The Bible

Genesis 1

English: King James Version

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1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 2 →

Study the Inner Meaning

Main explanation(s) from Swedenborg's works:

Arcana Coelestia 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 ...

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 402

Commentary on this chapter:

Stories:

Other references by Swedenborg to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 4, 6, 221, 246, 300, 435, 476 ...

Apocalypse Revealed 200, 414

Conjugial Love 132, 156

Divine Love and Wisdom 11, 18, 287, 358

Divine Providence 123, 328

Sacred Scripture 14, 103

Heaven and Hell 137

The Last Judgment 20

True Christian Religion 20, 34, 46, 48, 364, 490

Show references from Swedenborg's unpublished works



From Swedenborg's Works

Apocalypse Explained #650

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)

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650. The beast coming up out of the abyss shall make war with them.- That this signifies assault from infernal love, is plain from the signification of beast, as denoting the affection of the natural man in both senses, of which we shall speak presently; and from the signification of the abyss, as denoting hell (concerning this see above, n. 538); and from the signification of making war, as denoting to assault, for by wars, in the Word, are not signified wars, like those in our world, but such as are in the spiritual world, all of which are combats by means of falsities from evil against truths from good. That such things are signified by wars in the Word, will be evident in the following pages, where wars are again mentioned. From these things it is clear that by the beast coming up out of the abyss shall make war with the witnesses, is signified infernal love from the falsities of evil about to assault the truths of good.

(References: Jeremiah 38:14; Revelation 11:7; The Apocalypse Explained 538)


[2] Before it is shown that by beast is signified the love or affection of the natural man, something shall be said concerning assault. Infernal love is principally the love of self, for the love of self is the love of man's proprium, and man's proprium is nothing but evil; therefore, as far as man is in that love, so far he is against the Lord, and consequently against the good of love and of charity, and against the truth of doctrine and of faith, thus against those two witnesses. For this reason the hells where the love of self reigns are the most dreadful and malignant, and are diametrically opposed to the Lord, whence they continually attack the goods of love and of faith, because these are from the Lord alone, and are the Lord with men and angels.

[3] That those hells are more dreadful than the rest, is evident from this, that they continually breathe forth the destruction of those who confess the Divine of the Lord, consequently the destruction of those who are in the good of love and in the good of faith to the Lord from the Lord. The reason why those hells are more malignant than the rest, is, that as far as man is in the love of self, and at the same time in the love of his own intelligence, so far his natural light (lumen) is in a kind of brightness, for the love of self is like fire which kindles that light, hence it is that such are able to think and reason ingeniously against the Divine and against all things of heaven and of the church. I have sometimes been amazed when I have heard people of such a character, because I imagined that they might also be induced to receive faith even more than others, but I found that this was impossible, for as far as they were in light as to things corporeal, worldly, and natural, so far they were in thick darkness as to things celestial and spiritual; and this thick darkness was seen by me and appeared altogether dusky, mingled with something fiery. I could confirm this by much experience, if this were the place for relating my experiences. The love of self is what is here specifically meant by the beast coming up out of the abyss, which made war with the two witnesses, and killed them.

[4] That a beast signifies the love or affection of the natural man in both senses, is clear from very many passages in the Word; and because this has been hitherto unknown, and it appears strange, as it were, that beasts signify the love or affection of the natural man, it is necessary to confirm this from the Word. The reason why natural affections are signified by beasts, is, because those affections are entirely similar to the affections of beasts, and therefore the man who is not imbued with spiritual affections by means of the goods and truths of heaven, differs but little from the beasts. For man is distinguished above the beasts by the possession of the faculty of thinking spiritually, and thence of willing, in consequence of which he is eminently able to see and perceive abstract things. But if that spiritual faculty is not vivified by the knowledges of truth and good, and afterwards by faith and the life of faith, he is no better than the beasts, except in this only, that he is able to think and speak from that higher faculty.

[5] Because the affections of the natural man are signified by beasts, therefore, when those affections are presented visibly in the spiritual world under the similitude of animals, they appear altogether like forms of various beasts; thus as lambs, sheep, she-goats, kids, he-goats, heifers, oxen, and cows; also as camels, horses, mules, asses; and also as bears, tigers, leopards, lions; likewise as dogs and serpents of various kinds. But such things are only appearances of the affections of spirits, and when they appear, it is also known there not only that they exist thence, but also with whom they originate; but as soon as the affections cease with them, those appearances cease also.

