264. In the Word references to the conception and bearing of sons are taken in purely a spiritual sense; that is to say, conception stands for the thought and imagination of the heart, and 'sons' for truths. This becomes clear from the following in Hosea,
As for Ephraim, their glory will fly away like a bird, away from birth, and from the womb, and from conception. Even if they bring up their sons I will bereave them so that no human being is left. But woe to them when I shall have departed from them! Hosea 9:11-12.
Here 'Ephraim' means those who have intelligence, that is, understanding of truth, while 'sons' means truths themselves. A similar reference is made elsewhere in Hosea to Ephraim, that is, a person who has intelligence but has become unwise,
The pains of childbirth have come upon him, he is an unwise son, for now he will not present himself at the mouth of the womb of sons. Hosea 13:13.
And in Isaiah,
Blush, O Sidon, for the sea has spoken, the stronghold of the sea, saying, I have not gone into labour, I have not given birth, nor have I reared young men nor brought up young women. As when the report comes to Egypt, they will go into labour over the report of Tyre. Isaiah 27:4-5.
Here 'Sidon' stands for people who have possessed cognitions of faith but have destroyed them by means of facts and have consequently become sterile.
(Odkazy: Isaiah 23:4-5)
 And in the same prophet,
Before she went into labour she gave birth, and before pain came to her she brought forth a male child. Who has heard of such a thing as this? Who has seen such? Does a land give birth in one day? And shall I [bring to the point of birth and not] cause to give birth? said Jehovah. Shall I who cause to give birth shut up [the womb]? said your God. Isaiah 66:7-9.
This refers to regeneration, 'sons' in a similar way meaning the truths of faith. Because goods and truths are the conceptions and births of the heavenly marriage, the Lord too calls them 'sons' in Matthew,
He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, but the seed are the sons of the kingdom. Matthew 13:37-38.
And the goods and truths of a saving faith are called 'the sons of Abraham' in John 8:39, for as stated in 255, 'seed' means faith. Consequently 'sons', who are the embodiment of the seed, are the goods and truths of faith. This also is why the Lord, being Himself the Seed, called Himself the Son of Man, that is, the Church's Faith.
(Odkazy: Genesis 3:16)