflowing scourge, when it passeth through, shall not reach us; for we have made a lie our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves.
Verse 15. In this passage “death” denotes damnation, since death is damnation, it is also hell; wherefore hell, in the Word, is commonly called “death,” as in Isaiah :-“Hell will not confess Thee; nor will death praise Thee.” (xxxviii. 18, 19.) A. E. 186.
Verses 15, 18. “make a covenant with death,” signifies conjunction with the false from hell, whence man dies spiritually; to “make a vision with hell,” signifies divination, as it were, prophetic, from hell. A.E.701. See also A. C. 8908.
The overflowing scourge.-As to what may be understood by this term, in a spiritual sense, see Chap. viii. 7, 8, Exposition.
16 Wherefore thus saith the Lord Jehovih, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a firm foundation: he that believeth [in Him] shall not hasten [to flee].
Verse 16. And in Jeremiah :-“They shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, or a stone of foundations;” (li. 26.) So in Zechariah:-“Out of Judah a corner, out of him the nail, out of him the bow of war.” (x. 4.) Again, in David:-” The stone which they rejected is become the head of the corner.” (Psalm cxviii. 22; Matt. xxi. 42; Mark xii. 10, 11; Luke xx. 17.) The “stone of the corner” signifies all Divine Truth upon which heaven and the church is founded, thus every foundation; and inasmuch as the” foundation” is the ultimate upon which a house or temple rests, therefore it signifies all things. It is on account of this signification of the “corner-stone,” as denoting all Divine Truth upon which the church is founded, that it is said- “I will lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a firm foundation;” and it is called ” a stone for the corner,” and “a stone of foundations;” and inasmuch as the “cornerstone” signifies all Divine Truth upon which the church is founded, therefore it also signifies the Lord as to His Divine Human, because all Divine Truth proceeds from that. The “builders” or architects ‘who “rejected that stone,” as we read in the Evangelists, denote those who are of the church, in this case of the Jewish church, which rejected the Lord, and with Him all Divine Truth; for with them there remained nothing but vain traditions grounded in the literal sense of the Word, by which the essential truths of the Word were falsified and its goods adulterated. That “ultimates” signify all things, and what the ground of this signification is, may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia; n. 634, 5897, 6239. A. E. 417.
He that believeth [in HimJ shall not hasten [to flee].-See the note, p.296.
17 And I will lay judgment to the line, and justice to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of a lie; and the hiding-place the waters shall overwhelm.
18 And your covenant with death shall be abolished; and your vision with hell shall not stand: when the overflowing scourge passeth through, by it shall ye be trodden down;
19 As soon as it passeth through, it shall take you; for morning by morning shall it pass through, by day and by night; and it shall be a terror to understand the report [thereof].
Verse 17. [This is another mode of expressing the process of exploration and of judgment which takes place after death, in the world of spirits, when “all refuges of lies shall be swept away,” and every “hiding-place” of iniquity will be exposed and condemned.]
20 For the bed is shorter than that [one] can stretch himself [on it]; and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself [in it].
Verse 20. A “bed” signifies doctrine. The ground and reason of this is from correspondences; for, as the body rests on its bed, so does the mind rest in its doctrine, But by a “bed” is signified the doctrine which everyone acquires to himself, either from the Word, or from his proper intelligence, for therein the mind reposes, and, as it were, sleeps. The beds in which they lie in the spiritual world are of no other origin. Everyone’s bed there is conformable to the quality of his science and intelligence;- the wise have magnificent beds, the foolish have mean ones, and they who are in falses have filthy ones. This is the signification of a ” bed” in Luke:-” I tell you, in that night there shall be two in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.” (xvii, 34.) Speaking of the Last Judgment. “Two in one bed” means two in one doctrine, but not in similar life. In John :-“Jesus saith unto the sick man, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk; and he took up his bed, and walked.” (v. 8, 9.) And in Mark:-” Jesus said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sius be forgiven thee; and He said unto the Scribes, Whether is it easier to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, take up thy bed, and walk? Then He said, Arise, take up thy bed, and walk: and he took up his bed, and went forth from them.” (ii. 5,9,11,12.) That here something is signified by ” bed,” is evident, because Jesus said-” Whether is it easier to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Take up thy bed, and walk?” By” taking up his bed, and walking,” is signified to meditate in doctrine; it is so understood in heaven. Doctrine is also signified by a “bed” in Amos :-“As the shepherd .taketh out of the mouth of the lion, so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria, in the corner of a bed, and in the extremity of a couch.” (iii. 12.) “In the corner of a bed, and in the extremity of a couch,” means what is more remote from the truths and goods of doctrine. “Bed,”” couch,” and” bedchamber” have a similar signification in other places, as in Isaiah xxviii. 20; lvii. 2, 7, 8; Ezek. xxiii, 41; Amos vi. 4; Micah ii. 1; Psalm i v. 4; xxxvi. 4; xli. 3; Job xvii. 13; Lev. xv. 4, 5. A. R. 137.