[6] From these considerations also it is evident why beasts are so often mentioned in the Word. But we proceed to confirmations from that source.

In David:

"Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands, thou hast put all things under his feet, the flock and the herd, and also the beasts of the fields, the bird of heaven, and the fishes of the sea" (Psalm viii. 6-8).

The subject treated of in the whole of that Psalm is the Lord, and His dominion over all things of heaven and of the church. The things of heaven and of the church are meant here and in other passages of the Word by the works of the hands of Jehovah; and because His dominion is over those things, and spiritual things, in the Word, are expressed by natural things, the Word in its bosom being spiritual, therefore by flock, herd, beasts of the fields, birds of heaven, and fishes of the sea, are not meant those things, but spiritual things pertaining to heaven and the church. By flock and by herd are signified spiritual things, and natural things that are from a spiritual origin; by flock, that is, by lambs, kids, she-goats, sheep, and rams, spiritual things, and by herds, which are heifers, oxen, cows, and camels, natural things from spiritual things. Beasts of the fields signify the affections of the natural man, birds of the heavens, thoughts thence, and the fish of the sea, the scientifics of the natural-sensual man. What other purpose could there be in describing the Lord's dominion over them?

(References: Psalms 8:6-8)


[7] In the same:

"Thou, O God, causest the rain of benevolences to come down; thou didst confirm thy labouring heritage, thy wild beast," thy congregation, "shall dwell therein" (Psalm lxviii. 9, 10).

Here beast is evidently put for the people who receive the influx of Divine Truth from the Lord, for of the heritage of God, by which the church is signified, it is said thy wild beast, thy congregation shall dwell therein. By the rain of benevolences is signified the influx of Divine Truth from the

Divine mercy.

(References: Psalms 68:9-10)


[8] In the same:

Jehovah "who sendeth out the springs into the rivers; let them go between the mountains, they give drink to every wild beast; the wild asses quench their thirst, near them the bird of the heavens dwelleth, from among the boughs they utter their voice; who maketh the grass to bud forth for the beast, and the herb for the service of man, to bring forth bread out of the earth. Thou disposest the darkness that there maybe night, in which every wild beast of the forest cometh forth; the sea great and broad in its spaces; there are the creeping thing without number, wild beasts small and great" (Psalm civ. 10, 11, [12], 14, 20, 25).

These things also are concerning the Lord; and by these words the establishment of the church with the nations is described; therefore by wild beasts, beasts, and birds, are signified such things as appertain to the man of the church.

(References: Psalms 104:10-12, 104:14, 104:20, 104:25)


[9] It must be understood that in many passages mention is made sometimes of beast (bestia) and sometimes of wild beast (fera), and that by wild beast is not meant wild beast according to the common idea concerning wild beasts; for wild beast, in the Hebrew tongue, is derived from a word that signifies life, and therefore in certain passages instead of wild beast the word animal ought rather to be used. This also is evident from the fact that the four animals in Ezekiel (i., x.), in which the cherubim - which signify the Divine Providence and protection - were seen, are called wild beasts; and, similarly, in John in the Apocalypse, where the four animals about the throne are treated of, by which cherubim are also meant. But still a distinction is carefully made in the Word between beasts and wild beasts; and by beasts are signified the affections of the natural man pertaining to his will, and by wild beasts, the affections of the natural man pertaining to his understanding. Because "wild beast," in the Hebrew tongue, is derived from a word which signifies life, therefore Eve, the wife of Adam, was named from that word. This is premised in order that the signification of wild beast and beast in the proper sense may be known.

