Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at sacred-texts.com
As the subject here treated of is the temptation of the man of the new church called "Noah" and as few if any know the nature of temptations (because at this day there are few who undergo such temptations, and those who do undergo them know not but that it is something inherent in themselves which thus suffers), the subject shall be briefly explained. There are evil spirits who as before said in times of temptation call up a man's falsities and evils, and in fact call forth from his memory whatever he has thought and done from his infancy. Evil spirits do this with a skill and a malignity so great as to be indescribable. But the angels with the man draw out his goods and truths, and thus defend him. This combat is what is felt and perceived by the man, causing the pain and remorse of conscience.  There are two kinds of temptations, one as to things of the understanding, the other as to those of the will. When a man is tempted as to things of the understanding, the evil spirits call up only the evil things he has been guilty of (here signified by the "unclean beasts"), and accuse and condemn him; they do indeed also call up his good deeds (here signified by the "clean beasts"), but pervert them in a thousand ways. At the same time they call up what he has thought (here signified by the "fowl"), and such things also as are signified by "everything that creepeth upon the ground."  But this temptation is light, and is perceived only by the recalling of such things to mind and a certain anxiety therefrom. But when a man is tempted as to the things of the will, his thoughts and doings are not so much called up, but there are evil genii (as evil spirits of this kind may be called) who inflame him with their cupidities and foul loves with which he also is imbued, and thus combat by means of the man's cupidities themselves, which they do so maliciously and secretly that it could not be believed to be from them. For in a moment they infuse themselves into the life of his cupidities, and almost instantly invert and change an affection of good and truth into an affection of evil and falsity, so that the man cannot possibly know but that it is done of his own self, and comes forth of his own will. This temptation is most severe, and is perceived as an inward pain and tormenting fire. Of this more will be said hereafter. That such is the case has been given me to perceive and know by manifold experience; and also when and how the evil spirits or genii were flowing in and inundating, and who and whence they were; concerning which experiences, of the Lord's Divine mercy special and particular mention will be made hereafter.752.
Verse 10. And it came to pass after the seven days that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. This signifies, as before, the beginning of temptation.753.
That by "seven days" is signified the beginning of temptation was shown above at the fourth verse; and it has reference to what has gone before, namely, that this temptation, which was of the things of his understanding, was the beginning of temptation, or the first temptation; and it is the conclusion thus expressed. And because this first temptation was as to things of the understanding, it is described by the "waters of the flood" as above at the seventh verse, and by the "flood of waters" at the sixth verse, which properly signify such temptation, as was there shown.754.
Verse 11. In the six-hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, in the seventeenth day of the month, in that day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the cataracts of heaven were opened. By "the six hundredth year, the second month, and the seventeenth day" is signified the second state of temptation; "all the fountains of the great deep were broken up" signifies the extreme of temptation as to the things of the will; "the cataracts of heaven were opened" signifies the extreme of temptation as to the things of the understanding.755.
That by "the six hundredth year, the second month, and seventeenth day" is signified the second state of temptation, follows from what has hitherto been said; for from the sixth verse to this eleventh verse the first state of temptation is treated of, which was temptation as to things of his understanding. And that now the second state is treated of, namely, as to things of the will, is the reason why his age is told again. It was said before that he was "a son of six hundred years" and here that the flood came "in the six-hundredth year of his life, in the second month, and in the seventeenth day." No one could suppose that by the years of Noah's age, of which the years, months, and days are specified, a state of temptation as to things of the will is meant. But as has been said, such was the manner of speech and of writing among the most ancient people; and especially were they delighted in being able to specify times and names, and thereby construct a narrative similar to actual history; and in this consisted their wisdom.  Now it has been shown above, at verse 6, that the "six hundred years" signify nothing else than the first state of temptation, and so do the "six hundred years" here; but in order that the second state of temptation might be signified, "months" and "days" are added; and indeed two months or "in the second month" which signifies combat itself, as is evident from the signification of the number "two" in the second verse of this chapter, where it is shown that it signifies the same as "six" that is, labor and combat, and also dispersion. But the number "seventeen" signifies both the beginning of temptation and the end of temptation, because it is composed of the numbers seven and ten. When this number signifies the beginning of temptation, it involves the days up to seven, or a week of seven days; and that this signifies the beginning of temptation has been shown above, at the fourth verse of this chapter. But when it signifies the end of temptation (as at verse 4 of chapter 8), then "seven" is a holy number; to which "ten" (which signifies remains) is adjoined, for without remains man cannot be regenerated.  That the number "seventeen" signifies the beginning of temptation, is evident in Jeremiah, when that prophet was commanded to buy a field from Hanamel his uncle's son, which was in Anathoth; and he weighed him the money, seventeen shekels of silver (Jer. 32:9). That this number also signifies the Babylonish captivity, which represents the temptation of the faithful and the devastation of the unfaithful, and so the beginning of temptation and at the same time the end of temptation, or liberation, is evident from what follows in the same chapter-the captivity in the thirty-sixth verse, and the liberation in the thirty-seventh and following verses. No such number would have appeared in the prophecy if it had not, like all the other words, involved a hidden meaning.  That "seventeen" signifies the beginning of temptation, is also evident from the age of Joseph, who was a "son of seventeen years" when he was sent to his brothers and sold into Egypt (Gen. 37:2). His being sold into Egypt has a similar signification, as of the Lord's Divine mercy will be shown in the explication of that chapter. There the historical events are representative, which actually took place as described; but here significative historical incidents are composed, which did not take place as described in the sense of the letter. And yet the actual events involve arcana of heaven, in fact every word of them does so, exactly as do these made-up histories. It cannot but appear strange that this is so, because where any historical fact or statement is presented, the mind is held in the letter and cannot release itself from it, and so thinks that nothing else is signified and represented.  But that there is an internal sense in which the life of the Word resides (and not in the letter, which without the internal sense is dead), must be evident to every intelligent man. Without the internal sense how does any historical statement in the Word differ from history as told by any profane writer? And then of what use would it be to know the age of Noah, and the month and day when the flood took place, if it did not involve a heavenly arcanum? And who cannot see that this saying: "all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the cataracts of heaven were opened" is a prophetical one? Not to mention other like considerations.756.
