5360. And the seven years of famine began to come. That this signifies the following states of desolation, is evident from the signification of "years," as being states (see n. 482, 487, 488, 493, 893); and from the signification of "famine," as being a lack of the knowledges of truth and good (n. 1460, 3364), consequently desolation. That a famine denotes such a lack, or desolation, is because celestial and spiritual food are nothing else than good and truth. These are what angels and spirits are nourished by, and what they hunger for when hungry, and thirst for when thirsty; and therefore also material food corresponds thereto-as bread to celestial love, and wine to spiritual love, as well as everything that pertains to bread or food, and to wine or drink. When therefore there is a lack of such things, there is a "famine," and in the Word this is called "desolation" and "vastation" - "desolation" when truths fail, and "vastation" when goods fail. This desolation and vastation is treated of in many passages of the Word, and is there described by the desolation of the earth, of kingdoms, of cities, of nations, and of peoples, and is also termed a "pouring out," a "cutting off," a "consummation," a "desert," and a "void;" and the state itself is called the "great day of Jehovah," the "day of His wrath" and "vengeance," a "day of darkness," and "thick darkness," of "cloud" and of "obscurity," a "day of visitation," also the "day when the earth shall perish," thus the "last day" and the "day of judgment;" and because men have not understood the internal sense of the Word, they have hitherto supposed that it meant a day when the earth will perish, and that then for the first time will there be a resurrection and a judgment, not being aware that by a "day" in such passages is signified a state, and by the "earth" the church, and thus by a "day when the earth will perish," a state when the church will come to its end; therefore when this perishing is described in the Word, a "new earth" is also described, by which is meant a new church. (In regard to the "new earth" and "new heaven," see what is said above, n. 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 3355, 4535.) That last state of a church which precedes the state of a new church, is properly meant and described in the Word by "vastation" and "desolation." By the same words is described also the state that precedes man's regeneration, which state is here signified by the seven years of famine.