760. That the "forty days and forty nights" signify its duration, was shown above, at verse 4. By "forty" as before said, is signified every duration of temptation, whether greater or less, and indeed severe temptation, which is of the things of the will. For by continual pleasures, and by the loves of self and of the world, consequently by the cupidities that are the connected activities of these loves, man has acquired a life for himself of such a kind that it is nothing but a life of such things. This life cannot possibly accord with heavenly life; for no one can love worldly and heavenly things at the same time, seeing that to love worldly things is to look downward, and to love heavenly things is to look upward. Much less can anyone love himself and at the same time the neighbor, and still less the Lord. He who loves himself, hates all who do not render him service; so that the man who loves himself is very far from heavenly love and charity, which is to love the neighbor more than one's self, and the Lord above all things. From this it is evident how far removed the life of man is from heavenly life, and therefore he is regenerated by the Lord through temptations, and is bent so as to bring him into agreement. This is why such temptation is severe, for it touches a man's very life, assailing, destroying, and transforming it, and is therefore described by the words: "the fountains of the deep were broken up, and the cataracts of heaven were opened."