(References: Ezekiel 1:1, Ezekiel 10:1)


[10] What is signified by the words "Jehovah will send out springs into the rivers, that they may go between the mountains; they give drink to every wild beast of the fields; the wild asses quench their thirst, near them the bird of the heavens dwelleth," was explained above (n. 483:7). That Jehovah causeth the grass to bud forth for the beast, and herb for the service of man, to bring forth bread out of the earth, signifies the instruction and nourishment of the natural and spiritual man by truths from the Word, for thence is the good of love and of charity. Grass signifies the truth of the natural man, which is scientific truth (scientificum verum), as may be seen above (n. 507); beast signifies the affection thereof, which desires to be instructed and spiritually nourished; herb signifies the truth of the spiritual man, man, intelligence thence, and bread the good of love and of charity, which is nourished by truths. Because by darkness and night is signified the light (lumen) of the natural man, which compared with the light of the spiritual man is like night, by the wild beast of the forest, the affection for scientifics, by the sea great and broad in its spaces, the Natural itself, by the creeping thing without number, the scientifics therein, and as by wild beasts great and small, various affections are signified, the meaning of "Thou disposest the darkness that there may be night, in which every wild beast of the forest cometh forth; the sea great and broad in its spaces; there are the creeping thing without number, wild beasts small and great," is evident.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 483, 507)


[11] Again:

"They shall sow fields and plant vineyards, and shall make the fruit of produce, and he shall bless them so that they shall be multiplied exceedingly; and he shall not diminish their beast; but they are diminished and bowed down, through the vehemence of wickedness and sorrow" (Psalm cvii. 37-39).

The whole of that Psalm treats concerning the coming of the Lord and concerning redemption from Him. That they shall then possess truths, by which the church shall be implanted in them, is signified by the words "they shall sow fields and plant vineyards and that thence they shall possess the goods of the church, from which truths shall increase, is signified by, their yielding the fruit of produce, and by Jehovah blessing them, that they multiply exceedingly. He shall not diminish their beast, signifies that then every good affection of the natural man shall remain with them; by, they are diminished and bowed down through the vehemence of wickedness and sorrow, signifies that those affections would otherwise perish by evils.

(References: Psalms 107:37-39)


[12] Again:

"Praise Jehovah, ye sea monsters and all abysses, wild beast and every beast, creeping thing and every bird of wing" (cxlviii. 7, 10).

In that Psalm, very many things are enumerated that shall praise Jehovah, which, in the world, are without life, as fire, hail, snow, vapour, wind of storm, mountains, hills, trees, fruits, cedars, also, as in this case, wild beasts, beasts, reptiles, and birds, which things cannot praise Jehovah. Who cannot see, therefore, that the recounting of such things in the Divine Word would be vain and superfluous, unless they were significative of such things in man as can praise, that is, worship, Jehovah. From the knowledge of correspondences it is seen that sea monsters signify the scientifics of the natural man in general; abysses and seas, the Natural itself, where scientifics are; wild beasts and beasts, the affections of the natural man, both of its understanding and will; creeping things, the Sensual, which is the ultimate of the natural man; and birds of wing, the capability of thought (cogitativum) thence.

(References: Genesis 7:1-9; Psalms 148:10, 148:7)


[13] Again:

Jehovah "who prepareth rain for the earth, who causeth grass to grow upon the mountains, who giveth to the beast his food, to the sons of the raven that call [upon Him]" (Psalm cxlvii. 8, 9).

These details also signify spiritual things of heaven and the church. To what purpose would it be for the Word, which solely teaches man the way to heaven by the truths of faith and the goods of love, to say that Jehovah prepareth rain for the earth, causeth grass to grow upon the mountains, giveth to the beasts their food, and to the sons of the raven that call upon Him? These things, however, are worthy of the Divine Word, when by rain is understood the influx of Divine Truth, by mountains, the good of love, by causing grass to grow, the instruction of the natural man by means of knowledges from the Word, by beasts, the affections of the natural man, that desire to be thence nourished - this nourishment being signified by the giving of food to them, and since by the sons of the raven are signified natural men who are in an obscure light (lumen) arising from fallacies concerning Divine truths, as were many of the nations, therefore it is said that He giveth [food] to the sons of the raven that call upon Him, for these can call upon Jehovah, but not the sons of the raven.

(References: Psalms 147:8-9)


[14] Again:

"Every wild beast of the forest is mine, the beasts in the mountains of thousands; I know every bird of the mountains, and the wild beast of my fields with me" (Psalm l. 10, 11).

These things are indeed, said of sacrifices, in which the Lord does not delight, but in confession of heart and invocation; but still by the wild beast of the forest, the beast in the mountains, and by the bird of the mountains and the wild beast of the fields, similar things to those above are signified, namely, such as pertain to the man of the church.

