5280. And the abundance of produce shall not be known in the land. That this signifies that nothing shall be perceived therein of the truth previously there, is evident from the signification of "being known," as being to be perceived; from the signification of "abundance of produce," as being truth multiplied (of which above, n. 5276, 5278); and from the signification of "land," here the land of Egypt, as being the natural mind (of which also above, n. 5276, 5278, 5279). From this it is plain that by the "abundance of produce not being known in the land" is signified that nothing shall be perceived in the natural concerning the truth previously there.
 In this verse the subject treated of is the last state of desolation, when there is the despair which next precedes regeneration; and as this is the subject treated of in the present verse, it must be stated how the case is. Every man must be reformed and be born anew or regenerated that he may be able to come into heaven, for "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3, 5, 6). Man is born into sin, which has been increased in a long line from parents, grandparents, and ancestors, and made hereditary, and thus transmitted to the offspring. Every man who is born, is born into all these inherited evils thus increased in succession, and consequently is nothing but sin; and therefore unless he is regenerated he remains wholly in sin. But in order that man may be regenerated he must first be reformed, and this is done by means of the truths of faith; for he has to learn from the Word and from doctrine therefrom what good is. The knowledges of good from the Word, or from doctrine therefrom, are called the truths of faith, because all the truths of faith spring from good, and flow to good, for they look to good as the end.
 This is the first state, and is called the state of reformation. During their childhood and youth most of those who are in the church, are introduced into this state, and yet few are regenerated; for most in the church learn the truths of faith or the knowledges of good for the sake of reputation and honor, and also for gain; and when the truths of faith have been introduced by means of these loves, the man cannot be born anew or regenerated until these loves have been removed. In order therefore that they may be removed, the man is let into a state of temptation, and this in the following manner. The loves referred to are excited by the infernal crew, for they desire to live in them; but the affections of truth and good that have been instilled from infancy in a state of innocence, and afterward stored up interiorly and preserved for this use, are then excited by angels. The result is a conflict between the evil spirits and the angels which is felt in the man as temptation; and because the conflict is about truths and goods, the truths previously instilled are as it were banished by means of the falsities injected by the evil spirits, so that they no longer appear (of which see above, n. 5268-5270). And then as the man suffers himself to be regenerated, the light of truth from good is instilled by the Lord through an internal way into the natural, into which light the truths are returned in order.
 This is the case with the man who is being regenerated; but few at this day are admitted into this state. Insofar as they permit it, all do indeed begin to be reformed by means of instruction in the truths and goods of spiritual life; but as soon as they come to the age of early manhood they suffer themselves to be carried away by the world, and thus go over to the side of infernal spirits, by whom they are gradually so estranged from heaven that they scarcely believe any longer that there is a heaven. Thus they cannot be let into any spiritual temptation, for if they were they would at once yield, and then their last state would be worse than the first (Matt. 12:45). From this it may be seen how the case is with what is here contained in the internal sense, namely, with the state of reformation and that of regeneration; but in this verse is described the last state of temptation which is a state of despair (of which just above, n. 5279).