That "all the fountains of the great deep were broken up" signifies the extreme of temptation as to things of the will, is evident from what has been said just above respecting temptations, that they are of two kinds, one as to things of the understanding, the other as to things of the will, and that the latter relatively to the former are severe; and it is evident likewise from the fact that up to this point temptation as to things of the understanding has been treated of. The same is evident from the signification of the "deep" namely, cupidities and the falsities thence derived (as before at n. 18), and it is evident also from the following passages in the Word. In Ezekiel: Thus saith the Lord Jehovih, When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited, when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and many waters shall cover thee (Ezek. 26:19), where the "deep" and "many waters" denote the extreme of temptation. In Jonah: The waters compassed me about, even to the soul; the deep was round about me (Jonah 2:5), where likewise the "waters" and the "deep" denote the extreme of temptation. In David: Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of Thy water-spouts; all Thy breakers and all Thy waves are over me (Ps. 42:7), where also the "deep" manifestly denotes the extreme of temptation Again: He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it was dried up; and He made them go through the deeps as in the wilderness, and He saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy, and the waters covered their adversaries (Ps. 111:9-11), where the "deep" denotes the temptations in the wilderness.  In ancient times, hell was meant by the "deep;" and phantasies and persuasions of falsity were likened to waters and rivers, as also to a smoke out of the deep. And the hells of some appear so, that is, as deeps and as seas; concerning which, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter. From those hells come the evil spirits that devastate, and also those that tempt man; and their phantasies that they pour in, and the cupidities with which they inflame a man, are as inundations and exhalations therefrom. For as before said, through evil spirits man is conjoined with hell, and through angels with heaven. And therefore when it is said that "all the fountains of the deep were broken up" such things are signified. That hell is called the " deep" and that the foul emanations therefrom are called "rivers" is evident in Ezekiel: Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, In the day when he went down into hell I caused a mourning, I covered the deep above him, and I restrained the rivers thereof, and the great waters were stayed (Ezek. 31:15). Hell is also called the "deep" or "abyss" in John (Rev. 9:1-2, 11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1, 3).757.
The cataracts of heaven were opened. That this signifies the extreme of temptation as to things of the understanding, is also evident from the above. Temptation as to things of the will, or as to cupidities, can by no means be separated from temptation as to things of the understanding; for if separated there would not be any temptation, but an inundation, such as there is with those who live in the fires of cupidities, in which they, like infernal spirits, feel the delights of their life. They are called the "cataracts of heaven" from the inundation of falsities or reasonings; concerning which also in Isaiah: He who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare; for the cataracts from on high are opened, and the foundations of the earth do shake (Isa. 24:18).758.
Verse 12. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. This signifies that the temptation continued. "Rain" is temptation; "forty days and forty nights" denotes its duration.759.
That the "rain" here is temptation is evident from what has been said and shown above, concerning a "flood" and an "inundation;" and also from the signification of the "fountains of the deep were broken up" and the "cataracts of heaven were opened" as being temptations.760.
That the "forty days and forty nights" signify its duration, was shown above, at verse 4. By "forty" as before said, is signified every duration of temptation, whether greater or less, and indeed severe temptation, which is of the things of the will. For by continual pleasures, and by the loves of self and of the world, consequently by the cupidities that are the connected activities of these loves, man has acquired a life for himself of such a kind that it is nothing but a life of such things. This life cannot possibly accord with heavenly life; for no one can love worldly and heavenly things at the same time, seeing that to love worldly things is to look downward, and to love heavenly things is to look upward. Much less can anyone love himself and at the same time the neighbor, and still less the Lord. He who loves himself, hates all who do not render him service; so that the man who loves himself is very far from heavenly love and charity, which is to love the neighbor more than one's self, and the Lord above all things. From this it is evident how far removed the life of man is from heavenly life, and therefore he is regenerated by the Lord through temptations, and is bent so as to bring him into agreement. This is why such temptation is severe, for it touches a man's very life, assailing, destroying, and transforming it, and is therefore described by the words: "the fountains of the deep were broken up, and the cataracts of heaven were opened."761.
That spiritual temptation in man is a combat of the evil spirits with the angels who are with him, and that this combat is commonly felt in his conscience, has been stated before, and concerning this combat it should also be known that angels continually protect man and avert the evils which evil spirits endeavor to do to him. They even protect what is false and evil in a man, for they know very well whence his falsities and evils come, namely, from evil spirits and genii. Man does not produce anything false and evil from himself, but it is the evil spirits with him who produce it, and at the same time make the man believe that he does it of himself. Such is their malignity. And what is more, at the moment when they are infusing and compelling this belief, they accuse and condemn him, as I can confirm from many experiences. The man who has not faith in the Lord cannot be enlightened so as not to believe that he does evil of himself, and he therefore appropriates the evil to himself, and becomes like the evil spirits that are with him. Such is the case with man. As the angels know this, in the temptations of regeneration they protect also the falsities and evils of a man, for otherwise he would succumb. For there is nothing in a man but evil and the falsity thence derived, so that he is a mere assemblage and compound of evils and their falsities.762.
But spiritual temptations are little known at this day. Nor are they permitted to such a degree as formerly, because man is not in the truth of faith, and would therefore succumb. In place of these temptations there are others, such as misfortunes, griefs, and anxieties, arising from natural and bodily causes, and also sicknesses and diseases of the body, which in a measure subdue and break up the life of a man's pleasures and cupidities, and determine and uplift his thoughts to interior and religious subjects. But these are not spiritual temptations, which are experienced by those only who have received from the Lord a conscience of truth and good. Conscience is itself the plane of temptations, wherein they operate.763.