[By “the bed being shorter than that one can stretch himself all it, and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it,” is implied that doctrines founded in fallacious reasonings find ill false principles, prevent the growth and extension of the rational mind, and obstruct the process of regeneration; and that they have no power to enlighten the mind with heavenly Truth, or to warm it with heavenly Love.]
21 For as in Mount Perazim, Jehovah will arise; as in the valley of Gibeon, shall He be wroth: that He may do His work, His strange work; and effect His operation, His strange operation.
Verse 21. [These events, representative of Judgment, are recorded in 2 Sam. v. 20, 21, where David defeated the Philistines, and executed, as it were, a judgment upon them. The term “Perazim,” in Hebrew, means a tearing or breaking asunder, which involves the idea of Judgment. “As in the valley of Gibeon” refers to Josh. x. 10, when the Amorites were destroyed, which also represented the process of Judgment. The “destruction of the Philistines at Perazim ” signifies judgment upon all who are in faith, or in the knowledges of Truth, separate from charity; (see above, Chap. xiv. 28, 29, Exposition.) and the “slaughter of the Amorites” represented the judgment upon all who are in evils and falses, and especially upon those who are in the falses of evil. See A. C. 1857, 6859.] .”
His strange work.-[Judgment is said to be the Lord’s” strange work,” to indicate that the process of Judgment, in the sense of condemnation, is not effected by the Lord, but by the evils and. falses which proceed from the wicked themselves. “For the Lord hath no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” (Ezek. xviii. 23, 32.) “This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” ((John iii. 19.) See above. Chap. i. 24, Exposition.)
22 Wherefore, be ye not mockers, lest your bonds be strengthened: for a consummation and decision have I heard, from the Lord Jehovih of Hosts, on the whole earth.
Verses 22, 24, 25, 26. These words, in their spiritual sense, describe the state of the church with the Jewish and Israelitish nation, that it was altogether destroyed, and that it was to no purpose to learn and to know the Word, but in order to apply the Good and Truth thereof to the use of life, and that by this menus, and no other, could intelligence be communicated from the Lord. That the church with that nation was altogether destroyed, is understood by “the consummation and decision being heard from the Lord Jehovih of Hosts upon the whole earth;” “consummation and decision” denoting plenary destruction, and the “whole earth” the entire church, that is, everything appertaining thereto. It being to no purpose merely to learn and know the Word, is signified by “Doth the ploughman plough the whole day that he may sow ? doth he open and harrow his ground?” to “plough for sowing” denoting to learn, and to “harrow the land” to deposit in the memory. That the Good and Truth of the Word should be applied to the use of life, is signified by “When he hath made the face thereof even, doth not he cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and sow the wheat in the principal [place], and the barley in its appointed [place], and the spelt in the border thereof?” The “making even the face of the earth, and scattering the cummin,” denotes preparation by the Word; “the wheat in the principal [place], and the barley in its appointed[place], and the spelt in their border,” denote the application of the Good and Truth of the Word to the use of life; “wheat” signifying Good, “barley” Truth, and “spelt” kuowledges. That by this means, and no other, can intelligence be communicated from the Lord, is signified by “For his God doth instruct him to judgment, and doth teach him.” “Judgment ” signifies intelligence; “his God teaching him” denotes that it is from the Lord. A. E. 374.
