(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 4335

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4335. That in the Word by "those who grind" are meant those within the church who are in truth from the affection of good, and in the opposite sense those within the church who are in truth from the affection of evil, may be seen from the following passages. In Isaiah:
Come down, and sit upon the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; sit in the earth, there is not a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans; take a millstone and grind meal, uncover thy hair, make bare the foot, uncover the thigh, pass through the rivers (Isa. 47:1-2);
the "daughter of Babylon" denotes those whose externals appear holy and good, but their interiors are profane and evil (n. 1182, 1326); the "daughter of the Chaldeans," those whose externals appear holy and true, but their interiors are profane and false (n. 1368, 1816); "to take a millstone and grind meal" denotes to hatch doctrinal things from the truths which they pervert; for as meal is from wheat or barley, it signifies truths from good, but in the opposite sense truths which they pervert in order to mislead. In Jeremiah:
I will destroy from them the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of the millstones and the light of the lamp; and this whole land shall be for a waste and a desolation (Jer. 25:10-11).
[2] And in John:
Every craftsman of every craft shall not be found in Babylon any more, every voice of the millstone shall not be heard therein any more; and the light of a lamp shall not shine therein any more; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall not be heard therein any more (Rev. 18:21-23);
"the voice of a millstone being heard no more in Babylon" denotes that there will be no truth; and "the light of a lamp shining no more," that there will be no intelligence of truth. In Lamentations:
They ravished the women in Zion, the virgins in the cities of Judah; princes were hanged up by their hand, the faces of the old men were not honored; the young men were carried away to grind, and the children fall in the wood (Lam. 5:11-14);
"the young men being carried away to grind" denotes to hatch falsities by applying truths, and thus persuading.
[3] In Moses:
Every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, to the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mills (Exod. 11:5);
the "firstborn of Egypt" denotes the truths of faith separated from the good of charity, which truths become falsities (n. 3325); the "firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mills" denotes the affection of such truth, whence come falsities. These things were represented by these historicals.
[4] In the same:
He shall not take in pledge the mills or the millstone, for they are the soul of him that pledgeth (Deut. 24:6).
This law was enacted because by "mills" were signified doctrinal things, and by a "millstone," the truths thereof, which are what are called the "soul of him that pledgeth." It is manifest that this law would not have been given, nor would it have been said that it was his "soul," unless mills and a millstone had a spiritual signification.
[5] That grinding derives its signification from representatives that come forth in the world of spirits, has been shown me; for I have seen there those who were as if grinding without any end of use, and merely for their own pleasure. And as in such a case truths are devoid of their own affection from good, they do indeed appear as truths in the outward form; but as there is no internal in them, they are phantasms; and if there is an evil internal, they are then employed to confirm the evil; and thus by application to evil they become falsities.


1. And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and saw, and behold Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children over unto Leah, and over unto Rachel, and over unto the two handmaids.
2. And he put the handmaids and their children first, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph after.
3. And he himself passed over before them, and bowed himself to the earth seven times, until he drew near even unto his brother.
4. And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell upon his neck, and kissed him; and they wept.
5. And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are these to thee? And he said, The children whom God hath graciously bestowed upon thy servant.
6. And the handmaids drew near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves.
7. And Leah also and her children drew near, and they bowed themselves; and afterwards Joseph and Rachel drew near, and bowed themselves.
8. And he said, What to thee are all these camps which I met? And he said, To find grace in the eyes of my lord.
9. And Esau said, I have much my brother, be to thee what is to thee.
10. And Jacob said, Nay I pray, if I pray I have found grace in thine eyes, then accept my present from my hand; for because that I have seen thy faces like seeing the faces of God, and thou hast accepted me.
11. Take I pray my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath graciously bestowed upon me, and because I have all. And he urged him, and he took it.
12. And he said, Let us journey, and go, and I will go close by thee.
13. And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and that the flocks and the herds are suckling with me, and if they drive them on in one day, all the flocks will die.
14. Let my lord I pray pass over before his servant, and I will proceed slowly to the foot of the work that is before me, and to the foot of the children, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.
15. And Esau said, Let me set I pray with thee of the people who are with me. And he said, Wherefore is this? Let me find grace in the eyes of my lord.
16. And Esau returned in that day unto his way, unto Seir.
17. And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him a house, and made booths for his acquisition; therefore he called the name of the place Succoth.
18. And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came thither from Paddan-aram, and encamped to the faces of the city.
19. And he bought the portion of the field, where he had stretched his tent, from the hand of the sons of Hamor, Shechem's father, for a hundred kesitah.
20. And he erected there an altar, and he called it El Elohe Israel.


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