(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 5246

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5246. And they brought him hastily out of the pit. That this signifies a speedy rejection of such things as from the state of temptation were a hindrance; and thereby a change, is evident from the signification of a "pit," as being a state of vastation and also of temptation (see n. 4728, 4744, 5038); and from the signification of "bringing him hastily out of it," as being a speedy rejection of such things as are from it, that is, from a state of temptation. For when a "pit" denotes a state of temptation, "to bring anyone hastily out of it" denotes to remove such things as are from that state, and consequently to reject them, as is plain also from what follows; for he rejected what was of the pit, inasmuch as he shaved himself and changed his garments.
[2] A state of temptation in respect to the state after it is also like the condition of a pit or prison-squalid and unclean; for when man is being tempted, unclean spirits are near him, and surround him, and excite the evils and falsities with him, and also hold him in them and exaggerate them, even to despair. Hence it is that the man is then in squalor and uncleanness. Moreover when this state is presented to view in the other life (for all spiritual states can there be presented to the sight) it appears like a thick mist exhaled from unclean places, and a stench from it is also perceived. Such is the appearance of the sphere that encompasses one who is in temptation, and also in vastation, that is, who is in a pit in the lower earth (see n. 4728).
[3] But when the state of temptation ceases, the mist is dispersed, and the sky clears. The reason of this is that by means of temptation the falsities and evils with man are laid open and removed; when they are laid open that mist appears, but when they are removed the clear sky appears. The change of this state is also signified by Joseph's "shaving himself and changing his garments."
[4] Moreover, a state of temptation may be compared to the state of a man when among robbers; on escaping from which his hair is disheveled, his countenance wild, and his clothing torn. If he yields in temptation, he remains in a state like this; but if he conquers in temptation, then after he has composed his face, combed his hair, and changed his clothing, he comes into a cheerful and serene state. Moreover, there are infernal spirits and genii, who like robbers surround and attack the man at these times, and bring on the temptations. From this it is now plain that by their "bringing him hastily out of the pit" is signified a speedy rejection of such things as from the state of temptation were a hindrance, and thereby a change.


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