Thus far temptations have been treated of; and now follows the end or purpose of the temptation, which was that a new church might arise.764.
Verse 13. In the self-same day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark. That they "entered into the ark" signifies here as before that they were saved; "Noah" signifies what was of the church; "Shem, Ham, and Japheth" what was of the churches that were thence derived; "the sons of Noah" signify doctrinal things; "the three wives of his sons with them" signify the churches themselves that were thence derived.765.
Thus far the temptation of the man of the church called "Noah" has been treated of: first, his temptation as to things of the understanding, which are truths of faith (verses 6 to 10); and then his temptation as to things of the will, which have regard to the goods of charity (verses 11, 12). The end or purpose of the temptations was that a man of the church or a new church might be born again by their means; seeing that the Most Ancient Church had perished. This church called "Noah" was as before said of a different character from that of the Most Ancient Church; that is to say, it was spiritual, the characteristic of which is that man is born again by means of doctrinal matters of faith, after the implantation of which a conscience is insinuated into him, lest he should act against the truth and good of faith; and in this way he is endowed with charity, which governs the conscience from which he is thus beginning to act. From this it is evident what a spiritual man is; that he is not one who believes faith without charity to be saving, but one who makes charity the essential of faith, and acts from it. That such a man or such a church might arise, was the end in view, and therefore that church itself is now treated of. That the church is now treated of is evident also from the repetition as it were of the same matter; for it is said here: "in the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;" and likewise above in verse 7, but in these words: "and Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark." But now, because the church is treated of, the sons are named, "Shem, Ham, and Japheth" who when thus named signify the man of the church, but when called "sons" without names, signify truths of faith. Besides, that which was said in verses 8 and 9 about the beasts and the fowls that went into the ark is repeated again, in verses 14 to 16, but here with a difference accordant with and applicable to the subject of the church.767.
They entered into the ark. That this signifies that they were saved (namely, the man of the church, who was "Noah" and the other churches descending and derived from him which are here spoken of), is evident from what has been said before about "entering into the ark."768.
That by "Noah" is signified what was of the church, and by "Shem, Ham, and Japheth" what pertained to the churches that were derived therefrom, is evident from the fact that here they were not called merely his "sons" as before in the seventh verse, but are called by their names. When thus named they signify the man of the church. The man of the church is not merely the church itself, but is everything that belongs to the church. It is a general term comprehending whatever is of the church, as was said before of the Most Ancient Church, which was called "Man" and likewise of the other churches that were named. Thus by "Noah" and by "Shem, Ham, and Japheth" is signified whatever is of the church and of the churches that were derived from it, in one complex.  Such is the style and manner of speaking in the Word. Thus where "Judah" is named, in the Prophets, the celestial church is mostly signified, or whatever is of that church; where "Israel" is named, the spiritual church is mostly signified, or whatever is of that church; where "Jacob" is named, the external church is signified; for with every man of the church there is an internal and an external of the church, the internal being where the true church is, and the external being what is derived therefrom, and this latter is "Jacob."  But the case is different when the men are not named. The reason why this is so is that when named they refer representatively to the kingdom of the Lord. The Lord is the only Man, and is the all of His kingdom; and as the church is His kingdom on earth, the Lord alone is the all of the church. The all of the church is love or charity; and therefore a man (or what is the same, one called by name), signifies love or charity, that is, the all of the church; and then his "wife" signifies simply the church thence derived. So it is here. But what kind of churches are signified by "Shem, Ham, and Japheth" will of the Lord's Divine mercy be stated hereafter.769.
That by the "sons of Noah" are signified doctrinal things, is evident from the signification of "sons" as shown before; for there can be no church without doctrinal things. And therefore they are not only named, but it is also added that they are his "sons."770.
That by Noah's "wife" is signified the church itself, and by the "three wives of his sons with them" the churches themselves that were derived from that church, is evident from what has been said before, namely, that when the man of the church is named, the all of the church is meant, or, as it is termed, the head of the church; and then his "wife" is the church itself, as shown before (n. 252, 253). It is otherwise when "man and wife" or "male and female" are named in the Word, for then by "man" and "male" are signified the things of the understanding, or the truths of faith; and by "wife" and "female" the things of the will, or the goods of faith.771.
As every expression in the Word is from the Lord, and therefore has what is Divine within it, it is evident that there is no word, nor even an iota, that does not signify and involve something. And so it is here, when it is said "three wives" and the wives "of his sons" and also "with them." But what the particulars involve it would take too long to explain. It is sufficient to give only a general idea of their most general import.772.
Verses 14, 15. They, and every wild animal after its kind, and every beast after its kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after its kind; and every fowl after its kind, every flying thing, every winged thing. And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two, of all flesh wherein is the breath of lives. By "they" is signified the man of the church in general; by "every wild animal after its kind" is signified every spiritual good; by "every beast after its kind" every natural good; by "every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after its kind" every sensuous and corporeal good; by "fowl after its kind" every spiritual truth; by "flying thing" natural truth; by "winged thing" sensuous truth. That "they went in unto Noah into the ark" signifies as before that they were saved; "two and two" signifies as before, pairs; "of all flesh wherein is the breath of lives" signifies a new creature, or that they received new life from the Lord.773.
That by "they" is signified the man of the church in general, or all that was of that church, is evident from its referring to those who were named just before, that is, to Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, who, although they are four, yet together constitute a one. In "Noah" by whom the Ancient Church in general is meant, are contained, as in a parent or seed, the churches that were derived from that church; and for this reason by "they" is signified the Ancient Church. All those churches which were called "Shem, Ham, and Japheth" together constitute the church which is called the Ancient Church.774.
