Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at sacred-texts.com
That "the ark rested" signifies regeneration, is evident from the fact that the "ark" signifies the man of this church; and that all the things which it contained signify all the things that were in him, as has been fully shown before. When therefore the ark is said to "rest" it means that this man was being regenerated. The connection of the literal sense may indeed seem to imply that by the ark's "resting" is signified the cessation of the fluctuations that follow temptation (spoken of in the preceding verse); but fluctuations, which are doubts and obscurities concerning what is true and good, do not so cease, but persist for a long time, as will be evident from what follows. Hence it is evident that the continuity of things is different in the internal sense; and as they are arcana, it is permitted here to unfold them; and they are that the spiritual man, like the celestial, after enduring temptations, becomes in like manner the "rest" of the Lord; and further, that he in like manner becomes the seventh (not the seventh day, like the celestial man, but the seventh) month. (Concerning the celestial man as being the rest of the Lord, or the Sabbath, and the seventh day, see above, n. 84-88.) As however there is a difference between the celestial man and the spiritual man, the "rest" of the former is expressed in the original language by a word which means the Sabbath, while the "rest" of the latter is expressed by another term, from which he is named "Noah" which properly means "rest."852.
That the "seventh month" signifies what is holy, is abundantly evident from what has been shown before (n. 84-87, 395, 716). This holiness corresponds to what was said with reference to the celestial man (Gen. 2:3): that the seventh day was sanctified, because God rested therein.853.
That the "seventeenth day" signifies what is new, is evident from what has been said and shown concerning the same number in the preceding chapter (Gen. 7:11; n. 755), where it signifies a beginning; and every beginning is new.854.
That the "mountains of Ararat" signify light [lumen] is evident from the signification of a "mountain" as being the good of love and charity (n. 795); and from the signification of "Ararat" as being light, and indeed the light of the regenerate. New light, or the first light of the regenerate, never derives its existence from the knowledges of the truths of faith, but from charity. The truths of faith are like rays of light; love or charity is like flame; and the light of him who is being regenerated is not from the truths of faith, but from charity, the truths of faith themselves being rays of light therefrom. Thus it is evident that the "mountains of Ararat" signify such light. This is the first light perceived after temptation, and being the first, it is obscure, and is called lumen, not lux.855.
From these things it is now evident what this verse in the internal sense signifies, namely, that the spiritual man is a holy "rest" by virtue of a new intellectual light that is derived from charity. These truths are perceived by angels in a variety so wonderful, and in an order so delightful, that could man but obtain a single such idea, there would be thousands and thousands of things in a manifold series that would enter and affect him, and in fact such things as could not possibly be described. Such is the Word of the Lord in its internal sense throughout, even when it appears in the letter to be crude history, as when it is here said that "the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat."856.
Verse 5. And the waters were going and failing until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains appeared. "And the waters were going and failing" signifies that falsities began to disappear; "in the tenth month" signifies the truths which are of remains; "on the first day of the month the tops of the mountains appeared" signifies the truths of faith, which then began to be seen.857.
And the waters were going and failing. That this signifies that falsities began to disappear, is evident from the words themselves, as well as from what was shown above (verse 3), where it is said that "the waters receded, going and returning." Here however it is said that "the waters were going and failing" and by this, as by the former phrase, are signified fluctuations between what is true and what is false, but here that these fluctuations were decreasing. The case with fluctuations after temptation (as before said) is that the man does not know what truth is, but that as by degrees the fluctuations cease, so the light of truth appears. The reason of this is that so long as the man is in such a state, the internal man, that is, the Lord through the internal man, cannot operate upon the external. In the internal man are remains, which are affections of what is good and true, as before described; in the external are cupidities and their derivative falsities; and so long as these latter are not subdued and extinguished, the way is not open for goods and truths from the internal, that is, through the internal from the Lord.  Temptations, therefore, have for their end that the externals of man may be subdued and thus be rendered obedient to his internals, as may be evident to everyone from the fact that as soon as man's loves are assaulted and broken (as during misfortunes, sickness, and grief of mind), his cupidities begin to subside, and he at the same time begins to talk piously; but as soon as he returns to his former state, the external man prevails and he scarcely thinks of such things. The like happens at the hour of death, when corporeal things begin to be extinguished; and hence everyone may see what the internal man is, and what the external; and also what remains are, and how cupidities and pleasures, which are of the external man, hinder the Lord's operation through the internal man. From this it is also plain to everyone what temptations, or the internal pains called the stings of conscience, effect, namely, that the external man is made obedient to the internal. The obedience of the external man is nothing else than this: that the affections of what is good and true are not hindered, resisted, and suffocated by cupidities and their derivative falsities. The ceasing of the cupidities and falsities is here described by "the waters which were going and failing."858.
That the "tenth month" signifies the truths which are of remains, is evident from the signification of "ten" as being remains (n. 576); and from what was said above concerning the remains in the internal man.859.
That "on the first day of the month the tops of the mountains appeared" signifies the truths of faith which then begin to be seen, is evident from the signification of "mountains" (n. 795), as being the goods of love and of charity. Their tops begin to be seen when man is being regenerated, and is being gifted with conscience, and thereby with charity; and he who supposes that he sees the tops of the mountains, or the truths of faith, from any other ground than from the goods of love and of charity, is quite mistaken; since without these, Jews and profane Gentiles may see them in the same way. The "tops of the mountains" are the first dawnings of light which appear.860.
From these things it is also evident that all regeneration proceeds from evening to morning, as is stated six times over in the first chapter of Genesis, where the regeneration of man is treated of, and where evening is described in verses 2 and 3; and morning in verses 4 and 5. In the present verse the first dawning of light, or the morning of this state, is described by "the tops of the mountains appearing."861.
Verse 6. And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made. "And it came to pass at the end of forty days" signifies the duration of the former state, and the beginning of the following one; "that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made" signifies a second state, when the truths of faith appeared to him.862.
And it came to pass at the end of forty days. That this signifies the duration of the former state, and the beginning of the following one, is evident from the signification of "forty" which was explained at n. 730; where, the subject being temptation, it is said "forty days and forty nights" signifying the duration of the temptation. But because the subject here is the state following temptation, it is said "forty days" but not forty nights. The reason is, that charity, which in the Word is compared to "day" and called "day" now begins to appear; and faith which precedes being not yet so conjoined with charity, is compared to "night" and called "night" (as in Gen. 1:16; and in other parts of the Word). In the Word faith is also called "night" from its receiving its light from charity, as the moon does from the sun; and hence faith is compared to the "moon" and called the "moon" and love or charity is compared to the "sun" and called the "sun." "Forty days" (or the duration which they signify) have respect both to what precedes and to what follows, wherefore it is said, "at the end of forty days;" thus they signify the duration of the former state and the beginning of that now treated of. Here then commences the description of the second state of the man of this church after temptation.863.
That Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made. That this signifies a second state when the truths of faith appeared to him, is evident from the last words of the preceding verse: "the tops of the mountains appeared;" and from their signification, as also from the signification of a "window" (see n. 655) as being the understanding, or, what is the same, the truth of faith; and likewise from this being the first dawning of light. Concerning the understanding, or the truth of faith, signified by a "window" it may be observed here as above, that no truth of faith is possible except from the good of love or of charity, as there can be no true understanding except from what is of the will. If you remove what is of the will, there is no understanding, as has been often shown before; and so if you remove charity, there is no faith; but as the will of man is mere cupidity, in order to prevent the immersion of what is of his understanding, or the truth of faith, in his cupidity, the Lord has wonderfully provided that what is of the understanding should be separated from what is of the will of man, by a certain medium, which is conscience, and in which He may implant charity. Without this wonderful providence no one could ever have been saved.864.
Verse 7. And he sent forth a raven, and it went forth, going and returning, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. "And he sent forth a raven, and it went forth, going and returning" signifies that falsities still made disturbance; by a "raven" are signified falsities; and by "going forth, going and returning" is signified that such was their state; "until the waters were dried up from off the earth" signifies the apparent dissipation of falsities.865.
And he sent forth a raven, and it went forth, going and returning. That by this is signified that falsities still made disturbance, is evident from the signification of a raven and of "going forth, going and returning" concerning which more will be said hereafter. In this passage is described the second state of the man who is to be regenerated, after temptation, when the truths of faith, like the first dawning of light, begin to appear. Such is the nature of this state that falsities are continually making disturbance, so that it resembles the morning twilight, while somewhat of the obscurity of night still remains, as is here signified by a "raven." Falsities with the spiritual man, especially before his regeneration, are like the dense spots of a cloud. The reason is that he can know nothing of the truth of faith except from what is revealed in the Word, where all things are stated in a general way; and generals are but as the spots of a cloud, for every general comprehends in it thousands and thousands of particulars, and each particular thousands and thousands of singulars, all generals being illustrated by the singulars of the particulars. These have never been so revealed to man, because they are both indescribable and inconceivable, and so can neither be acknowledged nor believed in; for they are contrary to the fallacies of the senses in which man is, and which he does not easily permit to be destroyed.  It is altogether otherwise with the celestial man, who possesses perception from the Lord; for in him particulars and singulars of particulars can be insinuated. For example: that true marriage is that of one man with one wife; and that such marriage is representative of the heavenly marriage, and therefore heavenly happiness can be in it, but never in a marriage of one man with a plurality of wives. The spiritual man, who knows this from the Word of the Lord, acquiesces in it, and hence admits as a matter of conscience that marriage with more wives than one is a sin; but he knows no more. The celestial man however perceives thousands of things which confirm this general, so that marriage with more wives than one excites his abhorrence. As the spiritual man knows generals only, and has his conscience formed from these, and as the generals of the Word have been accommodated to the fallacies of the senses, it is evident that innumerable falsities, which cannot be dispersed, will adjoin and insinuate themselves into them. These falsities are here signified by "the raven which went forth, going and returning."866.
That a "raven" signifies falsities, is evident in a general way from what has been said and shown above concerning birds, that they signify things of understanding, of reason, and of memory-knowledge, and also the opposite, which are reasonings and falsities. Both of these are described in the Word by various species of birds; truths of understanding by birds which are gentle, beautiful, and clean; and falsities by those which are ravenous, ugly, and unclean, in each case varying according to the species of truth or falsity. Gross and dense falsities are described by owls and ravens; by owls because they live in the darkness of night, and by ravens, because they are of a black color. As in Isaiah: The owl also and the raven shall dwell therein (Isa. 34:11), where the Jewish Church is described as being the habitation of mere falsities, represented by the owl and the raven.867.
That "going and returning" signifies that such was their state, is evident from the falsities with man while in his first and second state after temptation, namely, that the falsities thus fly about, going and returning, for the reason mentioned above, that man at that time is and can be only in the knowledge of the most general things, into which flow phantasies arising from corporeal, sensuous, and worldly things, which do not agree with the truths of faith.868.
Until the waters were dried up from off the earth. That this signifies the apparent dissipation of falsities, is evident from the state of man when he is being regenerated. Everyone believes at the present day that the evils and falsities in man are entirely separated and abolished during regeneration, so that when he becomes regenerate, nothing of evil or falsity remains, but he is clean and righteous, like one washed and purified with water. This notion is, however, utterly false; for not a single evil or falsity can be so shaken off as to be abolished; but whatever has been hereditarily derived from infancy, and acquired by act and deed, remains; so that man, notwithstanding his being regenerate, is nothing but evil and falsity, as is shown to the life to souls after death. The truth of this may be sufficiently manifest from the consideration, that there is nothing of good and nothing of truth in man except from the Lord, and that all evil and falsity are man's from his Own; and that man, and spirit, and even angel, if left in the least to himself, would rush of himself into hell; wherefore also it is said in the Word that heaven is not pure. This is acknowledged by angels, and he who does not acknowledge it cannot be among angels. It is the Lord's mercy alone that liberates them, and even draws them out of hell and keeps them from rushing thither of themselves. That they are kept by the Lord from rushing into hell, is manifestly perceived by the angels, and even in a measure by good spirits. Evil spirits, however, like men, do not believe this; but it has often been shown them, as of the Lord's Divine mercy will be told from experience hereafter.  Since therefore the state of man is such that no evil and falsity can ever be so shaken off as to be abolished, because the life that is proper to him consists in evil and falsity, the Lord, from Divine mercy, while He regenerates man, through temptations so subdues his evils and falsities that they appear as if dead, though they are not dead, but are only subdued so that they cannot fight against the goods and truths which are from the Lord. At the same time also the Lord through temptations gives man a new faculty of receiving goods and truths, by gifting him with ideas and affections of good and of truth, to which evils and falsities can be bent, and by inserting in his generals (of which above) particulars, and in these singulars, which are stored up in man and which he knows nothing about, for they are interior to the sphere of his apprehension and perception. These are of a nature to serve for receptacles or vessels, so that charity can be insinuated into them by the Lord, and into charity innocence. By their wonderful tempering with man, spirit, and angel, a kind of rainbow may be represented, and for this reason the rainbow was made the sign of the covenant (Gen. 9:12-17), concerning which, of the Lord's Divine mercy we shall speak under that chapter. When man has been thus formed, he is said to be regenerate, all his evils and falsities still remaining, yet at the same time all his goods and truths being preserved. With an evil man all his evils and falsities, just as he had them in the life of the body, return in the other life and are turned into infernal phantasies and punishments. But with a good man, all his states of good and truth, such as those of friendship, of charity, and of innocence, are recalled in the other life, and together with their delights and happinesses, are there immensely augmented and multiplied. These things then are what is signified by the drying of the waters, which is the apparent dissipation of falsities.869.
