757. "A prison for every foul spirit, and a prison for every unclean and loathsome bird!" This symbolically means that the evils willed and so done by the people in those hells, and the falsities entertained in thought and in consequent intention, are diabolical, because the people have turned away from the Lord to themselves.
A prison symbolizes a hell, because these Roman Catholics were imprisoned there. A spirit symbolizes everything pertaining to their affection or will and of the consequent action, and a bird symbolizes everything pertaining to the thought or intellect and consequent intention. A foul spirit and an unclean bird accordingly symbolize all the evils willed and so done, and all the falsities entertained in thought and consequent intention. Moreover, since the evils and falsities entertained by these people are found in the hells, therefore the symbolical meaning is that their evils and falsities are diabolical. In addition, because these people have turned away from the Lord to themselves, every unclean bird is also called loathsome.
Similar symbolism is used to describe Babylon in the Prophets, as in Isaiah:
Babylon... will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It will never be inhabited..., so that Arabs will not tarry there... But ziyyim 1
will lie there, their houses will be full of 'ochim, 2
the offspring of owls will dwell there, and satyrs will caper there. 'Iyyim 3
also will reply in its palaces, and dragons in its pleasant palaces. (Isaiah 13:19-22)
I will... cut off from Babylon the name and remnant... I will make it a possession of the bittern... (Isaiah 14:22-23)
And in Jeremiah:
...in Babylon shall dwell ziyyim 1
and 'iyyim 3
and the offspring of owls... As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighbors..., no son of man shall dwell in it. (Jeremiah 50:39-40)
It is apparent from this that a prison for every foul spirit, and a prison for every unclean and loathsome bird, means symbolically that the evils willed and so done by the people in those hells, and the falsities entertained in thought and consequent intention, are diabolical, because the people have turned away from the Lord to themselves.
Matthew 13:3-4, Matthew 13:31-32; Revelation 18:2)
 It is apparent from the Word that birds symbolize such things as have to do with the intellect and thought and consequent intention, and this in both senses, bad and good. They are found in a bad sense in the following passages there:
In the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice... (At length) on the bird of abominations shall be desolation. Even until the consummation... there shall rain down devastation. (Daniel 9:27)
The pelican and the bittern shall possess (the land). The screech owl and the raven shall dwell in it. (Isaiah 34:11)
Nothing else than hellish falsities are symbolized by 'ochim, 2
the offspring of owls, and dragons in the passages cited above, as also by the birds that came down on the carcasses which Abram drove away (Genesis 15:11), by the birds which were given human corpses for food (Jeremiah 7:33; 15:3; 16:4; 19:7; 34:20; Ezekiel 29:5; Psalms 79:1-2).
 Birds are found in a good sense in the following passages:
Creeping thing and bird... shall praise the name of Jehovah. (Psalms 148:10, 13)
In that day I will make a covenant for them... with the birds of the sky, and the creeping things of the ground. (Hosea 2:18)
...ask the beasts, and they will teach you, and the birds of the sky, and they will tell you... Who among all these does not know that the hand of Jehovah does this? (Job 12:7-9)
I looked, when behold, there was no man; all the birds of the sky had flown away. (Jeremiah 4:24-26)
Both the birds of the sky and the beasts have fled away..., (because) I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a den of dragons. (Jeremiah 9:10-11)
There is no truth, no mercy, no knowledge of God... Therefore the land will mourn... as regards the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky. (Hosea 4:1, 3)
I am God... calling a bird from the east, a man of My counsel from a far country. (Isaiah 46:9, 11)
Assyria, a cedar in Lebanon... In its branches all the birds of the sky made their nests..., and in its shade all great nations dwelled. (Ezekiel 31:3, 6)
Acts of the Apostles 12:7-9; Jeremiah 4:10-11, 4:22-26, 4:25, Jeremiah 12:9)
 Similar statements to that made of Assyria as a cedar here are found elsewhere, as in Ezekiel 17:23, Daniel 4:10-14, 20-21, Mark 4:32, Luke 13:19.
Speak to every sort of bird and to every beast of the field: ."..come... to... a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel...." (Thus) I will set My glory among the nations. (Ezekiel 39:17, 21, cf. Revelation 19:17)
And so on regarding birds elsewhere, as in Isaiah 18:1, 6; Ezekiel 38:20; Hosea 9:11; 11:10-11.
That birds symbolize such things as have to do with the intellect and its consequent thought and intention is clearly apparent from birds in the spiritual world. There, too, one sees birds of every kind and every species - in heaven very beautiful ones, birds of paradise, turtle doves, and doves - in hell dragons, screech owls, eagle owls, and others of that kind - all of which are objective representations of thoughts springing from good affections in heaven, and of thoughts springing from evil affections in hell.
1. A Hebrew word (צִיִּים), appearing six times in the Old Testament (Psalms 72:9; 74:14). It seems to refer to desert dwellers, and in contexts suggesting animals, to desert creatures, but the actual identity is unknown. It may not be a precise term.
2. Another Hebrew word (אֹחִים), appearing only once in the Old Testament (Isaiah 13:21:4 identifies them as birds of the night.
3. Another Hebrew word (אִיִּים), appearing only three times in the Old Testament (Isaiah 13:22; 34:14
Hosea 11:9, 11:9-11, 11:11; Jeremiah 4:25; Matthew 13:31-32; Psalms 8:6-8, 50:11, 104:10, 104:11-12, 104:12; Revelation 18:2; Zephaniah 1:3)