That by the "wild animal after its kind" is signified every spiritual good, and by "beast after its kind" every natural good, and by "creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" every sensuous and corporeal good, has been stated and shown before (n. 45, 46, 142, 143, 246). At first view it may appear as if it could not be that the "wild animal" signifies spiritual good; yet that this is the true signification appears from the series of expressions, in that mention is first made of "they" meaning the man of the church; next of "wild animal;" then of "beast;" and lastly of "creeping thing." So that "wild animal" involves what is of higher worth and excellence than "beast" the reason of which is that in the Hebrew language the expression "wild animal" means also an animal in which there is a living soul. And so it does not here mean every wild animal, but every animal in which there is a living soul, for it is the same word. That by "animals" "beasts" and "creeping things that creep upon the earth" are signified things pertaining to the will, has been stated and shown before, and will be further shown in what presently follows, where birds will be spoken of.775.
It is said of each "after its kind" because there are genera and species of all goods, both spiritual and natural, and also of the derivative sensuous and corporeal goods. So many genera are there of spiritual goods, and so many genera likewise of spiritual truths, that they cannot be numbered; still less can the species of the genera. In heaven all goods and truths, celestial and spiritual, are so distinct in their genera, and these in their species, that there is not the least of them which is not most distinct; and so innumerable are they, that the specific differences may be said to be unlimited. From this it may be seen how poor and almost nonexistent is human wisdom, which scarcely knows that there is such a thing as spiritual good or spiritual truth, much less what it is. From celestial and spiritual goods and their derivative truths, issue and descend natural goods and truths. For there is never any natural good and truth that does not spring from spiritual good, and this from celestial, and also subsist from the same. If the spiritual should withdraw from the natural, the natural would be nothing. The origin of all things [rerum] is in this wise: all things, both in general and in particular, are from the Lord; from Him is the celestial; from Him through the celestial comes forth the spiritual; through the spiritual the natural; through the natural the corporeal and the sensuous. And as they all come forth from the Lord in this way, so also do they subsist from Him, for, as is well known, subsistence is a perpetual coming into existence. They who have a different conception of the coming into existence and rise of things, like those who worship nature and deduce from her the origins of things, are in principles so deadly that the phantasies of the wild beasts of the forest may be called far more sane. Such are very many who appear to themselves to excel others in wisdom.776.
That "every fowl after its kind" signifies every spiritual truth, "flying thing" natural truth, and "winged thing" sensuous truth, is evident from what has been stated and shown before concerning "birds" (as at n. 40). The most ancient people likened man's thoughts to birds, because relatively to the things of the will, thoughts are like birds. As mention is made here of "fowl" "flying thing" and "winged thing" and of these in succession, like things intellectual, rational, and sensuous in man, in order that no one may doubt that they signify these things, some passages from the Word may be adduced in confirmation, from which it will also be plain that "beasts" signify such things as have been stated.  Thus in David: Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands: Thou hast put all things under his feet; all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the fields, the fowl of the heaven, and the fish of the sea (Ps. 8:6-8). This is said of the Lord, whose dominion over man, and over the things pertaining to man, is thus described. Otherwise what would be the dominion over "beasts" and "fowls?" Again: Fruitful trees and all cedars, the wild animal and every beast, creeping things and flying fowl, let them praise the name of Jehovah (Ps. 148:9-10, 13). The "fruitful tree" denotes the celestial man; the "cedar" the spiritual man. The "wild animal" and "beast" and "creeping thing" are their goods, as in the history before us; the "flying fowl" is their truths; from all of which they can "praise the name of Jehovah." By no means can the wild animal, the beast, the creeping thing, and the bird do this. In profane writings such things may be said by hyperbolism, but there are no hyperbolisms in the Word of the Lord, but things significative and representative.  In Ezekiel: The fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the wild animal of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at My presence (Ezek. 38:20). That such things are here signified by "beasts" and "fowls" is very manifest; for how would it be to the glory of Jehovah if fishes, birds, and beasts should shake? Can anyone suppose that such sayings would be holy if they did not involve holy things? In Jeremiah: I beheld, and lo there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled (Jer. 4:25), denoting all good and truth; "man" also denotes here the good of love. Again: They are burned up, so that none passeth through, neither can men hear the voice of the cattle; both the fowl of the heavens and the beast are fled, they are gone (Jer. 9:10), denoting in like manner that all truth and good have departed.  And again: How long shall the land mourn, and the herb of every field wither? for the wickedness of them that dwell therein the beasts are consumed and the birds, because they said, He shall not see our latter end (Jer. 12:4). Here the "beasts" denote goods, and the "birds" truths, which perished. In Zephaniah: I will consume man and beast, I will consume the fowls of the heaven and the fishes of the sea, and the stumbling-blocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the face of the ground (Zeph. 1:3). Here "man and beast" denote the things which are of love and of its good; the "fowls of the heaven and the fishes of the sea" the things which are of the understanding, thus which are of truth. These are called "stumbling-blocks" because goods and truths are stumbling-blocks to the wicked, but not beasts and birds; and they are also plainly spoken of "man." In David: The trees of Jehovah are satisfied, the cedars of Lebanon which He hath planted, where the birds make their nests (Ps. 104:16-17). The "trees of Jehovah" and the "cedars of Lebanon" denote the spiritual man; the "birds" his rational or natural truths, which are as "nests."  It was moreover a common form of expression that "birds would make their nests in the branches" signifying truths, as in Ezekiel: In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it, and it shall lift up its bough, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar; and under it shall dwell every bird of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell (Ezek. 17:23), denoting the Church of the Gentiles, which was spiritual. This is "the goodly cedar;" the "bird of every wing" denotes truths of every kind. Again: All the birds of the heavens made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches all the wild animals of the field brought forth, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations (Ezek. 31:6). This is said of Asshur, which is the spiritual church and is called a "cedar;" the " birds of the heavens" denote its truths; the "beasts" its goods. In Daniel: The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and it was meat for all; the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of heaven dwelt in the branches thereof (Dan. 4:12, 21). Here the "beasts" denote goods, the "fowls of the heavens" truths, as must be evident to everyone; for otherwise of what concern is it that the bird and the beasts dwelt there? And it is the same with what the Lord says: The kingdom of God is like unto a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and cast into his garden, and it grew, and became a tree, and the birds of the heaven lodged in the branches thereof (Luke 13:19; Matt. 13:31, 32; Mark 4:31, 32).777.
