5224. And Pharaoh told them his dream. That this signifies about things to come, is evident from the signification of a "dream," as being foresight, prediction, the event (see n. 5091, 5092, 5104), thus things to come. How this stands in the internal sense is evident from the series of things. The subject treated of in this verse is the new state of the natural, when it is in obscurity because of truths having been banished from it, and that there is then disturbance in it in consulting memory-knowledges about things to come; for when such obscurity happens, the thought at once occurs, What will the event be?
 As during man's regeneration this is common in every such state, this state is here described in the internal sense; but such states are unknown at this day, both because few are being regenerated, and because those who are being regenerated do not reflect upon such things. At this day man cares not what is taking place within him, because external things possess his whole attention, and internal things have no importance to one who is wholly occupied with external things, that is, in whom they are the ends of life. Regarding this obscurity they would say, What are these matters to me, as there is no money or honor to be gained from them? Why should I think about the state of the soul, or the state of the internal man, whether it is in obscurity when truths have been banished, or in clearness when they have been replaced therein? What would it benefit me to know this? Whether there is any internal man is to me a matter of doubt, and also whether there is any other state of the soul than that which is of the body, nay, whether there is any soul that lives after death. Who has come back from the dead and declared it? So speaks the man of the church with himself at this day, and so he thinks when he hears or reads anything about the state of the internal man. From this it is plain why the things that are going on within man are at this day hidden and wholly unknown.
 Such an obscurity of the understanding never existed among the ancients. It was their wisdom to cultivate interior things, and thus to perfect the faculties of both understanding and will, and thereby to provide for the welfare of their soul. That the ancients gave their attention to things like these, is clear from their writings which are even now extant, and also from the desire of all to hear Solomon:
Therefore there came of all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom (1 Kings 4:34);
and therefore came the queen of Sheba, who, from the bliss into which she came from hearing the wisdom of Solomon said,
Blest are thy men, blest are these thy servants, who stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom (1 Kings 10:8).
Who at this day would call himself blest for this reason?