Verse 8. And he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the faces of the ground. By "a dove" are signified the truths and goods of faith with him who is to be regenerated; "and he sent forth a dove from him to see" signifies the state of receiving the truths and goods of faith; "if the waters were abated" signifies falsities which impede; "the faces of the ground" signifies the things which are in the man of the church; it is said "ground" because this is the first state when man becomes a church.870.
That by a "dove" are signified the truths and goods of faith with him who is to be regenerated, is evident from the signification of a "dove" in the Word, especially the dove which came upon Jesus when He was baptized, of which we read in Matthew: Jesus when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water, and lo the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and coming upon Him (Matt. 3:16; also John 1:32; Luke 3:21-22; Mark 1:10-11). Here the "dove" signified nothing else than the holy of faith; and the "baptism" itself, regeneration; so that there was signified, in the new church which was to arise, the truth and good of faith which is received by regeneration from the Lord. Similar things were represented and involved by the young pigeons or turtledoves that were offered for sacrifice and burnt offering in the Jewish Church, of which we read in Leviticus (Lev. 1:14-17; 5:7-10, 12:6, 8, 14:21, 22, 15:14, 29, 30; Num. 6:10, 11; Luke 2:22-24), as is evident from the several passages. That they had such a signification everyone may comprehend from the sole consideration that they must needs represent something; for otherwise they would have no meaning and would be in no respect Divine, for what is external of the church is an inanimate affair, but lives from what is internal, and this from the Lord.  That a "dove" in general signifies the intellectual things of faith, is also evident in the Prophets, as in Hosea: Ephraim will be like a silly dove, without heart; they called Egypt, they went unto Assyria (Hos. 7:11). And again, concerning Ephraim: They shall be afraid, as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria (Hos. 11:11). Here "Ephraim" denotes one who is intelligent, "Egypt" one who has knowledge, "Assyria" one who is rational, a "dove" what is of the intellectual things of faith; and here also the subject is the regeneration of the spiritual church. Again in David: O Jehovah, deliver not the soul of Thy turtledove unto the wild beast (Ps. 74:19);where "wild beast" denotes those who are of no charity; the "soul of the "turtle dove" the life of faith. See also what has been said and shown before about birds, that they signify intellectual things: gentle, beautiful, clean, and useful birds, intellectual truths and goods; but fierce, ugly, unclean, and useless birds, the opposite, or falsities, such as the raven, which is here opposed to the dove.871.
And he sent forth a dove from him to see. That this signifies a state of receiving the truths and goods of faith, is evident from the connection of the things, as also from what follows, where the three states of the regeneration of this man after temptations are treated of, which are signified by his sending forth the dove three times. Here the words proximately involve his exploration; for it is said that he "sent forth the dove from him to see" namely, whether the waters were abated; that is, whether the falsities were still so abundant that goods and truths could not be received. But with the Lord there is no exploration, because He knows all things both in general and in particular. In the internal sense therefore, the words signify, not exploration, but state, and here the first state, when falsities were still hindering, which is signified by the words, "whether the waters were abated."872.
That the "faces of the ground" mean those things which are in the man of the church, and that the "ground" is mentioned because this is the first state when the man is becoming a church, is evident from the signification of "ground" (shown above), as being the man of the church, who is called "ground" when the goods and truths of faith can be sown in him, but before this he is called "earth." So in the first chapter of Genesis, before the man became celestial, "earth" is predicated of him; but when he became celestial, as described in the second chapter, "ground" and "field" are predicated of him. It is similar in the present chapter. Merely from the word "earth" and the word "ground" may be seen what is signified in the internal sense, not only here, but everywhere in the Word. By "ground" in the universal sense is signified the church; and because the church, the man of the church is also signified; for, as said before, each man of the church is a church.873.
Verse 9. And the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him to the ark, for the waters were on the faces of the whole earth; and he put forth his hand and took her, and brought her in unto him into the ark. "And the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot" signifies that nothing of the good and truth of faith could yet take root; "and she returned unto him to the ark" signifies good and truth appearing with him as though they were of faith; "for the waters were on the faces of the whole earth" signifies that falsities were still overflowing; "and he put forth his hand" signifies his own power; "and took her and brought her in unto him into the ark" signifies that he did what was good and thought what was true from himself.874.
Here is described the first state of the regeneration of the man of this church after temptation, which state is common to all who are being regenerated, namely, that they suppose they do what is good and think what is true from themselves; and because they are as yet in great obscurity, the Lord also leaves them so to imagine. But still all the good they do and all the truth they think while in such imagination, is not the good and truth of faith. For whatever man produces of himself cannot be good, because it is from himself, that is, from a fountain which is impure and most unclean. From this impure and unclean fountain no good can ever go forth, for the man is always thinking of his own merit and righteousness; and some go so far as to despise others in comparison with themselves (as the Lord teaches in Luke 18:9-14), and others err in other ways. Man's own cupidities intermingle themselves, so that while it appears outwardly to be good, it is inwardly filthy. For this reason the good which man does in this state is not the good of faith, and the case is the same with the truth that he thinks, for although that which he thinks may be very true, yet so long as it is from what is his own it is indeed in itself the truth of faith, but the good of faith is not in it; and all truth, in order to be the truth of faith, must have in it from the Lord the good of faith. Then for the first time there are good and truth.875.
But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot. That this signifies that nothing of the good and truth of faith could yet take root, is evident from the signification of a "dove" as being the truth of faith, and from the signification of "rest for the sole of the foot" as being to take root. The reason that it could not take root is told in what follows, namely, that falsities were still overflowing. But how this is cannot be understood unless it be known how the regeneration of the spiritual man is effected.  With this man the knowledges of faith are to be implanted in his memory from the Word of the Lord, or from doctrinal things therefrom (which the Ancient Church had from what was revealed to the Most Ancient Church), and thereby his intellectual mind is to be instructed. But as long as falsities overflow therein, the truths of faith, howsoever sown, cannot take root. They remain on the surface only, that is, in the memory; nor does the ground become fit for them until the falsities have been shaken off so as not to appear, as before said.  The real "ground" with this man is prepared in his intellectual mind, and when it has been prepared the good of charity is insinuated by the Lord, and from this, conscience, from which he afterwards acts, that is, through which the Lord works the good and truth of faith. Thus the Lord makes the intellectual things of this man distinct from those of his will so that they are never united; for if they should be united, he could not but perish eternally.  With the man of the Most Ancient Church the things of the will were united to those of the understanding, as they also are with the celestial angels. But with the man of this Ancient Church they were not united, nor are they with any spiritual man. It appears indeed as if the good of charity which he does were of his will, but this is only an appearance and fallacy. All the good of charity that he does is of the Lord alone, not through the will, but through conscience. If the Lord should let go ever so little and suffer the man to act from his own will, instead of good he would do evil from hatred, revenge, and cruelty.  The case is the same with the truth that the spiritual man thinks and speaks: unless he were to think and speak from conscience, and thus from the good that is of the Lord, he could never think and speak truth otherwise than as do the devils of hell when they feign themselves angels of light. All this is clearly manifest in the other life. From these things it is evident in what manner regeneration is effected, and what the regeneration of the spiritual man is: that in fact it is the separation of his intellectual part from the will part, by means of conscience, which is formed by the Lord in his intellectual part; and whatever is done from this appears as if done by the man's will, but is really done by the Lord.876.