It is now evident that the "fowl" signifies spiritual truth, the "flying thing" natural truth, and the "winged thing" sensuous truth; and that truths are distinguished in this way. Sensuous truths, which are those of the sight and hearing, are called "winged things" because they are outermost; and such is the signification of "wing" as applied to other things also.778.
Now as the "fowls of the heavens" signify truths of the understanding, and thus thoughts, they also signify their opposites, such as phantasies or falsities, which being of man's thought are also called "fowls" as for example when it is said that the wicked "shall be given for meat to the fowls of heaven and to the wild beasts" meaning phantasies and cupidities (Isa. 18:6; Jer. 7:33, 16:4, 19:7, 34:20; Ezek. 29:5, 39:4). The Lord himself also compares fantasies and false persuasions to "fowls" where He says: The seed that fell by the wayside was trodden under foot, and the fowls of heaven came and devoured it (Matt. 13:4; Luke 8:5; Mark 4:4, 15), where the "fowls of heaven" are nothing else than falsities.779.
And they went in unto Noah into the ark. That this signifies that they were saved, has been already shown. That "two and two" signify pairs, and what they are, may be seen at Gen. 6:19.780.
Of all flesh wherein is the breath of lives. That this signifies a new creature, or that they received new life from the Lord, is evident from the signification of "flesh" as being in general all mankind, and specifically the corporeal man, as before said and shown. Hence "flesh wherein is the breath of lives" signifies a regenerated man, for in his Own there is the Lord's life, which is the life of charity and faith. Every man is only "flesh;" but when the life of charity and faith is breathed into him by the Lord, the flesh is made alive, and becomes spiritual and celestial, and is called a "new creature" (Mark 16:15), from having been created anew.781.
Verse 16. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him; and Jehovah shut after him. "They that went in" signifies the things that were with the man of the church; "went in male and female of all flesh" signifies that there were with him truths and goods of every kind; "as God had commanded" signifies for the reception of which he had been prepared; "and Jehovah shut after him" signifies that man no longer had such communication with heaven as had the man of the celestial church.782.
Thus far, down to verse 11, the church has been described as having been preserved in those who were called "Noah." The state of the church then follows, which is described, and first in this passage, as already explained. Then is described the quality of this state of the church. The single verses and even single words involve peculiarities of its state. And because the state of the church is now treated of, what was said just before is repeated, being said twice; here, in the words "and they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh;" while in the verse just preceding it is said, "and they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two, of all flesh." This repetition in the Word signifies that another state is treated of. Otherwise, as anyone may comprehend, it would be an entirely useless repetition.783.
That "they that went in" signifies the things that were with the man of the church, is therefore evident; and it also follows that "went in male and female, of all flesh" signifies that there were with him goods and truths of every kind, for it has been stated and shown several times before that the "male" and the "female" signify truths and goods. "As God commanded him." That this signifies that he had been prepared to receive them, has also been mentioned below. With the Lord, to "command" is to prepare and do.784.
And Jehovah shut after him. That this signifies that man no longer had such communication with heaven as had the man of the celestial church, appears from the following statement of the case. The state of the Most Ancient Church was such that they had internal communication with heaven, and so through heaven with the Lord. They were in love to the Lord. Those who are in love to the Lord are like angels, with the difference only that they are clothed with a body. Their interiors were uncovered, and were opened even from the Lord. But this new church was different. They were not in love to the Lord, but in faith, and through faith were in charity toward the neighbor. Such cannot have internal communication, like the most ancient man, but external. But the nature of internal and of external communication it would take too long to explain. Every man, even the wicked, has communication with heaven, through the angels with him (but with a difference as to degree, that is, nearer or more remote), for otherwise man could not exist. The degrees of this communication are without limit. A spiritual man cannot possibly have such communication as can the celestial man, for the reason that the Lord is in love, and not so much in faith. And this is what is signified by "Jehovah shut after him."  And since those times heaven has never been open in the way it was to the man of the Most Ancient Church. It is true that many afterwards spoke with spirits and angels: as Moses, Aaron, and others, but in an entirely different way, concerning which, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter. The reason why heaven was closed is deeply hidden, and why it is so closed at this day that man does not even know that there are spirits, still less that there are angels, with him, and supposes himself to be entirely alone when without companions in the world, and when he is thinking by himself. And yet he is continually in the company of spirits, who observe and perceive what the man is thinking, and what he intends and devises, as fully and plainly as if it were manifest before all in the world. This the man is ignorant of, so closed to him is heaven, and yet it is most true. The reason is that if heaven were not so closed to him while he is in no faith, still less in the truth of faith, and still less in charity, it would be most perilous to him. This is also signified by the words: Jehovah God drove out the man, and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden the cherubim, and the flame of a sword that turned itself to keep the way of the tree of lives (Gen. 3:24; see also what is said in n. 301-303).785.