(References: Psalms 50:10-11)


[15] Again:

"Thy justice is as the mountains of God, thy judgments are a great deep; O Jehovah, thou preservest man and beast" (Psalm xxxvi. 6).

Man and beast signify the interior affection, which is spiritual, from which there is intelligence, and the exterior affection, which is natural, from which there is knowledge corresponding to intelligence.

(References: Psalms 36:6)


[16] Similar things are also signified by man and beast in the following passages.

In Jeremiah:

The God of Israel said, "I have made the earth, man and beast, which are upon the faces of the earth, by my great power " (xxvii. 5; xxxvi. 29).

Again:

"Behold the days come, in which I will sow the house of Judah with the seed of man and with the seed of beast" (xxxi. 27).

Again:

"As yet there shall be heard in this place, concerning which ye say, It is devastated, and there is no man or beast, and in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are devastated, so that there is no man, no inhabitant and no beast, the voice of joy and the voice of gladness" (xxxiii. 10-12).

Again:

The whole land "shall be desolation that there shall not be man or beast" (xxxii. 43).

Again:

"I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast; they shall die of a great pestilence" (xxi. 6).

Again:

"A nation from the north shall come up against" Babel, "and shall bring her land into desolation, so that there shall be no inhabitant therein; from man even unto beast, they have moved themselves off, they have gone away" (l. 3).

Again:

"My anger and my wrath is poured out upon this place, upon man and upon beast" (vii. 20).

In Ezekiel:

"When the land shall sin against me, I will break its staff of bread, and I will send into it famine, and I will cut off from it man and beast" (xiv. 13, 17, 19).

Again:

"I will stretch out my hand over Edom, and will cut off from it man and beast" (xxv. 13).

Again:

"I will destroy every beast" of Egypt "from beside many waters, and the foot of man shall no more trouble them, neither shall the hoof of beast trouble them" (xxxii. 13).

Again:

"I will multiply upon you man and beast, that they may increase and be fruitful" (xxxvi. 11).

In Zephaniah:

"In consuming I will consume all things from upon the faces of the earth; I will consume man and beast, I will consume the bird of the heavens, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumbling-blocks with the impious, and I will cut off man from the faces of the earth" (i. 2, 3).

In Zechariah:

The angel who came to measure Jerusalem said, "Run, speak, saying, Jerusalem shall inhabit the suburbs, by reason of the multitude of man and of beast in the midst of her" (ii. 3, 4).

Again:

"Let your hands be strong, for the temple shall be built; for before those days there was no hire for man nor hire for beast; for to him that went out and to him that came in, there was no peace from the enemy" (viii. 9, 10).

(References: Ezekiel 14:19, 14:13, 14:17, 25:13, Ezekiel 32:13, Ezekiel 36:11; Jeremiah 7:20, Jeremiah 21:6, 27:5, 31:27, 32:43, 33:10-12, Jeremiah 36:29, Jeremiah 50:3; Zechariah 2:3-4, 8:9-10; Zephaniah 1:2-3)


[17] In these passages, by man is signified the Interior or Spiritual, and by beast the Exterior or Natural; therefore, man signifies the spiritual affection for truth, from which is all intelligence, and beast, the natural affection corresponding to the spiritual. The reason why the Exterior or Natural is signified by beast, is, that man, as to his external or natural man, is nothing but a beast; for he has similar desires, pleasures, appetites, and senses, so that a man as to such things is altogether like a beast, wherefore the natural man may be called the "animal man." But the reason why the Internal or Spiritual is signified by man, is, because man is man as to his Interior or Spiritual which rejoices in the affections for good and truth such as pertain to the angels of heaven; and because man, by that Internal or Spiritual in himself, rules his natural or animal man, which is a beast.

[18] Since man and beast signify the spiritual and the natural man, therefore in the history of creation (Gen. i.), it is related that on the same day, that is, the sixth, the beasts were created, and also man; and afterwards, that to man was given dominion over the beasts. Concerning the creation of beasts and of man on the same day, and concerning the dominion of man over the beasts, it is thus written:

"God said, Let the earth bring forth the living soul according to its kind, and what moveth itself, and the wild beast of the earth according to its kind, and it was so. And God made the wild beast of the earth according to its kind, and the beast according to its kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the ground according to its kind. And God said, Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and they shall rule over the fishes of the sea, and over the bird of the heavens, and over the beast, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; and it was evening and it was morning, the sixth day" (i. 24-31).

