FOOD >> Goods and Truths, BREAD >> Good of Faith
WATER OF LIFE >> Divine Truth from the Lord through The Word
EATING, DRINKING >> Appropriation, Conjunction,
EAT BREAD >> Appropriate or Conjoin with Goods,
 DRINK WATER >> Appropriate or Conjoin with Truths

foodw That goods and truths are the genuine foods of man must be evident to every one, for he who is destitute of them has no life, but is dead. When a man is spiritually dead  the foods with which his soul is fed are delights from evils and pleasantnesses from falsities--which are foods of death--and are also those which come from bodily, worldly, and natural things, which also have nothing of life in them. Moreover, such a man does not know what spiritual and celestial food is, insomuch that whenever food or bread is mentioned in the Word he supposes the food of the body to be meant; as in the Lord’s prayer, the words Give us our daily bread, he supposes to mean only sustenance for the body; and those who extend their ideas further say it includes also other necessaries of the body, such as clothing, property, and the like. They even sharply deny that any other food is meant; when yet they see plainly that the words preceding and following involve only celestial and spiritual things, and that the Lord‘s kingdom is spoken of; and besides, they might know that the Word of the Lord is celestial and spiritual.

[2] From this and other similar examples it must be sufficiently evident how corporeal is man at the present day; and that, like the Jews, he is disposed to take everything that is said in the Word in the most gross and material sense. The Lord Himself clearly teaches what is meant in His Word by food and bread. Concerning food He thus speaks in John:

Jesus said, Labor not for the meat (or food) which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you (John 6:27).

And concerning bread He says, in the same chapter:

Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the Bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. I am the living Bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this Bread he shall live eternally (John 6:49-51, 58).

But at the present day there are men like those who heard these words and said: This is a hard saying; who can hear it? and who went back and walked no more with Him (John. 6:60, 66), to whom the Lord said: The words that I speak unto you they are spirit and they are life (John 6:63).

[3] And so with respect to water, which signifies the spiritual things of faith, and concerning which the Lord thus speaks in John:--

Jesus said, Every one that drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up unto eternal life (John 4:13, 14).

But at the present day there are those who are like the woman with whom the Lord spoke at the well, and who answered, Lord, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw (John 4:15).

[4] That in the Word food means no other than spiritual and celestial food, which is faith in the Lord, and love, is evident from many passages in the Word, as in Jeremiah:

The enemy hath spread out his hand upon all the desirable things of Jerusalem; for she hath seen that the nations are entered into her sanctuary, concerning whom Thou didst command that they should not enter into Thy congregation. All the people groan, they seek bread; they have given their desirable things for food to refresh the soul (Lam. 1:10, 11).

No other than spiritual bread and food are here meant, for the subject is the sanctuary. Again:

I have cried out for my lovers, they have deceived me; my priests and mine elders in the city expired, for they sought food for themselves, to refresh their soul (Lam. 1:19),

with the same meaning. In David:

These wait all upon Thee, that Thou mayest give them their food in its season; Thou givest them, they gather; Thou openest thine hand, they are satisfied with good (Ps.104:27, 28).

Here likewise spiritual and celestial food is meant.

[5] In Isaiah:--

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no silver; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without silver, and without price (Isaiah 55:1),

where wine and milk denote spiritual and celestial drink. Again:

A virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and thou shalt call His name Immanuel; butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good; and it shall come to pass that for the abundance of milk that they shall give they shall eat butter; for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the midst of the land (Isaiah 7:14, 15, 22).

Here to eat honey and butter is to appropriate what is celestial spiritual; they that are left denote remains, concerning whom also in Malachi:--

Bring ye all the tithes into the treasure-house, that there may be food in My house (Malachi 3:10).