Verses 17, 18. And the flood was forty days upon the earth, and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lifted up from off the earth; and the waters were strengthened, and increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. By "forty days" is signified the duration of the church called "Noah;" by "the flood" falsities which still inundated it; that "the waters increased and bare up the ark, and it was lifted up from off the earth" signifies that such was its fluctuation; "the waters were strengthened and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark went upon the face of the waters" signifies that its fluctuations thus increased in frequency and strength.786.
That by "forty days" is signified the duration of the church called "Noah" was shown above (at verse 4). Here it is "forty days" there "forty days and forty nights;" because in that place the duration of temptation was signified, in which the "nights" are anxieties.787.
That by the "flood" are signified falsities which still inundated the church, also follows from what was shown above; for a "flood" or "inundation" is nothing else than an inundation of falsities. Before (at verse 6), the "flood of waters" signified temptation, as was there shown; which also is an inundation of falsities that evil spirits then excite in man. The case is the same here, but without temptation, and therefore it is said here simply the "flood" not the "flood of waters."788.
The waters increased and bare up the ark, and it was lifted up from off the earth. That this signifies that such was its fluctuation, and that "the waters were strengthened and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark went upon the face of the waters" signifies that its fluctuations thus increased in frequency and strength, cannot be evident unless there be first explained what was the state of this church which is called "Noah." "Noah" was not the Ancient Church itself, but was as the parent or seed of that church, as before said. "Noah" together with "Shem, Ham, and Japheth" constituted the Ancient Church, which immediately succeeded the Most Ancient. Every man of the church called "Noah" was of the posterity of the Most Ancient Church, and with respect to hereditary evil was therefore in a state nearly like that of the rest of the posterity, which perished; and those who were in such a state could not be regenerated and made spiritual as could those who did not derive such quality by inheritance. What their hereditary quality was, has been stated above (n. 310).  For example (that the matter may be more clearly understood); they who, like the Jews, are of the seed of Jacob, cannot so well be regenerated as can the Gentiles, for they have an inherent opposition to faith, not only from principles imbibed from infancy and afterwards confirmed, but from hereditary disposition also. That this inheres also from hereditary disposition, may in some measure be evident from their being of a different genius, of different manners, and also of different features, from other men, whereby they are distinguishable from others; and these characteristics they have from inheritance. And it is the same with the interior qualities, for manners and features are types of the interiors. Therefore converted Jews fluctuate more than others between truth and falsity. It was the same with the first men of the Ancient Church, who were called "Noah" because they were of the race and seed of the most ancient men. These are the fluctuations described here, and also in what follows: that Noah was a husbandman and planted a vineyard; and that he drank of the wine, and was drunken, and lay uncovered within his tent (Gen. 9:20-21). That they were few, was made evident from the fact that the man of that church was represented in the world of spirits as a tall and slender man, clothed in white, in a chamber of small dimensions. And yet it was they who preserved and had among them the doctrinal things of faith.789.
The fluctuations of the man of this church are described here; first, by its being said that the "waters (that is, falsities) increased;" then, that they "bare up the ark" and that it was "lifted up from off the earth;" afterwards, that the "waters were strengthened, and increased greatly upon the and finally, that the "ark went upon the face of the waters." But to explain each degree of the fluctuation would be too prolix, and unnecessary. It is sufficient to know that they are here described. We will merely mention what is signified by the statement that the ark was lifted up from off the earth, and went upon the face of the waters. As no one can know this unless he is informed how man is withheld from evils and falsities, and as this is a hidden thing, it shall be briefly explained. Speaking generally, every man, even the regenerate, is such that if the Lord did not withhold him from evils and falsities he would cast himself headlong into hell. The very moment he is not withheld, he rushes headlong into it. This has been made known to me by experience, and was also represented by a horse (as before described, n. 187, 188). This withholding from evils and falsities is in effect a lifting up, so that evils and falsities are perceived below, and the man above. Concerning this elevation, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter. It is this elevation which is signified by the "ark being lifted up from off the earth, and going upon the face of the waters."790.
That the "waters" here and in the following verses signify falsities, is evident from the passages of the Word adduced at the beginning of this chapter, and at verse 6, where a "flood" or inundation of waters is treated of. It is there shown that inundations of waters signify desolations and temptations, which involve the same as falsities; for desolations and temptations are nothing else than inundations of falsities that are excited by evil spirits. That such "waters" signify falsities, is because in the Word "waters" in general signify what is spiritual, that is, what is of understanding, of reason, and of memory-knowledge [intellectuale, rationale, et scientificum]; and as they signify these they also signify their contraries, for every falsity is a something pertaining to memory-knowledge, and appears as a thing of reason and understanding, because it is of the thought.  That "waters" signify spiritual things, is evident from many passages in the Word; and that they also signify falsities, let the following passages, in addition to those already cited, serve for confirmation. In Isaiah: This people hath refused the waters of Shiloah that go softly; therefore behold the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, and he shall go over all his banks (Isa. 8:6-7). The "waters that go softly" here denote things spiritual, "waters strong and many" falsities. Again: Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia; that sendeth ambassadors upon the sea, and in vessels of papyrus upon the waters. Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled (Isa. 18:1-2), denoting the falsities which are of the "land shadowing with wings."  Again: When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee, and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee (Isa. 43:2). The "waters" and "rivers" denote difficulties, and also falsities. In Jeremiah: What hast thou to do with the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Shihor? And what hast thou to do with the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river? (Isa. 2:18), where "waters" denote falsities from reasonings. Again: Who is this that riseth up as a river? as the rivers his waters are in commotion. Egypt riseth up as a river, and as the rivers his waters toss themselves; and he said, I will rise up, I will cover the earth, I will destroy the city and the inhabitants thereof (Isa. 46:7-8), where again "waters" denote falsities from reasonings.  In Ezekiel: Thus saith the Lord Jehovih, When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited, when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and the great waters shall cover thee, then will I bring thee down with them that descend into the pit (Ezek. 26:19-20). "Waters" here denote evils and the falsities therefrom. In Habakkuk: Thou didst tread the sea with thine horses, the mire of many waters (Hab. 3:15), where "waters" denote falsities. In John: And the serpent cast forth after the woman, out of his mouth, water as a river, that he might cause her to be carried away by the stream (Rev. 12:15-16). Here "waters" denote falsities and lies. In David: Send Thine hand from above, rescue me and deliver me out of great waters, out of the hand of the sons of the stranger, whose mouth speaketh a lie, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood (Ps. 144:7-8). "Great waters" here manifestly denote falsities; the "sons of the stranger" also signify falsities.791.