And she returned unto him to the ark. That this signifies good and truth appearing as though they were of faith, is evident from what has been said, and also from what follows. In the internal sense, to "return to the ark" does not signify liberation, for this is signified by being sent forth from the ark and not returning, as is evident from what follows, in the twelfth verse, that he sent forth the dove and she returned not again to him anymore; and further from the fifteenth and sixteenth verses, that Noah was commanded to go forth from the ark; and from the eighteenth, that he went forth. The "ark" signifies the state of the man of this church before regeneration, in which he was in captivity, or in prison, beset on all sides by evils and falsities, or by the waters of the flood. And so the dove's returning unto Noah to the ark, signifies that the good and truth meant by the dove returned again to the man. For whatever good a man supposes that he does from himself, returns to him, since it regards himself; as he does it either that it may appear before the world, or before the angels, or that he may merit heaven, or that he may be greatest in heaven. Such things are in man's Own and in everyone of its ideas, though in outward form there is an appearance as of the good and truth of faith. The good and truth of faith is inwardly good and true from the very inmosts; that is, all the good and truth of faith flows in from the Lord through man's inmosts. But when what a man does is from his Own, or from merit, then the interiors are filthy and the exteriors appear clean; just as with a filthy harlot who appears fair in the face; or like an Ethiopian, or rather an Egyptian mummy, wrapped in a white garment.877.
For the waters were on the faces of the whole earth. That this signifies that falsities were still overflowing, is evident from the signification of the "waters" of the flood, as being falsities (which has been sufficiently shown before), and also from the very words.878.
And he put forth his hand and took her, and brought her in unto him into the ark. That this signifies his own power, and that he did what was good and thought what was true from himself, is evident from the signification of "hand" as being power, and thus here his own power from which he did these things. For to "put forth his hand and take the dove and bring her in to himself" is to apply and attribute to himself the truth meant by the "dove." That by "hand" is signified power, also authority [potestas], and the derivative self-confidence, is evident from many passages in the Word, as in Isaiah: I will visit upon the fruit of the greatness of heart of the king of Assyria, because he hath said, By the strength of my hand I have done it and by my wisdom, for I am intelligent (Isa. 10:12-13),where "hand" manifestly denotes his own strength to which he attributed what he did, and this was the cause of the visitation upon him. Again: Moab shall spread forth his hands in the midst of him, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim, and he shall lay low his pride together with the cataracts of his hands (Isa. 25:11); where "hands" denote man's own power, from regarding himself as above others, thus from pride.  Again: Their inhabitants were short of hand, they were dismayed and put to shame (Isa. 37:27); "short of hand" meaning of no power. Again: Shall the clay say to the potter, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? (Isa. 45:9). Here "he hath no hands" means that he has no power. In Ezekiel: The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with stupefaction, and the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled (Ezek. 7:27), where "hands" denote power. In Micah: Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds; when the morning is light they practice it, because their hand is their god (Micah 2:1), where "hand" denotes their own power in which they trust as their god. In Zechariah: Woe to the worthless shepherd that leaveth the flock; the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye; his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened (Zech. 11:17).  Because "hands" signify powers, man's evils and falsities are continually called in the Word "the works of his hands." Evils are from the Own of man's will, falsities are from the Own of his understanding. That this is the source of evils and falsities is evident enough from the nature of man's Own, which is nothing but evil and falsity (as may be seen above, n. 39, 41, 141, 150, 154, 210, 215). As "hands" in general signify power, "hands" are many times in the Word attributed to Jehovah, or the Lord, and then by "hands" is understood in the internal sense Omnipotence, as in Isaiah: Jehovah, Thy hand is lifted up (Isa. 26:11), denoting the Divine power. Again: Jehovah stretched out His hand, all are consumed (Isa. 31:3), Concerning the work of My hands command ye Me My hands have stretched out the heavens and all their army have I commanded (Isa. 45:11, 12), denoting the Divine power. The regenerate are often called in the Word "the work of the hands of Jehovah." In the same Mine hand hath laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand hath measured the heavens with the palm (Isa. 48:13), where "hand" and "right hand" denote omnipotence.  Again: Is My hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver ? (Isa. 1:2), denoting the Divine power. In Jeremiah: Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and by Thy stretched out arm; and didst bring forth Thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched-out arm (Jer. 32:17, 21), denoting the Divine power; "power" being named in the seventeenth verse, and "hand" in the twenty-first. That Israel was brought out of Egypt with "a strong hand and with a "stretched-out arm" is often said. In Ezekiel: Thus saith the Lord Jehovih, In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up Mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made My self known unto them in the land of Egypt; I lifted up Mine hand unto them, to bring them forth out of the land of Egypt (Ezek. 20:5-6, 23). In Moses: Israel saw the great hand which Jehovah executed upon the Egyptians (Exod. 14:31).  That by "hand" is signified power is now plainly manifest from these passages. Indeed "hand" was so significant of power that it became also its representative, as is evident from the miracles that were done in Egypt, when Moses was commanded to stretch forth his rod, or hand, and so they were done; as in Exodus: Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven, and Jehovah rained hail upon the land of Egypt (Exod. 9:22, 23); Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven, and there was a thick darkness (Exod. 10:21, 22); Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and Jehovah made the sea dry land; and Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned (Exod. 14:21, 27). No one with mental capacity for right thinking can believe that there was any such power in the hand or rod of Moses, but because the lifting up and stretching forth of the hand signified the Divine power, it became a representative in the Jewish Church.  It was similar when Joshua stretched out his javelin, as in Joshua: And Jehovah said unto Joshua, Stretch out the javelin that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand; and Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city, and they entered into the city and took it for Joshua drew not back his hand, wherewith he stretched out the javelin, until he had devoted all the inhabitants of Ai (Josh. 8:18, 26).From this it is also evident how the case is with the representatives that were the externals of the Jewish Church; and also how it is with the Word: that the things in its external sense do not appear to be representative of the Lord and His kingdom, as here the stretching forth of the hand, and likewise all the other things, which bear no appearance of being representative while the mind is fixed only on the historic details of the letter. It is evident also how far the Jews had fallen away from a true understanding of the Word and of the rites of the church, while making all worship consist in externals only, even to the extent of attributing power to the rod of Moses and the javelin of Joshua, when yet there was no more power in them than in wood. But because the omnipotence of the Lord was signified, and this was understood in heaven when they stretched forth their hand or rod, the signs and miracles followed.  