6917. Vessels of silver, and vessels of gold. That "vessels of silver" signify the memory-knowledges of truth, and "vessels of gold" the memory-knowledges of good, is evident from the signification of "vessels," as being memory-knowledges (see n. 3068, 3079); memory-knowledges are called "vessels" because they are generals, and can contain within them innumerable truths and manifold goods; from the signification of "silver" as being truth, and of "gold" as being good (n. 1551, 1552, 2954, 5658). (That the "silver" of Egypt denotes true and suitable memory-knowledge may be seen above, n. 6112.) As to the "vessels of silver and gold" with the Egyptians being the memory-knowledges of truth and the memory-knowledges of good, when yet by the "Egyptians" both here and in what precedes, and also in what follows, are signified false memory-knowledges, be it known that in themselves these knowledges are not truths, neither are they falsities, but that they become truths with those who are in truths, and falsities with those who are in falsities, this being the effect of their application and use. It is with man's memory-knowledges as with his riches and wealth. Riches and wealth are hurtful to those who are in evil, because they apply them to evil uses; but they are useful to those who are in good, because they apply them to good uses. If therefore the riches and wealth which pertain to the evil are transferred to the good, they become good.
 The same is true of memory-knowledges. For example: with the Egyptians there remained many things from the representatives of the Ancient Church, as is manifest from their hieroglyphics, but as they applied those things to magic, and hence made an evil use of them, therefore to them they were not true memory-knowledges, but false memory-knowledges; yet the same in the Ancient Church were true memory-knowledges, because they applied them rightly to Divine worship.
To take also as an example, altars and sacrifices; these with the Hebrew nation, and afterward with the Jewish and Israelitish nation, were true rituals, because they applied them to the worship of Jehovah; but with the nations in the land of Canaan they were false rituals, because they applied them to the worship of their idols, and therefore also it was commanded that the altars of these nations should everywhere be destroyed. It is the same with numberless other things. Therefore by those who are in evils and falsities many memory-knowledges can be acquired which are capable of being applied to good uses, and thus of becoming good.
 Such are also signified by the spoiling of the nations in the land of Canaan and by the wealth, the herds, the cattle, the houses, the vineyards, which the sons of Israel there took for spoil. This is still plainer from the gold and silver taken from the nations for spoil being also applied to a holy use, as is evident from these passages:
There were in his hand vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass: these also did King David sanctify unto Jehovah, with the silver and gold which he had sanctified of all the nations which he subdued; of the Syrians, of Moab, and of the sons of Ammon, and of the Philistines, and of Amalek, and of the spoil of Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah (2 Sam. 8:10-12).
And the merchandise of Tyre and her harlot hire shall be holiness to Jehovah; it shall not be stored up, nor kept back; but her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before Jehovah, to eat till they are sated, and for the ancient to cover himself (Isa. 23:18).
These things also which the women of the sons of Israel borrowed from the Egyptians, and thus took for spoil, were afterward applied to the use of constructing the ark and many other of the holy things of their worship.