(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 8452

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8452. That the quail came up. That this signifies natural delight through which is good, is evident from the signification of "quail," as being natural delight. That "the quail" denotes natural delight is because it was a bird of the sea, and by a bird of the sea is signified what is natural, and by its flesh, which was longed for, is signified delight (see above, n. 8431). That it also denotes through which is good, is because it was given in the evening. For when in the other life there is a state which corresponds to evening, then good spirits, and also angels, are remitted into the state of the natural affections in which they had been when in the world, consequently into the delights of their natural man. The reason is that good may come out of it, that is, that they may thereby be perfected (n. 8426). All are perfected by the implantation of faith and charity in the external or natural man; for unless these are there implanted, good and truth cannot flow in from the internal or spiritual man, that is, from the Lord through this man, because there is no reception; and if there is no reception, the influx is stopped and perishes, nay, the internal man also is closed. From this it is plain that the natural must be brought into a state of accommodation, in order that it may be a receptacle. This is effected by means of delights; for the goods that belong to the natural man are called delights, because they are felt.
[2] That "the quail" denotes natural delight is because, as before said, it is a bird of the sea; for it is said that it was carried off from the sea:
A wind went forth from Jehovah, and carried off the quail from the sea, and let it down upon the camp (Num. 11:31);
and by "a bird of the sea" and its "flesh" is signified natural delight, and in the opposite sense the delight of concupiscence. This is signified by "the quail" in the following passage in Moses:
The rabble that was in the midst of the people lusted a lust, and desired to have flesh; they said, Now is our soul dry, nor have our eyes anything [to look at] except the manna; there went forth a wind from before Jehovah, and carried off the quail from the sea, and let it down upon the camp; the people rose up all that day, and all the night, and all the morrow day, and gathered the quail; those who gathered least gathered ten homers, which they spread out for themselves by spreading out round about the camp; the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was swallowed, when the anger of Jehovah was kindled against the people, and Jehovah smote the people with a very great plague; wherefore he called the name of that place the graves of lust, because there they buried the people that lusted (Num. 11:4, 6, 31-34);
here "the quail" denote the delight of concupiscence. It is called the delight of concupiscence when the delight of any corporeal or worldly love has dominion and takes possession of the whole man, even so as to extinguish the good and truth of faith with him. This delight is what is described as the cause of their being smitten with a great plague. But the natural delight which is signified in this chapter by the quail that was given to the people in the evening, is not the delight of concupiscence, but is the delight of the natural or external man corresponding to the good of the spiritual or internal man. This delight has spiritual good within it, whereas the delight of concupiscence that is treated of in that chapter of Numbers has infernal evil within it. Each is called delight, and each is also felt as delight, but there is the greatest possible difference between them; for one has heaven in it, and the other has hell; moreover, when the external is put off, the one becomes heaven to the man, and the other becomes hell.
[3] The case herein is like that of two women who in outward form are alike beautiful in face and agreeable in life, but in the inward form are utterly unlike, the one being chaste and sound, the other lewd and rotten; thus one as to her spirit being with the angels, the other as to her spirit being with devils. But what they really are does not appear, except when the external is unrolled, and the internal is revealed. These things have been said in order that it may be known what the natural delight is in which is good, which is signified by "the quail" in this chapter; and what the natural delight is in which is evil, which is signified by "the quail" in the eleventh chapter of Numbers.


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