So too it was when Moses on the top of the hill held up his hands, and Joshua prevailed; and when he let down his hands, and Joshua was overcome; and therefore they stayed up his hands (Exod. 17:9-13). Thus it was that hands were laid upon those who were being consecrated, as on the Levites by the people (Num. 8:9, 10, 12), and on Joshua by Moses, when he was substituted in his place (Num. 27:18, 23), in order that power might so be given. Hence also come the rites still observed of inauguration and benediction by the laying on of hands. To what extent the hand signified and represented power, is evident from what is said in the Word concerning Uzzah and Jeroboam. Concerning Uzzah it is said that he put forth (his hand) to the ark of God, and took hold of it, and therefore he died (2 Sam. 6:6, 7). The "ark" represented the Lord, thus all that is holy and celestial. Uzzah's putting forth (his hand) to the ark, represented man's own power, or what is his own; and as this is profane, the word "hand" is understood, but is not expressed in the original, lest it should be perceived by the angels that such a profane thing had touched what is holy.  And because Uzzah put it forth, he died. Concerning Jeroboam it is said: And it came to pass, when the king heard the saying of the man of God, which he cried against the altar, that Jeroboam put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him; and his hand which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not draw it back again to him; and he said unto the man of God, Intreat now the faces of Jehovah thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again; and the man of God intreated the faces of Jehovah, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before (1 Kings 13:4-6). Here in like manner by "putting forth the hand" is signified man's own power, or his Own, which is profane, and that it wished to violate what is holy by putting forth the hand against the man of God; wherefore the hand was dried up; but as Jeroboam was an idolater and therefore could not commit profanation, his hand was restored. That the "hand" signifies and represents power, is evident from the representatives in the world of spirits, where a naked arm sometimes comes into view, in which there is strength enough to crush one's bones and squeeze their inmost marrow to nothing, causing such terror as to melt the heart; and in fact this strength is actually in it.879.
Verses 10, 11. And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; and the dove came back to him at eventide; and lo in her mouth an olive leaf plucked off; so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. "And he stayed yet other seven days" signifies the beginning of the second state of regeneration; "seven days" signify what is holy, because now charity is treated of; "and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark" signifies a state of receiving the goods and truths of faith; "and the dove came back to him at eventide" signifies that little by little they began to appear; "eventide" means as in the twilight before morning; "and lo in her mouth an olive leaf plucked off" signifies some little of the truth of faith; "a leaf" is truth; "olive" the good of charity; "plucked off" means that the truth of faith is therefrom; "in her mouth" means that it was shown; "so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth" signifies that these things were so because the falsities that impeded were less abundant than before.880.
And he stayed yet other seven days. That this signifies the beginning of a second state of regeneration, may be evident from the fact that the time is thus described which intervenes between the first state (described in the eighth and ninth verses) and this second state (described here in the tenth and eleventh verses). In order to maintain the historic connection, this intervening time is expressed by his "staying." How the case is with the second state of regeneration may be seen in some degree from what has been said and shown about the first state, which was that the truths of faith could not yet take root, because falsities hindered. The truths of faith are first rooted when man begins to acknowledge and believe, and they are not rooted before. What man hears from the Word and holds in memory, is only the sowing; the rooting does by no means begin until the man accepts and receives the good of charity. All the truth of faith is rooted by the good of faith, that is, by the good of charity. This is as with seed that is cast into the ground while it is still winter and the ground is cold; there indeed it lies, but does not take root. But as soon as the heat of the sun warms the earth in the time of early spring, the seed begins first to push its root within itself, and afterwards to send it forth into the ground. The case is the same with spiritual seed that is being implanted: this is never rooted until the good of charity as it were warms it; then for the first time it pushes its root within itself, and afterwards sends it forth.  There are three things in man which concur and unite together, namely, the Natural, the Spiritual, and the Celestial. His natural never receives any life except from the spiritual, and the spiritual never except from the celestial, and the celestial from the Lord alone, who is life itself. But in order that a still fuller idea may be gained: the natural is the receptacle that receives the spiritual, or is the vessel into which the spiritual is poured; and the spiritual is the receptacle which receives, or is the vessel into which is poured, the celestial. Thus, through things celestial, life comes from the Lord. Such is the influx. The celestial is all the good of faith; in the spiritual man it is the good of charity. The spiritual is truth, which never becomes the truth of faith unless there is in it the good of faith, that is, the good of charity, in which there is life itself from the Lord. That a yet clearer idea may be gained: man's natural is what does the Work of Charity, by hand or by mouth, and thus by the organs of the body; but this work in itself is dead, and does not live except from the spiritual that is in it; and the spiritual does not live except from the celestial, which lives from the Lord. From this the work is said to be good, since there is nothing good except from the Lord.  This being the case, it must be evident to everyone that in every work of charity the work itself is nothing but a material affair, and that the work is living is attributable to the truth of faith that is in it; and further that neither is the truth of faith anything but an inanimate affair, and that the truth of faith is living is attributable to the good of faith; moreover that the good of faith is not living except from the Lord only, who is Good itself and Life itself. This shows why the celestial angels are unwilling to hear about faith, and are still more unwilling to hear about work (see n. 202). For the celestial angels ascribe to love both the faith and the work, making faith to be from love, and making even the work of faith to be from love, so that with them both the work and the faith vanish, and there remains nothing but love and its derivative good, and within their love is the Lord. In consequence of having ideas so heavenly these angels are distinct from those angels who are called spiritual, their very thought (together with the speech that is derived from this thought) being much more incomprehensible than are the thought and the speech of the spiritual angels.881.
That "seven" signifies what is holy, because charity is now treated of, is evident from the signification of "seven" (concerning which above, n. 395, 716). Moreover "seven" is inserted here for the coherence of all things historically, as "seven" and "seven days" in the natural sense add nothing but a certain holiness, which this second state has from the celestial, that is, from charity.882.