By the creation of heaven and earth, in the spiritual sense of that chapter, is described the new creation or regeneration of the man of the Most Ancient Church, therefore beast signifies there the external or natural, and man, the internal-spiritual man, and by his dominion over the beasts is there meant the dominion of the spiritual man over the natural.

(References: Genesis 1:1, 1:24-31)


[19] That it was granted to the man of that church to know all the affections of the natural man, in order that he might have dominion over them, is signified by these words in Genesis:

"Jehovah formed out of the ground every beast of the field, and every bird of the heavens, and brought unto the man, to see what he would call it; and whatsoever man called it, the living soul, that was its name; and the man gave names to every beast, and to the bird of the heavens, and to every wild beast of the field" (ii. 19, 20).

To call the name signifies, in the spiritual sense, to know the nature of a thing, or its quality, thus, in the present case, to know the qualities of all the affections, desires, pleasures, appetites, as well as the thoughts and inclinations, of the natural man, and how they should agree and correspond with the affections and perceptions of the spiritual man. For from creation the spiritual man has been endowed with the power of seeing all things of the natural man, and at the same time of perceiving their agreement or disagreement with the spiritual, in order that it may rule this, and admit such things as agree, and reject those which disagree, and thus become spiritual, even as to the effects that are brought about by means of the natural man. But these things may be seen more fully explained in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 142-146).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 142, Genesis 2:19-20)


[20] Because man, in the Word, signifies properly the internal or spiritual man, and beast, the external or natural man, therefore God commanded that all the beasts and birds should be brought with Noah into the ark. Concerning this it is written as follows in Genesis:

"Jehovah said to Noah, Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee sevens, male and female; and of the beast which is not clean by two, male and female;" and he took "of the clean beast, and of the beast not clean, and of the bird, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth; two and two, entered they unto Noah into the ark, male and female" (vii. 1-9).

By Noah's flood, in the spiritual sense, is described the destruction of the Most Ancient Church, and also the last judgment upon the men of that church; and by Noah and his sons, in the same sense, is meant and described the succeeding church, which must be called the Ancient Church. It therefore follows that by the beasts brought into the ark with Noah are meant those affections of the natural man corresponding to spiritual affection, which pertained to the men of that church. But these things also may be seen explained in the Arcana Coelestia.

(References: Genesis 7:1-9)


[21] Because by man is signified the internal-spiritual, and by beast the external or natural man, and by Egypt the natural man separated from the spiritual, which is then utterly destroyed, and no longer a man but a beast, therefore where the destruction of Egypt is treated of, it is related that "Jehovah caused it to rain hail, mingled with fire, and smote every thing which was in the fields, from man even to beast" (Exod. ix. 22-25); concerning this see also the Arcana Coelestia. On account of the representation and consequent signification of the same thing, Jehovah also smote "all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from man even to beast" (Exod. xii. 12, 29). But, on the other hand, with the sons of Israel, by whom the church was represented, it was commanded that all the first-born of man and of beast should be sacrificed to Jehovah (Numb. xviii. 15). Because such things were represented and thence signified by man and beast, therefore, from a holy rite received in the Ancient Church, the king of Nineveh proclaimed a fast, and commanded that neither man nor beast should taste or drink any thing, and that both man and beast should be covered with sackcloth (Jonah iii. 7, 8).

(References: Exodus 9:22-25, 12:29, 12:12; Jonah 3:7-8; Numbers 12:15, 18:15)


[22] Because beasts signify the affections in both senses, therefore the likeness of any beast was not allowed to be made; concerning this it is written as follows in Moses:

Ye shall not make to you "the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flieth under heaven, the likeness of any thing that creepeth on the earth, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters under the earth" (Deut. iv. 17, 18).

The reason was, that the posterity of Jacob, who, because the representation of the church was with them, were called the sons of Israel, were in externals without an internal, that is, they were for the most part merely natural; therefore if they had made to themselves the likeness of any beast or bird - which signified affections and similar things - they would have made to themselves idols, and worshipped them. This also was the reason why the Egyptians, who knew more of representatives than any other people, made to themselves images of beasts, as of calves, serpents, and many other kinds; yet originally they did this not for purposes of worship, but on account of their signification. Their posterity, however, who from internal became external, consequently merely natural, looked upon those things not as representatives and significatives, but as holy things of the church, and therefore they offered them idolatrous worship. This was the reason why the posterity of Jacob, being altogether external men and consequently idolatrous in heart, were prohibited from making to themselves the likeness of such things.

