(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 2187

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2187. And they did eat. That this signifies communication in this manner, is evident from the signification of "eating," as being to be communicated and to be conjoined; as is also evident from the Word. The fact that Aaron, his sons, the Levites, and also the people, ate the hallowed things of the sacrifices in the holy place, signified nothing else than communication, conjunction, and appropriation, as above said at the explication of the passage from Leviticus 6:9, 10 (see n. 2177), for it was celestial and spiritual food that was signified by the hallowed things which they ate, consequently the appropriation of it. The hallowed things were the parts of the sacrifices which were not burned upon the altar, and were eaten either by the priests, or by the people that made the offering; as is evident from many passages where the sacrifices are treated of (what should be eaten by the priests, Exod. 29:32, 33; Lev. 6:9, 16, 18; 26; 7:6, 15-16, 18; 8:31; 10:12-13; Num. 18:9-11; what should be eaten by the people, Lev. 19:5-6; Deut. 12:27; 27:7; and elsewhere; and that the unclean should not eat of them, Lev. 7:19-21; 22:4-7). These feastings were made in a holy place near the altar, either at the door, or in the court of the tabernacle, and they signified nothing else than the communication, conjunction, and appropriation of celestial goods; for by them were represented celestial foods (concerning which food see n. 56-58, 680-681, 1480, 1695), and they were all called "bread," the signification of which may be seen above (n. 2165). The like was represented by Aaron and his sons eating the showbread or "bread of faces," in a holy place (Lev. 24:9).
[2] The law given for the Nazirite-that in the days of his Naziriteship he should not eat of anything from the grape, whence wine is made, from the seeds even to the skin (Num. 6:4)-was because the Nazirite represented the celestial man, and the celestial man is such that he is not willing even to mention spiritual things (as may be seen in volume 1, n. 202, 337, 880 at the end, 1647); and as wine and the grape, and also whatever is from the grape, signified what is spiritual, it was therefore forbidden the Nazirite to eat of them; that is, to have communication with them, to conjoin himself with them, and to appropriate them to himself.
[3] The like is meant by "eating" in Isaiah:
Everyone 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. Wherefore do ye weigh silver for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto Me, and eat ye that which is good, and your soul shall be deliciated in fatness (Isa. 55:1-2).
As also in John:
To him that overcometh I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God (Rev. 2:7).
The "tree of life" is the celestial itself, and in the supreme sense is the Lord Himself, because from Him is all the celestial, that is, all love and charity. Thus to "eat of the tree of life" is the same as to eat the Lord, and to eat the Lord is to be gifted with love and charity, and thus with those things which are of heavenly life. This the Lord Himself says in John:
I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if anyone eat of this bread, he shall live to eternity; he that eateth Me shall live by Me (John 6:51, 57).
But they said, This is a hard saying. And Jesus said, The words that I speak unto you are spirit, and are life (John 6:60, 63).
[4] Hence it is manifest what is meant by eating in the Holy Supper (Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22, 23; Luke 22:19, 20); namely, to have communication, to be conjoined, and to appropriate to oneself. Hence also it is clear what is meant by the Lord's saying that:
Many shall come from the east and the west, and shall recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Matt. 8:11),
not that they are to eat with them in the kingdom of God, but that they will enjoy the celestial goods which are signified by "Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," namely, the celestial things of love; not only the inmost, which are "Abraham," but also the lower that are intermediate, as are those of the rational, which are "Isaac;" and the still lower, which are the celestial natural, such as are in the first heaven, and which are meant by "Jacob." Such is the internal sense of these words. (That these things are meant by "Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," may be seen in n. 1893, and wherever else they are treated of.) For whether we speak of enjoying those celestial things, or of enjoying the Lord, who is represented by those men, it is the same thing; for all those things are from the Lord, and the Lord is the all in all of them.


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