And again he sent forth the dove out of the ark. That this signifies a state of receiving the goods and truths of faith, is evident from what was said at the eighth verse, where similar words occur, but with the difference that it is there said, he sent forth the dove "from him;" for the reason there explained, that at that time he did what was true and good from himself, that is, he believed it to be from his own power, which is meant by the words "from him."883.
And the dove came back to him at eventide. That this signifies that little by little the goods and truths of faith began to appear, and that "eventide" means as in the twilight before morning, is likewise evident from what has been said above, at the eighth verse; as well as from the fact that the time of evening is here mentioned. In regard to "evening" see what was said under the first chapter of Genesis, where it is said six times, "there was evening and there was morning." "Evening" is a term of regeneration, and indeed of that state of it when the man is still in shade, or when as yet only a little light is apparent to him. The morning itself is described in the thirteenth verse by Noah's removing the covering of the ark and seeing. It was because "evening" signified the twilight before morning, that "evening" is so many times mentioned in connection with the Jewish Church. For the same reason also they began their sabbaths and their feasts in the evening, and Aaron was commanded to light the holy lamp in the evening (Exod. 27:20-21).884.
And lo in her mouth an olive leaf plucked off. That this signifies some little of the truth of faith; that "leaf" is truth, and "olive" the good of charity; that "plucked off" means the truth of faith therefrom, and "in her mouth" that it was shown, is evident from the signification of an olive tree, and is obvious from the very words. And that there was only a little, appears from there being only a leaf.885.
That a "leaf" signifies truth, is evident from many passages in the Word where man is compared to a tree, or is called a tree, and where "fruits" signify the good of charity, and a "leaf" the truth therefrom (which indeed they are like); as in Ezekiel: And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, there cometh up every tree for food, whose leaf doth not fall, neither is the fruit consumed, it is reborn every month, because the waters thereof issue out of the sanctuary; and the fruit thereof shall be for food, and the leaf thereof for medicine (Ezek. 47:12; Rev. 22:2). Here "tree" denotes the man of the church in whom is the kingdom of the Lord; its "fruit" the good of love and of charity; its "leaf" the truths therefrom, which serve for the instruction of the human race and for their regeneration, for which reason the leaf is said to be for "medicine." Again: Shall He not pull up the roots thereof, and cut off the fruit thereof that it wither? it shall wither in all the plucked off [leaves] of its shoot (Ezek. 17:9). This is said of the vine, that is, the church, in a state of vastation, whose good, which is the "fruit" and whose truth, which is the "plucked off [leaf] of the shoot" thus withers.  In Jeremiah: Blessed is the man that trusteth in Jehovah; he shall be like a tree planted by the waters; his leaf shall be green; and he shall not be anxious in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit (Jer. 17:7-8); where the "green leaf" denotes the truth of faith, thus the very faith which is from charity. So in David (Ps. 1:3); and again in Jeremiah: There shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig-tree, and the leaf is fallen (Jer. 8:13); "grapes on the vine" denote spiritual good; "figs on the fig-tree" natural good; "leaf" truth, which in this case is "fallen." Likewise in Isaiah (34:4). The same is meant by the fig-tree which Jesus saw and found nothing thereon but leaves, and which therefore withered away (Matt. 21:19, 20; Mark 11:13-14, 20). Specifically, by this fig-tree there was meant the Jewish Church, in which there was no longer anything of natural good; and the religious teaching or truth that was preserved in it, are the "leaves;" for a vastated church is such that it knows truth, but is not willing to understand it. Similar are those who say that they know truth or the things of faith, yet have nothing of the good of charity: they are only fig-leaves, and they wither away.886.
That the "olive" signifies the good of charity, is evident from the signification in the Word not only of an "olive" but also of "oil." It was with olive oil, together with spices, that the priests and kings were anointed, and it was with olive oil that the lamps were trimmed (see Exod. 30:24; 27:20). The reason olive oil was used for anointing and for lamps was that it represented all that is celestial, and therefore all the good of love and of charity; for the oil is the very essence of the tree, and is as it were its soul, just as the celestial, or the good of love and of charity, is the very essence or the very soul of faith; and hence oil has this representation. That "oil" signifies what is celestial, or the good of love and of charity, may be confirmed from many passages of the Word; but as it is the olive-tree that is mentioned here, we will merely present some passages that confirm its signification. As in Jeremiah: Jehovah called thy name a green olive-tree, fair with goodly fruit (Jer. 11:16),where the Most Ancient or Celestial Church is so called, which was the foundation church of the Jewish Church; and therefore all the representatives of the Jewish Church had regard to celestial things, and through these to the Lord.  In Hosea: His branches shall spread, and his honor shall be as the olive-tree, and his smell as of Lebanon (Hos. 14:6), which is said of the church that is to be planted, whose honor is the "olive-tree" that is, the good of love and of charity; the "smell as of Lebanon" being the affection of the truth of faith therefrom. "Lebanon" stands for its cedars, which signified spiritual things, or the truths of faith. In Zechariah, speaking of the lampstand: Two olive-trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof; these are the two sons of the pure oil that stand by the Lord of the whole earth (Zech. 4:3, 11, 14). Here the "two olive-trees" denote the celestial and the spiritual, thus love, which is of the celestial church, and charity, which is of the spiritual church. These are on the "right hand" and on the "left hand" of the Lord. The "lampstand" here signifies, as in the Jewish Church it represented, the Lord; its "lamps" signify celestial things from which are spiritual, as from a flame proceed rays of light, or light. In David: Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine in the sides of thy house; thy sons like olive plants (Ps. 128:3); where "wife as a vine" denotes the spiritual church; "sons" the truths of faith, which are called "olive plants" because from the goods of charity. In Isaiah: Yet there shall be left therein gleanings, as the shaking of an olive-tree, two or three berries in the top of the branch (Isa. 17:6); where the subject treated of is the remains in man; "of an olive-tree" denoting celestial remains. In Micah: Thou shalt tread the olive, but shalt not anoint thee with oil; and the vintage, but shalt not drink the wine (Micah 6:15). And in Moses: Thou shalt plant vineyards and dress them, but thou shalt not drink of the wine; thou shalt have olive-trees throughout all thy border, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil (Deut. 28:39-40), where the subject is the abundance of doctrinal teachings about the goods and truths of faith, which by reason of their character, those people rejected. From these passages it is evident that a "leaf" signifies the truth of faith, and an "olive" the good of charity; and that like things are signified by the "olive-leaf" which the dove brought in her mouth; that is, that there now appeared in the man of the Ancient Church some little of the truth of faith from the good of charity.887.