(References: Deuteronomy 4:17-18)


[23] Thus, for example, the reason why they worshipped calves in Egypt, and afterwards in the wilderness, was, because a calf signified the first affection of the natural man, together with its good of innocence. The nations also everywhere worshipped serpents, because the serpent signified the Sensual, which is the ultimate of the natural man, and its prudence; and so in other cases.

[24] Because beasts signified the various things of the natural man, therefore it was sometimes commanded also, when cities, or regions, were given to the curse, that the beasts also should be slaughtered; and this because they represented the evils and the profanities practised by the men who were given to the curse.

Since all kinds of beasts signified the various things which are in men of the church, therefore laws were made concerning beasts as to those kinds that were to be eaten and those that were not to be eaten (Lev. xi.). Those that were to be eaten signified goods, and those that were not to be eaten evils; for the church of that time was representative, and therefore every thing prescribed for them was representative and significative, especially beasts; concerning which it is thus written in Moses:

"Ye shall distinguish between the clean beast and the unclean, and between the unclean bird and the clean, that ye may not make your souls abominable by beast and bird; and ye shall be holy unto me" (Lev. xx. 25, 26).

(References: Leviticus 11:1, 20:25-26)


[25] From these things it may now be seen why sacrifices of beasts of various kinds were permitted, as of lambs, sheep, kids, goats, heifers, oxen, and pigeons and turtle doves, namely, because they signified spiritual things and natural things from a spiritual origin; as lambs innocence, sheep charity, heifers and oxen the affections of the natural man corresponding to those of the spiritual man. For this reason the beasts for the sacrifices were varied according to the reasons for which they were offered; this would not have been done unless each of the sacrifices of beasts had signified such things as pertain to the church.

Since the man of the church at this day can scarcely be induced to believe that beasts and wild beasts, in the Word, signify the affections for good and truth pertaining to the man of the church, and for the reason that it appears strange that anything pertaining to a beast should signify anything pertaining to man, therefore I will adduce additional passages from the Word, by way of confirmation.

(References: Leviticus 20:25-26)


[26] In Ezekiel:

"Say unto the king of Egypt, and unto his multitude, Whom art thou like in thy stature? Behold Asshur, a cedar in Lebanon, fair in branch and a shadowy forest; his stature became higher than all the trees of the field, and his branches were multiplied because of many waters; all the birds of the heavens made their nests in his branches; and under his branches every wild beast of the field brought forth, and in his shade dwelt all great nations; he was fair in his greatness. But because thou art lifted up in stature," he shall be cut down; "upon his ruin shall dwell every bird of the heavens, and upon his branches shall be every wild beast of the field" (xxxi. 2, 3, 5, 6, [7], 10, [12], 13).

The king of Egypt, and his multitude, signify the natural man with the scientifics therein; Asshur, the cedar in Lebanon, signifies the Rational, which is formed from scientifics on the one part, and from the influx of spiritual truth on the other. By fair in branch and a shadowy forest is signified intelligence through rational truths by means of scientifics;

(References: Ezekiel 31:5-7, 31:12-13, 31:2-3, 31:10)


[27] by stature higher than all the trees of the field is signified elevation even to the interior Rational, which is from the Spiritual; by branches multiplied because of many waters is signified the abundance thereof by means of spiritual truths, which are from the knowledges of truth from the Word. The birds of the heavens, which built their nests in his branches, signify spiritual thoughts in rational things, for the Rational is the medium between the internal-spiritual and the external-natural man; the wild beast of the field which brought forth under his branches signify the affections for scientifics rationally perceived.

[28] The great nations which dwelt in his shade signify the goods of the affections in the natural man; by fair in his greatness is signified intelligence; but by the bird of the heavens, and the wild beast of the field, which shall dwell upon his ruins, in his branches, are signified the falsities of the thoughts, and the evils of the desires, which he had because he was lifted up in stature, that is because he was proud from the love of his own intelligence. That thoughts of truth and the affections thereof are signified by the birds of the heavens and the wild beasts of the field, is evident, for it is also said that great nations dwelt in his shade.