23 Give ye ear, and hear My voice; attend, and hearken unto My speech.
24 Doth the ploughman plough the whole day that he may sow? doth he open and harrow his ground?
25 When he hath made the face thereof even, doth not he cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and sow the “wheat in the principal [place], and the barley in its appointed [place], and the spelt in the border thereof?
26 For his God doth instruct him to judgment, and doth teach him.
Verses 23-26. These words appear as comparisons, but tbey are real correspondences, by which is described the reformation and regeneration of the man of the church; wherefore also it is said–“For his God doth instruct him to judgment, and doth teach him.” To “instruct him to judgment,” is to give him intelligence; for by “judgment” is signified the intelligence of Truth, n. 2235; and to “teach him,” when from God, is to give him wisdom. Hence it may appear what is meant by “ploughing,” “harrowing,” “scattering abroad fitches,” “sowing cummin,” “storing up wheat, barley, and spelt,” namely, that” ploughing” denotes implanting Truth in Good; “fitches” and “cummin ” denote scientifics, since these are the first things which are learnt that a man may receive intelligence. That “‘wheat” signifies the Good of love of the internal man , see n. 7005. That “ploughing” signifies, not from comparison, but from correspondences, the first thing of the church in general, and also in particular, with everyone who is regenerated, or who becomes a church, is evident from these words in Moses :-“Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard intermixedly; thou shalt not plough with an ox and an ass together; thou shalt not wear a garment mixed with wool and linen together.” (Deut. xxii. 9-11.) These words involve that the states of Good and of Truth ought not to be coufounded: for a “vineyard” denotes: the church as to Truth, but a “field ” the church as to Good; to “plough with an ox” denotes to prepare by Good; to “plough with an ass,” to prepare by Truth : “wool” also denotes Good, but “linen” Truth. The case is this: all they are in a state of Good who are in the Lord’s celestial kingdom; but they are in a state of Truth who are in the Lord’s spiritual kingdorn; he who is in the one cannot be in the other. Who cannot see that the above words in Moses have a deeper signification than they appear to have; for otherwise what of evil could there have been in “sowing a vineyard intermixedly,” in “ploughing with an ox and an ass together,” and in “wearing a garment mixed with wool and linen together”? A. C. 10,669.
27 The fitches are not beaten out with the threshing-sledge, nor is the wheel of the cart made to turn about upon the cummin: but the fitches are beaten out with the staff: and the cummin with a rod;
28 Bread [corn] is bruised; but not for ever will he continue to thresh it, nor to break it with the wheel of his cart, nor to bruise it [with] his horsemen.
29 This also proceedeth from Jehovah of Hosts, who is wonderful in counsel, and great in wisdom.
Verses 27-29. [It does not appear that Swedenborg has quoted these verses, but it is not difficult, from the doctrine of correspondences, to see the spiritual meaning of them. A “threshing-floor ” denotes, as is evident from the passages in the Word where it is mentioned, something in relation to the church, and specifically the Good of Truth, and also the Truth of Good; (A. C. 6537.) and the mind where these things are prepared for the nourishment of the soul, is, as it were, a “threshing-floor.” For, on a threshing-floor, wheat is in a state of preparation to become bread for the nourishment of the body. The various kinds of implements here mentioned were all used for threshing by the Jews, each implement being adapted to its specific purpose. The process of the understanding whilst meditating on the various scientiflcs and knowledges of what is Good and True from the Word, is here depicted. The various kinds of knowledge represented by the “fitches,” “cummin,” &c., require a specific process of the understanding to convert them into spiritual food, as the various kinds of grain require to be threshed by different implements. But this process of threshing is only a means to an end. It is not sufficient fully to understand the knowledge of what is True and Good; it must be loved and practised also; and the object of the divine Text is to teach the necessity of this in order to salvation, and in order to shew that it is man’s duty to acknowledge that the entire work is the Lord’s. (Verse 29.) That “horsemen,” in verse 28, have relation, by correspondence, to the understanding, see Chap. xxxi .1, Exposition.]
Author: Emanuel Swedenborg [Compiled by J. H. Smithson 1860]