4748. With their camels bearing spices and balsam and stacte. That this signifies interior natural truths, is evident from the signification of "camels," as being in general those things of the natural man that serve the spiritual, and specifically general memory-knowledges in the natural man (n. 3048, 3071, 3114, 3143, 3145, 4156); and from the signification of "spices, balsam, and stacte," as being interior natural truths conjoined with good in the natural man (of which in what follows). In the holy worship of the ancients use was made of sweet smelling and fragrant things, among which were their frankincense and incenses; and the like things were also mixed with the oils with which they were anointed. But the origin of this practice is at this day unknown, because it is entirely unknown that the things which were used in the worship of the ancients originated in spiritual and celestial things which are in the heavens, and corresponded to them. Man has so far removed himself from the things of heaven, and plunged into natural, worldly, and bodily things, that he is in obscurity, and many are in the negative, as to the existence of anything spiritual or celestial.
 The reason why frankincense and incenses were used in sacred rites among the ancients, is that odor corresponds to perception, and a fragrant odor, such as that of spices of various kinds, to a grateful and pleasing perception, such as is that of truth from good, or of faith from charity. Indeed the correspondence is such that in the other life, whenever it is the good pleasure of the Lord, perceptions themselves are changed into odors (as may be seen in what has been said above from experience, n. 925, 1514, 1517-1519, 3577, 4624-4634). What is here signified in detail by "spices, balsam, and stacte," may be seen from other passages in which they are mentioned. In general they signify interior truths in the natural, but such as are from good therein; for truths by themselves do not make the natural, but good by truths. Hence its varieties are according to the quality of the truth conjoined with good, consequently according to the quality of the good; for good has its quality from truths.
 As by "Gilead" is signified exterior good such as is of the senses and is called pleasure (n. 4117, 4124), and as by "Egypt" in a good sense are signified memory-knowledges which are the external truths of the natural man corresponding to this good, or agreeing with it (n. 1462), therefore by Ishmaelites from Gilead carrying on camels those spices down to Egypt is signified that they carried their interior truths from their own memory-knowledges, to the memory-knowledges signified by Egypt (of which hereafter). Interior truths are conclusions from exterior truths, or from memory-knowledges; for the memory-knowledges of the natural man serve as a means for drawing conclusions about, and thus viewing, interior things; in like manner as anyone views the mind of another in his countenance, in the vibration of the light in his eyes, and in the life of the tone of his voice, and in that of his gesture and action.
 As it is by such truths that man's natural is perfected and also amended, healing is therefore ascribed to spices of this kind-as to balsam in Jeremiah:
Is there no balsamic gum in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then doth not the health of my people go up? (Jer. 8:22).
Go up into Gilead, and take balsam, O virgin daughter of Egypt; in vain hast thou multiplied medicines; there is no healing for thee (Jer. 46:11).
Babylon is suddenly fallen and shattered, howl upon her, take balsam for her pain, if so be she may be healed (Jer. 51:8).
 That such things have a spiritual signification is very evident in Revelation:
The merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over Babylon; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more; merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stone, and pearl, and fine linen, and crimson, and silk, and scarlet; and all thyine wood, and every vessel of ivory, and every vessel made of most precious wood, and brass, and iron, and marble; and cinnamon, and incense, and ointment, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and cattle, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and bodies and souls of men (Rev. 18:11-13);
these things would never have been so specifically enumerated unless each one of them signified such things as are in the Lord's kingdom and in His church, for otherwise they would have been words without meaning. It is known that by "Babylon" are signified those who have turned aside all worship of the Lord to the worship of self, and who are thus in a profane internal while they are in a holy external, wherefore by their "merchandise" are signified the things which they have studiously and artfully invented for the sake of self-worship, and also doctrinal things and knowledges of good and truth from the Word which they have perverted in their own favor. Thus by the particulars here mentioned such things are specifically signified, and by "cinnamon," "incense," "ointment," and "frankincense" truths from good; but in relation to them truths perverted and falsities from evil.
 The same is true of what is related in Ezekiel of the merchandise of Tyre:
Judah and the land of Israel were thy traders; in wheat of Minnith, and Pannag, in honey and oil, and balsam, they furnished thy trading (Ezek. 27:17);
here also by "balsam" is signified truth from good. To one who does not believe in the internal sense of the Word, all the foregoing expressions must be bare words, thus vessels containing nothing within; and yet Divine, celestial, and spiritual things are in them.