Thus far "Noah" has been treated of, or the regenerate men called "Noah" who were in the "ark" and were "lifted up above the waters." The subject will now be those descendants of the Most Ancient Church who were under the waters, or were submerged by the waters.792.
Verses 19, 20. And the waters were strengthened very exceedingly upon the earth, and all the high mountains that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail, and covered the mountains. "And the waters were strengthened very exceedingly upon the earth" signifies that persuasions of falsity thus increased; "and all the high mountains that were under the whole heaven were covered" signifies that all goods of charity were extinguished; "fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail, and covered the mountains" signifies that nothing of charity remained; "fifteen" signifies so few as to be scarcely any.793.
The subject now treated of, up to the end of this chapter, is the antediluvians who perished, as is evident from the particulars of the description. They who are in the internal sense can know instantly, and indeed from a single word, what subject is treated of; and especially can they know this from the connection of several words. When a different subject is taken up, at once the words are different, or the same words stand in a different connection. The reason is that there are words peculiar to spiritual things, and words peculiar to celestial things; or, what is the same, there are words peculiar to matters of understanding, and others to matters of will. For example: the word "desolation" is predicated of spiritual things, and "vastation" of celestial things; "city" is predicated of spiritual things, "mountain" of celestial things; and so on. The case is the same with the connective expressions. And (what cannot fail to be a matter of surprise) in the Hebrew language the words are very often distinguishable by their sound; for in those which belong to the spiritual class the first three vowels are usually dominant, and in words that are of the celestial class, the last two vowels. That in these verses a different subject is now treated of, appears also from the repetition already spoken of (in that it is here again said, as in the preceding verse, "and the waters were strengthened very exceedingly upon the earth"), and the same is evident also from what follows.794.
And the waters were strengthened very exceedingly upon the earth. That this signifies that persuasions of falsity thus increased, is evident from what has been said and shown just above about "waters" namely, that the waters of a flood, or inundations, signify falsities. Here, because falsities or persuasions of what was false were still more increased, it is said that the "waters were strengthened very exceedingly" which in the original language is the superlative. Falsities are principles and persuasions of what is false, and that these had increased immensely among the antediluvians, is evident from all that has been said before concerning them. Persuasions immensely increase when men mingle truths with cupidities, or make them favor the loves of self and of the world; for then in a thousand ways they pervert them and force them into agreement. For who that has imbibed or framed for himself a false principle does not confirm it by much that he has learned; and even from the Word? Is there any heresy that does not thus lay hold of things to confirm it? and even force, and in diverse ways explain and distort, things that are not in agreement, so that they may not disagree?  For example, he who adopts the principle that faith alone is saving, without the goods of charity; can he not weave a whole system of doctrine out of the Word? and this without in the least caring for, or considering, or even seeing, what the Lord says, that "the tree is known by its fruit" and that "every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire"? (Matt. 3:10, 7:16-20, 12:33). What is more pleasing than to live after the flesh, and yet be saved if only one knows what is true, though he does nothing of good? Every cupidity that a man favors forms the life of his will, and every principle or persuasion of falsity forms the life of his understanding. These lives make one when the truths or doctrinals of faith are immersed in cupidities. Every man thus forms for himself as it were a soul, and such after death does his life become. Nothing therefore is of more importance to a man than to know what is true. When he knows what is true, and knows it so well that it cannot be perverted, then it cannot be so much immersed in cupidities and have such deadly effect. What should a man have more at heart than his life to eternity? If in the life of the body he destroys his soul, does he not destroy it to eternity?795.
