7519. Ashes of the furnace. That this signifies of exciting the falsities of cupidities through presence with those who infest, is evident from the signification of "ashes of the furnace," as being the falsities of cupidities (of which below). That it denotes excitation by presence with those who infest, is evident from what follows in this verse, for it is said that "Moses sprinkled it toward heaven in the eyes of Pharaoh." By "in the eyes" is signified presence, and by "Pharaoh" are signified those who infest (as often shown).
 How the case is with these things cannot be known without revelation, for they are such as take place in the other life, and are not known in the world. So long as evil or infernal spirits are removed and separated from heaven, that is, from the good of love and the truth of faith which are there, they do not know that they are in evils and falsities, for they then believe falsities to be truths, and evils to be goods; but as soon as heaven comes nearer to them, that is, some heavenly society, they notice the falsities and evils; for the truth of faith which then flows in causes them to notice the falsities; and the good of love which flows in causes them to notice the evils; and the nearer that heaven comes, or the more presently there inflows its good of love and truth of faith (seeing that they cannot endure these), the more grievously are they reproached by their own evils and falsities.
 From all this it can now be seen why it was commanded that Moses should take ashes of the furnace and sprinkle them toward heaven, and that he should do this in the eyes of Pharaoh; also why it was commanded that he, and not Aaron, should sprinkle the ashes toward heaven. For by ashes being sprinkled toward heaven is signified the influx of heaven; by this being done in the eyes of Pharaoh is signified in the presence of those who infest; that Moses was to do this, and not Aaron, is because the truth proceeding immediately from the Divine presents this effect with the evil; Moses being the truth which proceeds immediately from the Divine, and Aaron that which proceeds mediately (n. 7010). From all this it is evident what is meant in the internal sense by the contents of this verse and of that next following, namely, that there would be excited filthy and loathsome things of cupidities together with blasphemies, which are signified by the "sore breaking forth in pustules." These things are excited when Divine truth flows in, and heaven comes nearer.
 Everyone can see that such things would never have been commanded by Jehovah to Moses unless there were a heavenly secret therein; that is to say, that Moses should take ashes of the furnace and sprinkle them toward heaven. Such means of producing the effect would never have been ordered by Jehovah unless they had contained something heavenly, to which these means correspond. From this can be seen the nature of the Word, that it is crowded with secret things, but with such as do not stand forth in the sense of the letter.
 That "ashes of the furnace" signify falsities of cupidities, is because they are from burnt things; and "burning," as also "fire" itself, in the Word, in a good sense, signify the good of heavenly affections; but in the opposite sense, the evil of infernal cupidities. That "fire" has this signification see n. 934, 1861, 2446, 4906, 5071, 5215, 6314, 6832, 6834, 6849, 7324; and that "burning" denotes the evil of cupidities, n. 1297, 5215; hence it is that "ashes" signify falsities, for falsities are from the evils of cupidities. And as the evils of cupidities are signified by "fire," they are also signified by a "furnace," which is the containant, and this frequently involves the same as that which it contains.
 That a "furnace" has this signification is evident from these passages:
Behold, the day cometh, burning as a furnace; and all the proud, and everyone that worketh wickedness, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall set them on fire, it shall leave them neither root nor branch (Mal. 4:1);
where "burning as a furnace" denotes the cupidities of evil; "setting them on fire," a kindling with cupidities.
 In Genesis:
Abraham looked toward the faces of Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward the faces of all the land of the plain, and he saw, and the smoke of the land went up, as the smoke of a furnace (Gen. 19:28);
where "the smoke of a furnace" denotes falsities from the evils of cupidities, for "Sodom" denotes the evil of cupidities from the love of self, and "Gomorrah" the falsity thence derived (see n. 2220, 2245, 2322). In John:
There went up a smoke out of the pit of the abyss, as the smoke of a furnace (Rev. 9:2);
where "the smoke of a furnace" in like manner denotes falsities from evils of cupidities; "the pit of the abyss" denotes hell.
 In Matthew:
The Son of man shall send His angels, who shall gather out of His kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and them that do iniquity, and shall send them into the furnace of fire (Matt. 13:41-42);
where "the furnace of fire" denotes the evils of cupidities; for the fire of cupidities is what is meant in the Word by the "fire of hell;" moreover, loves are nothing else than the fires of life, and cupidity is what is continuous of love.
 In Nahum:
Draw thee waters for the siege, strengthen thy fortress; go into the mire, and tread the clay, repair the brick kiln; there shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off (Nah. 3:14-15);
where "going into the mire" denotes into falsity; "treading the clay," evil (n. 6669); "the brick kiln," or "furnace for brick," denotes the falsities which they invent, and which are injected by the evil (n. 1296, 6669, 7113); "fire" denotes the cupidity of evil (n. 1861, 2446, 5071, 5215, 6832, 7324); "the sword" denotes falsity (n. 4499).
 In Jeremiah:
Take great stones in thy hand, and hide them in clay in the furnace for brick which is at the door of Pharaoh's house in Tahpanhes, in the eyes of the men of Judah; and say unto them, Behold I will send and take Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and I will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid, so that he may spread his tent over them; he shall come and shall smite the land of Egypt (Jer. 43:9-11);
what these words signify cannot be known without the internal sense; "great stones" denote falsities; the "furnace for brick" denotes the cupidity of falsity from evil; "Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon" denotes the devastator of truth and good; "his throne and tent being set over these stones" denotes that he will cause falsities to reign; "the land of Egypt which he will smite" denotes the natural mind.