(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 5201

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5201. And they fed in the sedge. That this signifies instruction, is evident from the signification of "feeding" (that is, "pasturing") as being to be instructed (of which hereafter); and from the signification of "sedge," or the larger grass that grows near rivers, as being the memory-knowledges of the natural man. That "grass" or "herbage" denotes these knowledges is clear from the Word. To "feed in the sedge" therefore, is to be instructed in memory-knowledges, and by means of these knowledges to learn about truths and good; for memory-knowledges are means, and as it were mirrors, in which an image of interior things shows itself; and in this image, as again in a mirror, are reflected and represented the truths and goods of faith, and consequently the things which are of heaven and are called spiritual; but this image, being more interior, does not appear to any but those who are in faith from charity. This is what is signified in the genuine sense by "feeding in the sedge."
[2] That "to feed" denotes to be instructed is plain from those places in the Word where we read of it, as in Isaiah:
Then shall He give the rain of thy seed, wherewith thou sowest the land, and bread of the increase of the land, and it shall be fat and rich; in that day shall thy cattle feed in a broad meadow (Isa. 30:23);
where "cattle" denote those who are in good and truth; "feeding in a broad meadow" denotes being abundantly instructed.
[3] In the same:
I have given Thee for a covenant of the people, to restore the land, to distribute the wasted heritages, to say to the bound, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Be ye revealed. They shall feed upon the ways, and on all hillsides shall be their pasture (Isa. 49:8-9);
this is said of the coming of the Lord, "feeding upon the ways" denotes being instructed in truths (that "ways" are truths see above, n. 627, 2333); "pasture" denotes the instruction itself. In Jeremiah:
Woe unto the shepherds that destroy and scatter the flock of My pasture! Therefore hath said Jehovah the God of Israel against the shepherds that feed My people (Jer. 23:1-2);
"shepherds" denote those who instruct, and the "flock" those who are instructed (n. 343, 3795); thus "feeding" denotes instructing.
[4] As it has become customary to call teachers "pastors," and learners a "flock," it has also become common to speak of "feeding" when speaking of preaching, or of instruction from doctrine from the Word; but this is done by way of comparison, and not from the signification, as in the Word. The reason why "feeding" is spoken of in the Word from its signification, is that when instruction or doctrine from the Word is spoken of in heaven, then in the world of spirits, where spiritual things appear naturally, there are represented to the sight meadows green with grass, herbage, and flowers, with flocks therein; and this with all variety, according to what is being said in heaven about instruction and doctrine.
[5] In the same:
I will bring back Israel to his habitation, that he may feed on Carmel and Bashan; and his soul shall be sated upon the mountain of Ephraim and in Gilead (Jer. 50:19);
"to feed on Carmel and Bashan" denotes to be instructed in the goods of faith and of charity. Again:
From the daughter of Zion all her honor is gone forth, her princes are become like harts, they have not found pasture (Lam. 1:6).
In Ezekiel:
I will feed them in a good pasture, and on the mountains of the height of Israel shall their fold be, and they shall lie down in a good fold, and on fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel (Ezek. 34:14).
[6] In Hosea:
Now will Jehovah feed them as a sheep in the breadth (Hos. 4:16);
"to feed them in the breadth" denotes to instruct in truths. (That "breadth" is truth may be seen above, n. 1613, 3433, 3434, 4482.) In Micah:
Thou Bethlehem Ephratah, out of thee shall He come forth unto Me who shall be ruler in Israel. He shall stand and shall feed in the strength of Jehovah (Micah 5:2, 4).
Feed Thy people with Thy rod, the flock of Thy heritage dwelling alone, let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of an age (Micah 7:14).
In Zephaniah:
The remains of Israel shall feed and be at rest, none making afraid (Zeph. 3:13).
[7] In David:
Jehovah is my shepherd, in pastures of herb He will make me lie down, to the waters of rest He will lead me (Ps. 23:1-2).
It is He that hath made us, and not we, His people, and the flock of His pastures; (or according to another reading) therefore we are His, His people, and the flock of His pasture (Ps. 100:3).
In Revelation:
The Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters (Rev. 7:17).
In John:
I am the door; by Me if anyone enter in he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and shall find pasture (John 10:9).
Jesus said to Peter, Feed My lambs; and a second time, Feed My sheep; and a third time, Feed My sheep (John 21:15-17).


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