5279. And the famine shall consume the land. That this signifies even to despair, is evident from the signification of "famine," as being a lack of knowledges, and hence a privation of truth (of which above, n. 5277, 5278); and from the signification of the "land," here of Egypt, as being the natural mind (of which also above, n. 5276, 5278). That it signifies even to despair is because it is said that "the famine shall consume the land;" for when by "land" is signified the natural mind, and by "famine" the privation of truth, nothing else than despair is signified: for then consumption takes place in a spiritual manner. In this passage is described a state of desolation caused by the privation of truth, the last stage of which state is despair. That despair is the last stage of this state, is because thereby the delight of the love of self and of the world is removed, and the delight of the love of good and of truth is instilled in its place; for in the case of those to be regenerated, the despair is about spiritual life, consequently is about the privation of truth and good, because when these persons are deprived of truth and good they despair of spiritual life; hence they have delight and bliss when they come out of their despair.