(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 4964

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4964. Was brought down to Egypt. That this signifies to the memory-knowledges [scientifica] of the church is evident from the signification of "Egypt" as being memory-knowledge (that is, memory-knowledge in general), treated of in n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462; but what the nature of that memory-knowledge was which is properly signified by "Egypt," has not as yet been explained. In the Ancient Church there were doctrinal things and there were memory-knowledges. The doctrinal things treated of love to God and of charity toward the neighbor; but the memory-knowledges treated of the correspondences of the natural world with the spiritual world, and of the representatives of spiritual and celestial things in things natural and earthly. Such were the memory-knowledges of those who were in the Ancient Church.
[2] Egypt was one of those countries and kingdoms where the Ancient Church was (1238, 2385); but as in Egypt it was chiefly memory-knowledges that were handed down to posterity, therefore such knowledge in general is signified by "Egypt;" and it is for this reason also that Egypt is so often treated of in the prophetic Word, and by it such knowledge is specifically meant. The very magic of the Egyptians also had its origin thence; for they were acquainted with the correspondences of the natural world with the spiritual, and afterward, when the church among them was at an end, these correspondences were abused by being turned to magical things. Now because they had such knowledges (that taught correspondences, and also representatives and significatives) and as these knowledges were of service to the doctrinal things of the church, especially to the understanding of those things which were said in their Word (that the Ancient Church had a Word both prophetic and historic, similar to the present Word, but yet a different one, can be seen in n. 2686); therefore by "being brought down to Egypt" is signified to the memory-knowledges of the church.
[3] As the Lord is represented by Joseph, its being here said that Joseph was "brought down to Egypt," signifies that when the Lord glorified His internal man, that is made it Divine, He was first imbued with the memory-knowledges of the church, and from and by them advanced to things more and more interior, and at last even to those which are Divine. For it pleased Him to glorify Himself, that is, to make Himself Divine, according to the same order as that in which He regenerates man, that is, makes him spiritual (n. 3138, 3212, 3296, 3490, 4402), namely, from external things, which are memory-knowledges and the truths of faith, successively to internal things, which are of charity toward the neighbor and of love to Him. From this it is plain what is signified by the following words in Hosea:
When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called My son out of Egypt (Hos. 11:1);
that these words were spoken of the Lord can be seen in Matthew 2:15.


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