[29] So in Daniel:

"Behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great; it reached even to heaven, and the sight thereof unto the end of the earth; the leaf thereof was fair, and the flower thereof much, and in it was food for all; the beast of the field had shadow under it, and the birds of heaven dwelt in its branches; and all flesh was nourished from it. A watcher and holy one came down from heaven, crying aloud, Hew down the tree and cut off its branches; shake off the leaf; scatter the flower; let the beast flee away from under it, and the birds from its branches, but leave the stump of the roots in the earth, and in a band of iron and brass, in the herb of the field; and with the dew of the heavens let it be wet, and let its portion be with the beast in the grass of the earth; they shall change his heart from man's, and the heart of a beast shall be given to him" (iv. 10-16).

This was the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babel, and by it is described the establishment of the celestial church, and its increase even to its culmination, and afterwards its destruction on account of its domination even over the holy things of the church, and because it arrogated to itself a right over heaven.

(References: Daniel 4:10-16)


[30] The tree in the midst of the earth signifies that church; the height thereof signifies the extension of perception and thence of wisdom; and its sight unto the end of the earth signifies its extension, even to the ultimates of the church. By the leaf thereof was fair, and the flower thereof much, are signified knowledges of and affections for truth and good, and intelligence thence; by food in it for all is signified celestial nourishment, which is from good, and thence from truths; by the beast of the field which had shadow under it, and the birds of the heavens which dwelt in its branches, are signified affections for good, and thence the thoughts and perceptions of truth; and because these are spiritual food, it is said that all flesh was nourished from it.

[31] But because of domination from the love of self over the holy things of heaven and of the church, over which the Babylonians at length arrogated to themselves a right, the destruction thereof is afterwards described by these words, "A watcher and holy one came down from heaven, crying aloud, Hew down the tree, and cut off its branches; shake off the leaf; scatter the flower; let the beast flee away from under it and the birds from its branches." For with them the love of self, and haughtiness of mind, increase even until they claim a right over the holy things of the church, and indeed over heaven; and, when this takes place, then every thing pertaining to the church perishes, as well as all perception and cognition of truth and good; for the internal of the mind, where the Spiritual resides, is closed, and the external, where the Natural is, has the dominion, and thus man becomes sensual, until he differs but little from beasts.

[32] The stump of the roots which they should leave in the earth signifies the Word understood as to the letter only, which is only knowledge residing in the memory going forth thence into the speech. The bands of iron and brass signify that the interior truths and goods are closed up and kept bound in ultimates, iron denoting truth in ultimates, and brass good in ultimates, and these, when separated from interior things, are falsities and evils. And since the man of the church is then almost like a beast in understanding and will, for evils of the affections and falsities of the thoughts are dominant, it is said that his portion shall be with the beast in the grass of the earth, and that his heart shall be changed from man's, and the heart of a beast shall be given to him. That this change and inversion took place because he claimed to himself a right over the holy things of the church, and at length over heaven, is clear from verses 30-32 of the chapter, where the following words occur,

"The king said, Is not this great Babel, which I have built for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power and for the glory of mine honour? While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from the heavens, saying, The kingdom shall pass away from thee, and they shall drive thee from man, and thy dwelling shall be with the beast of the field, they shall make thee to eat the herb as oxen, until thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of man, and giveth it to whomsoever He will."

(References: Daniel 4:30-32)


[33] That Nebuchadnezzar, as king of Babel, in the beginning signifies the celestial church, and its advancement even to the summit of wisdom, is evident also in Daniel, where the statue seen by him in a dream is treated of. It is said there,

"The God of the heavens hath given into thine hand the sons of man, the beast of the field, and the bird of the heavens, and hath made thee ruler over all; thou art the head" of the statue "which is of gold" (ii. 37, 38).

The head of the statue, which was of gold, signifies the celestial church, which is the chief of all. That church is signified by the king of Babel at first, because the church, which afterwards became Babel or Babylonia, commenced from the worship of the Lord, and from love towards Him, and then zeal to extend and perfect the church by means of the holy goods and truths of heaven prevailed, but this was from a cause as yet hidden, that is, the love of ruling, which, however, only broke out by degrees; but more will be said upon this subject when Babylonia is treated of.

