(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 276

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276. That to "eat bread in the sweat of the face" signifies to be averse to what is celestial, is evident from the signification of "bread." By "bread" is meant everything spiritual and celestial, which is the food of the angels, on the deprivation of which they would cease to live as certainly as men deprived of bread or food. That which is celestial and spiritual in heaven also corresponds to bread on earth, by which moreover they are represented, as is shown by many passages in the Word. That the Lord is "bread" because from Him proceeds whatever is celestial and spiritual, He Himself teaches in John:
This is the bread that cometh down from heaven; he that eateth of this bread shall live to eternity (John 6:58).
Wherefore also bread and wine are the symbols employed in the Holy Supper. This celestial is also represented by the manna. That what is celestial and spiritual constitutes the food of angels, is manifest from the Lord's words:
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4),
that is, from the life of the Lord, from which comes everything celestial and spiritual.
[2] The last posterity of the Most Ancient Church, which existed immediately before the flood, and is here treated of, had become so thoroughly lost and immersed in sensuous and bodily things, that they were no longer willing to hear what was the truth of faith, what the Lord was, or that He would come and save them; and when such subjects were mentioned they turned away. This aversion is described by "eating bread in the sweat of the face." So also the Jews, in consequence of their being of such a character that they did not acknowledge the existence of heavenly things, and desired only a worldly Messiah, could not help feeling an aversion for the manna, because it was a representation of the Lord, calling it "vile bread" on which account fiery serpents were sent among them (Num. 21:5, 6). Moreover the heavenly things imparted to them in states of adversity and misery, when they were in tears, were called by them the "bread of adversity" the "bread of misery" and the "bread of tears." In the passage before us, that which was received with aversion is called the "bread of the sweat of the face."


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