9003. Her food, her raiment, and her conjugial due, he shall not diminish. That this signifies no deprivation of the interior life which is "food," nor of the exterior life which is "clothing," thus no deprivation of conjunction which is the "conjugial due," is evident from the signification of "food," as being the sustenance of the interior life, for in the spiritual sense "food," or meat and drink, denote the knowledges of good and truth, "meat," the knowledges of good (n. 5147), and "drink," the knowledges of truth (n. 3168, 3772); and therefore "food" denotes the things which nourish the spiritual life of man (n. 5293, 5576, 5579, 5915, 8562); from the signification of "covering," or "clothing," as being the sustenance of the exterior life, for in the spiritual sense "covering," or "clothing," denotes lower memory-knowledges, because these are what sustain the external life of man (n. 5248, 6918); from the signification of the "conjugial due," as being conjunction; and from the signification of "not to diminish," as being not to deprive of.
 The case herein is that natural affection conjoined with spiritual truth, which is signified by "a maidservant betrothed to a son," requires continual sustenance of life from the spiritual truth with which it has been conjoined; for affection without sustenance therefrom perishes. It is with the affection of man as it is with man himself-unless it is sustained with food it dies. Moreover in respect to his interiors man is nothing but affection; a good man the affection of good and the truth thence derived; but an evil man the affection of evil and the falsity thence derived. This is especially evident from a man when he becomes a spirit, for the sphere of life which then flows forth from him is a sphere either of the affection of good, or of the affection of evil. His nourishment or sustenance then is not from natural food and drink, but from spiritual food and drink, which are falsity from evil to an evil spirit, and truth from good to a good spirit. The nourishments of human minds during their life in the body in the world, are no other, and from this it is that all things which relate to food, such as bread, flesh, wine, water, and many other things, in the spiritual sense in the Word signify such things as belong to spiritual nourishment.
 From this it is also plain what is meant by these words of the Lord:
Man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that goeth forth out of the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4).
Ye shall eat and drink upon My table in My kingdom (Luke 22:30).
I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this product of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom (Matt. 26:29);
saying these words after He had instituted the Holy Supper, in which "the bread and the wine" denote those things which are of love and faith; in like manner also "the flesh and the blood." From this it may be clearly known what is meant by "the flesh and blood" of the Lord in John 6:49-58; and also by these words in the same chapter:
My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed (John 6:55).
(That "flesh" in the Word denotes the good of love, see n. 3813, 7850; also that "blood" denotes the good of faith, n. 4735, 6978, 7317, 7326, 7846, 7850, 7877; in like manner "bread and wine," n. 2165, 2177, 3464, 3478, 3735, 3813, 4211, 4217, 4735, 4976, 5915, 6118, 6377.)