All the high mountains that were under the whole heaven were covered. That this signifies that all the goods of charity were extinguished, is evident from the signification of mountains among the most ancient people. With them mountains signified the Lord, for the reason that they held their worship of Him on mountains, because these were the highest places on earth. Hence "mountains" signified celestial things (which also were called the "highest"), consequently love and charity, and thereby the goods of love and charity, which are celestial. And in the opposite sense those also are called "mountains" who are vainglorious; and therefore a "mountain" stands for the very love of self. The Most Ancient Church is also signified in the Word by "mountains" from these being elevated above the earth and nearer as it were to heaven, to the beginnings of things.  That "mountains" signify the Lord, and all things celestial from Him, or the goods of love and charity, is evident from the following passages in the Word, from which it is plain what they signify in particular cases, for all things in the Word, both in general and in particular, have a signification according to the subject to which they are applied. In David: The mountains shall bring peace, and the hills, in righteousness (Ps. 72:3). "Mountains" denote here love to the Lord; "hills" love toward the neighbor, such as was with the Most Ancient Church, which because of this character is also signified in the Word by "mountains" and "hills." In Ezekiel: In the mountain of My holiness, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovih, there shall all the house of Israel serve Me, that whole land (Ezek. 20:40). The "mountain of holiness" here denotes love to the Lord; the "mountain of the height of Israel" charity toward the neighbor. In Isaiah: It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of Jehovah shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills (Isa. 2:2), where "mountains" denote the Lord, and thence all that is celestial. Again: In this mountain shall Jehovah Zebaoth make unto all peoples a feast of fat things, and He will take away in this mountain the face of the covering (Isa. 25:6-7). "Mountain" here denotes the Lord, and hence all that is celestial.  Again: And there shall be upon every lofty mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers, streams of waters (Isa. 23:25), where "mountains" denote goods of love; "hills" goods of charity, from which are truths of faith, which are the "rivers and streams of waters." Again: Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy feast is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of Jehovah, to the rock of Israel (Isa. 30:29). The "mountain of Jehovah" here denotes the Lord with reference to the goods of love; the "Rock of Israel" the Lord with reference to the goods of charity. Again: Jehovah Zebaoth shall come down to fight upon Mount Zion and upon the hill thereof (Isa. 31:4). "Mount Zion" here and elsewhere in many places, denotes the Lord, and hence all that is celestial and which is love; and "hills" denote what is celestial of lower degree, which is charity.  Again: O Zion that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength (Isa. 40:9). To "go up into the high mountain and bring good tidings" is to worship the Lord from love and charity, which are inmost, and are therefore also called "highest" because what is inmost is called highest. Again: Let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains (Isa. 42:11). The "inhabitants of the rock" denote those who are in charity; to "shout from the top of the mountains" is to worship the Lord from love. Again: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation (Isa. 52:7). To "bring good tidings upon the mountains" is likewise to preach the Lord from the doctrine of love and charity, and from these to worship Him. Again: The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands (Isa. 55:12); denoting worship of the Lord from love and charity, which are "the mountains and the hills;" and from the faith thence derived, which are the "trees of the field."  Again: I will make all My mountains a way, and My highways shall be exalted (Isa. 49:11); where "mountains" denote love and charity; and "way" and "highways" the truths of faith thence derived, which are said to be "exalted" when they are from love and charity as their inmost. Again: He that putteth his trust in Me shall possess the land as a heritage, and shall inherit the mountain of My holiness (Isa. 57:13); denoting the Lord's kingdom, wherein is nothing but love and charity. Again: I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of My mountains, and Mine elect shall possess it (Isa. 65:9). "Mountains" here denote the Lord's kingdom and celestial goods; "Judah" the celestial church. And again: Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy, I dwell in the high and holy place (Isa. 57:15). "High" here denotes what is holy; and hence it is that on account of their height above the earth, mountains signify the Lord and His holy celestial things. And it was for this reason that the Lord promulgated the Law from Mount Sinai. Love and charity are also meant by the Lord, by "mountains" where, speaking of the consummation of the age, He says: Then let them that are in Judea flee into the mountains (Matt. 24:16; Luke 21:21; Mark 13:14), where "Judea" denotes the vastated church.796.
As the Most Ancient Church held holy worship upon mountains, the Ancient Church did the same. And hence in all the representative churches of that time, and in all the nations too, the custom prevailed of sacrificing upon mountains and of building high places, as is evident from what is related of Abram (Gen. 12:1; 22:2); and of the Jews before the building of the temple (Deut. 27:4-7; Josh. 8:30; 1 Sam. 9:12-14, 19; 10:5; 1 Kings 3:2-4); of the nations (Deut. 12:2; 2 Kings 17:9-11); and of the idolatrous Jews (Isa. 57:7; 1 Kings 11:7; 14:23; 22:43; 2 Kings 12:3; 14:4; 15:3-4; 34-35; 16:4; 17:9-11; 21:5; 23:5, 8-9, 13, 15).797.
From all this it is now evident what is signified by the "waters with which the mountains were covered" namely, persuasions of falsity, which extinguished all the good of charity.798.
Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail, and covered the mountains. That this signifies that nothing of charity remained; and that "fifteen" signifies so few as to be scarcely any, is evident from the signification of the number "five" (of which above, chapter 6, verse 15), where it was shown that in the style of the Word, or in the internal sense, "five" signifies a few; and since the number "fifteen" is composed of five, signifying a few, and of ten, which signifies remains (as was shown above, chapter 6, verse 3), therefore "fifteen" signifies remains, which with this people were scarcely any. For so many were the persuasions of falsity that they extinguished every good. As for the remains with man, the fact was, as already said, that principles of falsity, and still more, persuasions of falsity, such as were with these antediluvians, had so entirely shut in and hidden away the remains that these could not be brought out, and if brought out they would forthwith have been falsified. For such is the life of persuasions that it not only rejects every truth and absorbs every falsity, but also perverts every truth that comes near.799.
Verses 21, 22. And all flesh died that creepeth upon the earth, as to fowl, and as to beast, and as to wild animal, and as to every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; and every man; all in whose nostrils was the breathing of the breath of lives, of all that was in the dry land, died. "All flesh died that creepeth upon the earth" signifies that they who were of the last posterity of the Most Ancient Church became extinct; "as to fowl, and as to beast, and as to wild animal, and as to every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" signifies their persuasions, wherein the "fowl" signifies affections of what is false, "beast" cupidities, "wild animal" pleasures, and "creeping thing" corporeal and earthly things. These in one complex are called "every man." "All in whose nostrils was the breathing of the breath of lives" signifies the men who were of the Most Ancient Church in whose nostrils was the "breathing of the breath of lives" that is, in whom was the life of love and of the derivative faith; "of all that was in the dry land" signifies those men in whom there was no longer such life; that they "died" signifies that they expired.800.
And all flesh died that creepeth upon the earth. That this signifies that they who were of the last posterity of the Most Ancient Church became extinct, is evident from what follows, where they are described as to their persuasions and their cupidities. They are here first called "flesh that creepeth upon the earth" for the reason that they had become altogether sensuous and corporeal. Sensuous and corporeal things, as has been said, were likened by the most ancient men to creeping things; and therefore when "flesh moving upon the earth" is spoken of, such a man is signified as has become merely sensuous and corporeal. That "flesh" signifies all mankind in general, and specifically the corporeal man, has been said and shown before.