2679. And she went and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. That this signifies a state of wandering at that time in the doctrinal things of faith, is evident from the signification of "going and wandering in the wilderness," as being a wandering state; and from the signification of "Beersheba," as being the doctrine of faith (treated of at the end of this chapter, where it is said that Abraham and Abimelech made a covenant in Beersheba, verse 32; and that Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, verse 33). In this verse is described what the quality of the state of those who are reformed is in the beginning, namely, that they are carried away into various wanderings; for it is given them by the Lord to think much about eternal life, and thus much about the truths of faith; but because from what is their own (as just stated) they cannot do otherwise than wander hither and thither, both in doctrine and in life, seizing as truth that which has been inseminated from their infancy, or is impressed upon them by others, or is thought out by themselves-besides their being led away by various affections of which they are not conscious-they are like fruits as yet unripe, on which shape, beauty, and savor cannot be induced in a moment; or like tender blades which cannot in a moment grow up into bloom and ear. But the things which enter in at that time, though for the most part erroneous, are still such as are serviceable for promoting growth; and afterwards, when the men are being reformed, these are partly separated, and are partly conducive to introducing nourishment and as it were juices into the subsequent life-which again can afterwards be partly adapted to the implanting of goods and truths by the Lord, and partly to being serviceable to spiritual things as ultimate planes; and thus as continual means to reformation, which means follow on in perpetual connection and order; for all things even the least with man are foreseen by the Lord, and are provided for his future state to eternity; and this for his good insofar as is in any wise possible, and as he suffers himself to be led by the Lord.