That the waters were abated from off the earth. That this signifies that these things were so because the falsities that impeded were less abundant than before, is evident from the signification of the same words above, at the eighth verse. As to the falsities that impeded being less abundant in the second state, which is now treated of, the case is that all the falsities which man has acquired remain, so that not one is abolished, as before said; but when man is being regenerated, there are truths implanted to which the falsities are bent by the Lord, and thus appear as if shaken off, and this by means of the goods with which the man is being gifted.888.
Verse 12. And he stayed yet other seven days, and sent forth the dove, and she returned not again unto him anymore. "And he stayed yet other seven days" signifies the beginning of a third state; "seven days" signify what is holy; "and sent forth the dove" signifies a state of receiving the goods and truths of faith; "and she returned not again unto him anymore" signifies a free state.889.
And he stayed yet other seven days. That this signifies the beginning of a third state, and that "seven" signifies what is holy, is evident from what has just now been said about the second state, where similar words are used.890.
And sent forth the dove. That this signifies a state of receiving the goods and truths of faith, is likewise evident from what was said at the tenth verse, where are the same words and the same meaning, except that there the second state, and here the third state, is treated of. The third state is described by the dove's not returning, and also by Noah's removing the covering of the ark, and at length by his going forth from the ark because the face of the ground was dried and the earth was dry.891.
And she returned not again unto him anymore. That this signifies a free state, follows, and indeed from the fact that the dove (or the truth of faith) and the other birds, as also the beasts, and Noah himself, were no longer kept in the ark on account of the waters of the flood. So long as he was in the ark, he was in a state of slavery, or of bondage or imprisonment, tossed about by the waters of the flood, or falsities. This state, together with the state of temptation, is described in the preceding chapter (verse 17), by the waters increasing and bearing up the ark, and by the ark being lifted up above the earth; also in the next verse by the waters being strengthened and the ark going on the face of the waters. In the present chapter (verses 15 to 18) the man's state of freedom is described by Noah going forth from the ark, and all that were with him, the dove first of all (that is, the truth of faith from good), for all freedom is from the good of faith, that is, from the love of good.892.
When man has been regenerated, he then for the first time comes into a state of freedom, having before been in a state of slavery. It is slavery when cupidities and falsities rule, and freedom when the affections of good and truth do so. How this is, no man ever perceives so long as he is in a state of slavery, but only when he comes into a state of freedom. When he is in a state of slavery, that is, when cupidities and falsities rule, the man who is under subjection to them supposes that he is in a state of freedom; but this is a gross falsity, for he is then carried away by the delight of the cupidities and their pleasures, that is, by the delight of his loves; and because this is done by delight, it appears to him to be freedom. Every man, while he is led by any love, and while following whithersoever it carries him, supposes himself to be free, whereas it is the diabolical spirits in whose company, and so to speak torrent, he is, that are carrying him away. This the man supposes to be the greatest freedom, so much so that he believes that the loss of this state would bring him into a life most wretched, indeed into no life at all; and he believes this not merely because he is unaware of the existence of any other life, but also because he is under the impression that no one can come into heaven except through miseries, poverty, and the loss of pleasures. But that this impression is false has been given me to know by much experience, of which by the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter. Man never comes into a state of freedom until he has been regenerated, and is led by the Lord through love for what is good and true. When he is in this state, then for the first time can he know and perceive what freedom is, because he then knows what life is, and what the true delight of life is, and what happiness is. Before this he does not even know what good is, sometimes calling that the greatest good which is the greatest evil. When those who are in a state of freedom from the Lord see, and still more when they feel, a life of cupidities and falsities, they abhor it as do those who see hell open before their eyes. But as it is quite unknown to very many what a life of freedom is, it may be here briefly defined. A life of freedom, or freedom, is simply and solely being led by the Lord. But as there are many things which hinder man from being able to believe that this is a life of freedom, both because men undergo temptations, which take place in order that they may be set free from the dominion of diabolical spirits; and because they know of no other delight than that of cupidities from the love of self and of the world, as well as from their having conceived a false opinion in regard to all things of the heavenly life, so that they cannot be taught by description so well as by living experiences, therefore, of the Lord's Divine mercy, we may adduce such experiences hereafter.893.
Verse 13. And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the beginning, on the first of the month, that the waters were dried up from off the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and saw, and behold, the faces of the ground were dry. "And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year" signifies a last boundary [or ending]; "in the beginning, on the first of the month" signifies a first boundary [or new beginning]; "the waters were dried up from off the earth" signifies that falsities did not then appear; "and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked" signifies on the removal of falsities there was the light of the truths of faith, which he acknowledged and in which he had faith; "and behold the faces of the ground were dry" signifies regeneration. And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year. That this signifies a last boundary, is evident from the signification of the number "six hundred" concerning which in the preceding chapter (Gen. 7:6, n. 737), as being a beginning, and there indeed the beginning of temptation, its end being here designated by the same number, a whole year having passed, so that what took place was at the end of the year, and therefore it is added, "in the beginning, on the first of the month" by which is signified a first boundary [or new beginning]. Any whole period is designated in the Word as a "day" a "week" a "month" a "year" even though it be a hundred or a thousand years, as the "days" in the first chapter of Genesis, by which are meant periods of the regeneration of the man of the Most Ancient Church; for "day" and "year" in the internal sense signify nothing else than a time, and because they signify a time they signify a state, and therefore in the Word a "year" is continually used with the meaning of a time and a state. As in Isaiah: To proclaim the acceptable year of Jehovah, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn (Isa. 61:2), where the coming of the Lord is treated of. Again: For the day of vengeance was in Mine heart, and the year of My redeemed had come (Isa. 63:4), where also "day" and "year" denote a time and state. In Habakkuk: O Jehovah, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known (Hab. 3:2), where "years" denote a time and state. In David: Thou art God Himself, and Thy years are not consumed (Ps. 102:27), where "years" denote times, and it is shown that with God there is no time. So in the passage before us, the year of the flood by no means signifies any particular year, but a time not determined by fixed years, and at the same time a state. (See what has been said before about "years" n. 482, 487, 488, 493.)894.
In the beginning, on the first of the month. That this signifies a first boundary [or new beginning], is now evident from what has been shown. What is further involved in these words is too deeply hidden to be described any further than that there is no definite period of time within which man's regeneration is completed, so that he can say, "I am now perfect;" for there are illimitable states of evil and falsity with every man, not only simple states but also states in many ways compounded, which must be so far shaken off as no longer to appear, as said above. In some states the man may be said to be more perfect, but in very many others not so. Those who have been regenerated in the life of the body and have lived in faith in the Lord and in charity toward the neighbor, are continually being perfected in the other life.895.
