378. And have washed their robes, signifies, and who have cleansed their religions principles from the evils of falsity. By "washing," in the Word, is signified to cleanse from evils and falsities; and by "robes" are signified general truths (n. 328). General truths are the knowledges of good and truth from the sense of the letter of the Word, according to which they have lived, and thence they are religious principles; and as every religious principle relates to good and truth, therefore robes are twice mentioned, namely, "they have washed their robes" and "have made their robes white." "Robes," or religious principles, are cleansed only with those who fight against evils, and so reject falsities; thus by temptations, which are signified by "great affliction" (n. 377). That "to be washed" signifies to be cleansed from evils and falsities, and so to be reformed and regenerated, may be seen evidently from the following passages:
When the Lord hath washed off the filth of the daughters of Zion, and hath washed away the blood of Jerusalem by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of purifying (Isa. 4:4).
Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doing from Mine eyes; cease to do evil (Isa. 1:16).
Wash thy heart from wickedness, O Jerusalem, that thou mayest be saved (Jer. 4:14).
Wash me from my iniquity, and I shall be whiter than snow (Ps. 51:2, 7).
If thou shouldst wash thee with nitre, and shouldst take thee much soap, thy iniquity will still retain its spots (Jer. 2:21).
If I should wash me in the waters of snow, and should cleanse my hands with soap, still my garments shall abhor me (Job 9:30-31).
Who washed his garment in wine, his covering in the blood of grapes (Gen. 49:11).
This is said of the celestial church, from which they are who are in love to the Lord, and in the highest sense it is concerning the Lord; "wine" and "the blood of grapes" is the Divine truth spiritual and celestial.
I have washed thee with waters, and I have washed away the blood from off thee (Ezek. 16:9).
This is said of Jerusalem; "waters" are truths, and "bloods" are the adulterations of truth.
 It may be evident from these things what was represented and thence signified by the "washings" in the Israelitish church.
Aaron should wash himself before he put on the garments of ministry (Lev. 16:24).
And before he drew near to the altar to minister (Exod. 30:18-21; 40:30-31).
In like manner the Levites (Num. 8:6-7).
In like manner others, who were made unclean by sins; even that they washed the vessels (Lev. 11:32; 14:8-9; 15:5-13; 17:15-16; Matt. 23:25-26).
They were sanctified by the washings (Exod. 29:4; 40:12; Lev. 8:6).
Naaman of Syria washed himself in the Jordan (2 Kings 5:10, 14).
That they might wash themselves, the brazen sea and many lavers were placed near the temple (1 Kings 7:23-39).
And that the Lord washed the feet of the disciples (John 13:5-10).
And He said to the blind man that he should wash in the pool of Siloam (John 9:6-7, 11).
 From these things it may appear that "washing" with the sons of Israel represented spiritual washing, which is cleansing from evils and falsities, and thence reformation and regeneration. From what has been said above, it is also evident what was signified by:
The baptism in Jordan by John (Matt. 3:5-7; Mark 1:4-13).
And what by these words of John concerning the Lord, that:
He would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Luke 3:16; John 1:33).
And of himself, that:
He baptized with water (John 1:26).
The meaning of which is, that the Lord washes or purifies man by the Divine truth and the Divine good, and that John represented this by his baptism; for the "Holy Spirit" is the Divine truth, "fire" is the Divine good, and "water" is the representative of both; for "water" signifies the truth of the Word, which becomes good by a life according to it (n. 50).