"Tithes" denote remains. Concerning the signification of food, see above, (n. 56-58, 276.) [AC 680]

The nature of celestial and spiritual food can best be known in the other life. The life of angels and spirits is not sustained by any such food as there is in this world, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord, as the Lord teaches in (Matthew 4:4). The truth is that the Lord alone is the life of all, and that from Him come all things both in general and in particular that angels and spirits think, say, and do, and also what evil spirits think, say, and do. The reason why these latter say and do evil things is that they so receive and pervert all the goods and truths that are of the Lord. Reception and affection are according to the form of the recipient. This may be compared to the various objects that receive the light of the sun, some of which turn the light received into unpleasing and disagreeable colors, while others turn it into pleasing and beautiful colors, according to the form, determination, and disposition of their parts. The whole heaven and the entire world of spirits thus live by everything that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord, and from this each individual has his life; and not only the whole heaven and the world of spirits, but also the whole human race. I know that these things will not be believed, nevertheless from the continuous experience of years I can assert that they are most true. Evil spirits in the world of spirits are not willing to believe that this is so; and therefore it has often been demonstrated to them-to the life-even until they have acknowledged with indignation that it is true. If angels, spirits, and men were deprived of this food they would expire in a moment. [AC 681]

Nothing that a person only thinks, not even what he thinks to will, is appropriated to him unless he also wills it so that he does it when opportunity offers. For when a man then does it, he does it from the will by the understanding or from affection of the will by thought of the understanding. If it is something thought only, it cannot be appropriated, for the understanding does not conjoin itself to the will, or the thought of the understanding to the affection of the will, but the latter with the former, as we have shown many times in the treatise Divine Love and Wisdom, Part V. This is meant by the Lord’s words,

Not that which enters the mouth renders a man unclean, but that which goes forth from the heart by the mouth renders a man unclean ( Mt 15:11, 17, 18, 19).

In the spiritual sense thought is meant by “mouth,” for thought is spoken by it; affection which is of love is meant by “heart”; if the man thinks and speaks from this he makes himself unclean. In Luke 6:45 also by “heart” an affection of love or of the will is meant, and by “mouth” the thought of the understanding [DP80]

And I have eaten of all before thou camest. That this signifies that it had been appropriated, is evident from the signification of eating, as being to be appropriated (n. 2187, 2343, 3168, 3513). [AC 3595]

And blessed him; yea, and he shall be blessed. That this signifies that it has been conjoined, is evident from the signification of being blessed, as being to be conjoined (n. 3504, 3514, 3530, 3565, 3584). How the case is with the appropriation and conjunction of the truth represented by Jacob may be seen from what has been said above. But as these subjects are of such a nature as to transcend the apprehension of the natural man, and cannot be seen except in the light in which is the rational or internal man, in which light at the present day there are but few, because few are being regenerated, therefore it is better to illustrate them no further, for the illustration of things unknown and transcending the apprehension does not bring them into light, but into more shade. Moreover such things are to be built upon ideas of natural truths, through which they are to be apprehended, and at the present day these also are wanting. This is the reason why the words just preceding have been explained so briefly, and merely as to the internal sense of the expressions.

[2] From what has been said it may be seen what is involved in the statement that Isaac asked hunting of his son, that he might eat of it before he blessed him, and that he did not bless him till after he had eaten, and thus that after eating followed the blessing of him who prepared and brought the dainties-as is also evident from Isaac's words (here concerning Jacob), he brought to me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and blessed him; yea, and he shall be blessed. The reason referred to appears from the internal meaning of the rituals of the Ancient Church; for with them eating signified appropriation and conjunction-conjunction that is to say with him with whom or of whose bread they had eaten. Food in general signified what is of love and charity, that is, the same as celestial and spiritual food-bread what is of love to the Lord, and wine what is of charity toward the neighbor. When these had been appropriated, the persons were conjoined thus they spake to each other from affection, and were consociated together. Feasts with the ancients were nothing else, nor was anything else represented in the Jewish Church by their eating together of the holy things, nor was anything else represented in the primitive Christian Church by their dinners and suppers. [AC 3596]

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)

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