The waters were dried up from off the earth. That this signifies that falsities did not then appear, is evident from what has been said. Specifically it signifies that falsities have been separated from the things of the will of the man of this church. The "earth" here signifies man's will, which is nothing but cupidity; wherefore it is said that "the waters were dried up from off the earth." His "ground" as said above, is in his intellectual part, in which truths are sown-never in his will part, which in the spiritual man is separate from the intellectual; wherefore it is said afterwards in this verse that the face of the "ground" was dried. With the man of the Most Ancient Church there was ground in his will, in which the Lord sowed goods, and then from the goods the man could know and perceive truth, or from love could have faith; but if this method were followed now, man could not but perish eternally, for his will is wholly corrupted. How the case is with this sowing in man's will part, or-as is the case now-in his intellectual part, is evident from considering that revelations were made to the man of the Most Ancient Church by means of which he from his infancy was initiated into a perception of goods and truths, but as those revelations were sown in his will part, he without new instruction perceived innumerable things, so that from one general principle he knew from the Lord the particulars and the singulars which now men have to learn and so know, and yet after all they can know scarcely a thousandth part of them. For the man of the spiritual church knows nothing but what he learns, and what he knows in this way he retains and believes to be true. Indeed even if he learns what is false, and this is impressed on his mind as true, he believes it, because he has no other perception than that it is so, for so is he persuaded. Those who have conscience have from conscience a certain dictate, but no other than that a thing is true because they have so heard and learned. This is what forms their conscience, as is evident from those who have a conscience of what is false.896.
And Noah removed the covering of the ark and saw. That this signifies, on the removal of falsities the light of the truths of faith, which he acknowledged and in which he had faith, is evident from the signification of "removing the covering" as being to take away what obstructs the light. As by the "ark" is signified the man of the Ancient Church who was to be regenerated, by the "covering" nothing else can be signified than what obstructs or prevents from seeing heaven, or the light. What prevented was falsity; wherefore it is said that he "saw." In the Word "to see" signifies to understand and to have faith. Here it means that the man acknowledged truths and had faith in them. It is one thing to know truths, and quite another to acknowledge them, and still another to have faith in them. To know is the first thing of regeneration, to acknowledge is the second, to have faith is the third. What difference there is between knowing, acknowledging, and having faith is evident from the fact that the worst men may know, and yet not acknowledge, like the Jews and those who attempt to destroy doctrinal things by specious reasoning; and that unbelievers may acknowledge, and in certain states preach, confirm, and persuade with zeal; but none can have faith who are not believers.  Those who have faith, know, acknowledge, and believe, they have charity, and they have conscience; and therefore faith can never be predicated of anyone, that is, it cannot be said that he has faith, unless these things are true of him. This then it is to be regenerate. Merely to know what is of faith is of a man's memory, without the concurrence of his reason. To acknowledge what is of faith is a rational consent induced by certain causes and for the sake of certain ends. But to have faith is of conscience, that is, of the Lord working through conscience. This is abundantly evident from those who are in the other life. Those who only know are many of them in hell. Those who acknowledge are also many of them there, because their acknowledgment in the life of the body has been in certain states only, and when in the other life they perceive that what they had preached, taught, and persuaded others is true, they wonder greatly and acknowledge it only when it is recalled to their memory as what they had preached. But those who have had faith are all in heaven.897.
In this place, the subject being the man of the Ancient Church when regenerated, by "seeing" is signified acknowledging and having faith. That "seeing" has this signification is evident from the Word; as in Isaiah: Ye looked not unto the Maker thereof, and the Former thereof from afar ye have not seen (Isa. 22:11), speaking of the city of Zion; "not to see the Former from afar" is not to acknowledge, still less to have faith. Again: Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and smear over their eyes, lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and their heart should understand, and turn again, and be healed (Isa. 6:10); "to see with their eyes" denotes acknowledging and having faith. Again: The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light (Isa. 9:2), said of the Gentiles who received faith; as it is here said of Noah, that he "removed the covering and saw." Again: And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the Book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of thick darkness and out of darkness (Isa. 29:18), speaking of the conversion of the Gentiles to faith; "to see" denotes to receive faith. Again: Hear, ye deaf and look, ye blind, that ye may see (Isa. 42:18), where the meaning is similar. In Ezekiel: Who have eyes to see, and see not, who have ears to hear, and hear not; for they are a rebellious house (Ezek. 12:2), meaning who can understand, acknowledge, and have faith, and yet will not. That "to see" signifies to have faith, is evident from the representation of the Lord by the brazen serpent in the wilderness, on seeing which all were healed; as in Moses: Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a standard; and it shall come to pass that everyone that is bitten, when he seeth it, shall live; and it came to pass that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked unto the serpent of brass, he lived (Num. 21:8, 9); from which passage everyone can see that "to see" signifies faith; for what would seeing avail in this case, except as a representative of faith in the Lord? Hence also it is evident that Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, being so called from "seeing" signifies in the internal sense faith. (See what was said before about the firstborn of the church, n. 352, 367.)898.
And behold, the faces of the ground were dry. That this signifies regeneration, is evident from the signification of "ground" as being the man of the church, which has been repeatedly shown above. The face of the ground is said to be "dry" when falsities no longer appear.899.
Verse 14. In the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dry. "The second month" signifies the whole state before regeneration; "on the seven and twentieth day of the month" signifies what is holy; "was the earth dry" signifies that he was regenerate. These words are a conclusion to what goes before, and a beginning to what follows.900.
In the second month. That this signifies the whole state before regeneration, is evident from the signification of "two" in the Word. "Two" signifies the same as "six" that is, the combat and labor which precede regeneration; thus here the whole state which precedes the completion of man's regeneration. Periods of time, great and small, are commonly distinguished in the Word as "threes" or "sevens" and are called "days" "weeks" "months" "years" or "ages." "Three" and "seven" are holy, "two" and "six" which precede, are not holy, but are relatively profane, as before shown (n. 720). "Three" and "seven" are both sacred for the additional reason that they are predicated of the last judgment, which is to come on the "third" or on the "seventh" day. The last judgment comes to everyone when the Lord comes, both in general and in particular. For example, there was a last judgment when the Lord came into the world, and there will be a last judgment when He shall come in glory; there is a last judgment when He comes to any man whatever in particular; and there is also a last judgment for everyone when he dies. This last judgment is what is meant by the "third day" and the "seventh day" which is holy to those who have lived well, but not holy to those who have lived ill. Thus the "third day" or the "seventh day" is predicated as well of those who are adjudged to death, as of those who are adjudged to life; and therefore these numbers signify what is not holy to those who are adjudged to death, and what is holy to those who are adjudged to life. "Two" and "six" preceding three and seven, have relation to and signify in general all that state which precedes. This is the signification of "two" and of "six" in application to any subject, and to any matter that is the subject of which they are predicated, as is more clearly evident from what now follows about the number twenty-seven.