739. That by the "flood of waters" is signified the beginning of temptation, is evident from temptation as to things of the understanding being here treated of, which temptation precedes, and, as before said, is light; and for this reason it is called a "flood of waters" and not simply "a flood" as in the seventeenth verse. For "waters" signify especially the spiritual things of man, the intellectual things of faith, and the opposites of these, which are falsities; as may be confirmed by very many passages from the Word.
 That a "flood" or "inundation" of waters signifies temptation, is evident from what was shown in the introduction to this chapter. So also in Ezekiel:
Thus saith the Lord Jehovih, I will make a stormy wind to break through in My fury, and an inundating rain shall there be in Mine anger, and hailstones in wrath, unto the consummation, that I may destroy the wall that ye have daubed with what is unfit (Ezek. 13:13-14).
Here a "stormy wind" and an "inundating rain" denote the desolation of falsities; the "wall daubed with what is unfit" denotes fiction appearing as truth. In Isaiah:
Jehovah God is a protection from inundation, a shadow from the heat, for the breath of the violent is as an inundation against the wall (Isa. 25:4).
An "inundation" here denotes temptation as to things of the understanding, and is distinguished from temptation as to things of the will, which is called "heat."
Behold the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, as an inundation of hail, a destroying storm, as an inundation of mighty waters, overflowing (Isa. 28:2),
where degrees of temptation are described. And again:
When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire thou shalt not be burned, and the flame shall not kindle upon thee (Isa. 43:2).
"Waters" and "rivers" here denote falsities and phantasies, "fire" and "flame" evils and cupidities. In David:
For this shall everyone that is holy pray unto Thee at a time of finding; so that in the inundation of many waters they shall not reach unto him; Thou art my hiding place; Thou wilt preserve me from trouble (Ps. 32:6-7),where the "inundation of waters" denotes temptation which is also called a "flood." In the same:
Jehovah sitteth at the flood; yea, Jehovah sitteth King forever (Ps. 29:10).
From these passages, and from what was premised at the beginning of this chapter, it is evident that a "flood" or "inundation" of waters signifies nothing else than temptations and vastations, although described historically, after the manner of the most ancient people.