(References: Daniel 2:37-38)


[34] In Hosea:

"I will make for them a covenant in that day with the wild beast of the field, and with the bird of the heavens, and with the creeping thing of the earth; and the bow, and the sword, and the war, will I break from the earth, and will make them to lie down securely; and I will betroth thee to me for ever" (ii. 18, 19).

These things are said concerning the establishment of a new church by the Lord, which is the subject there treated of. That Jehovah, that is, the Lord, will not then make a covenant with the wild beast of the field, the bird of the heavens, and the creeping thing of the earth, but with men in whom the church will be established, is evident. Those things therefore signify such things as are in man, namely, by the wild beast of the field is signified the affection for the knowledges of truth, by the bird of the heavens, rational thought from what is spiritual, by the creeping thing of the earth, the scientific of the natural man, specifically the scientific of the Sensual. That then he will break the bow and the sword from the earth signifies that he will destroy the falsities that fight against the truths of doctrine; and that there shall be no longer any contention (discidium) between truths and falsities, and between goods and evils, is signified by, "I will betroth thee to me for ever."

(References: Hosea 2:18-19)


[35] In Isaiah:

"The wild beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the daughters of the owl; because I will give waters in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, mine elect" (xliii. 20).

That the wild beast of the field, dragons, and daughters of the owl, are not here meant is evident, for these cannot honour Jehovah. That the men of the church are meant is clear from what follows, for it is said, "to give drink to my people, mine elect"; wherefore, by the wild beast of the field are signified the affections for the knowledges of truth, by dragons, natural ideas, and by the daughters of the owl, sensual affections; for the Sensual is affected with truths, and sees them in darkness, as the owl see objects at night.

(References: Isaiah 43:20)


[36] And because these things are signified, it is evident that the nations are meant by them, with whom a new church was to be established, for before reformation they were in such obscure affection and natural thought. Giving waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, signifies to impart truths, and thence intelligence, to those who were previously in ignorance, waters denoting truths, rivers, intelligence, and wilderness and desert denoting ignorance; to give drink to the people of Jehovah, and to His elect, signifies to instruct those who are in the truths of faith and in the good of charity; people is said of those who are in the truths of faith, and elect of those who are in the good of charity.

[37] So in Joel:

"Is not the food cut off before our eyes from the house of our God, the gladness and the joy? The beast groaneth, the herds of oxen are perplexed, because there is no pasture for them; also the flocks of sheep are desolate; the beast of the field crieth unto thee, because the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the dwellings of the wilderness" (i. 16, 18, 20).

These things are said concerning the state of the church, when there are no longer any truths of doctrine and good of life therein. By the food which is cut off from the house of God is signified spiritual nourishment, which is from truths that are from good, the house of God signifying the church. The beast groaneth, the herds of oxen are perplexed, signifies a defect of affections for truth, and thence for knowledges in the natural man, and grief on that account, herds of oxen signifying those things that pertain to the natural man in their whole extent; there being no pasture signifies no instruction.

(References: Joel 1:16, 1:18, 1:20)


[38] The flocks of sheep are desolate signifies a defect of the spiritual truth and good which are of faith and charity; the beast of the field crieth unto thee signifies the grief of those who are in natural affection, and thence in the desire for the knowledges of truth and good. The rivers of waters are dried up signifies the truths of doctrine dissipated by natural love. The fire hath devoured the dwellings of the wilderness signifies this love, and thence the destruction of the knowledges of truth; the dwellings of the wilderness denote those things that pertain to the understanding and will of such a man, which otherwise would receive the truths and goods of the church.

[39] In the same:

"Fear [not], O earth, rejoice and be glad, for Jehovah hath done great things; be not afraid, ye beasts of my fields, for the dwelling-places of the wilderness are full of grass, for the tree shall bear its fruit, the fig tree and the vine shall yield their strength; sons of Zion, rejoice and be glad in Jehovah" (ii. 21-23).

These things are said concerning the establishment of the church by the Lord; and by the earth which shall [not] fear, [but] rejoice, and be glad, is signified the church and its delight; its establishment by the Lord is signified by Jehovah's doing great things; hence by the beasts of His fields are meant those who are in the affections for good and who desire instruction from the Word, beasts denoting those who are in the affections for the good of the natural man, and fields doctrinals from the Word.

(References: Joel 2:21-23)


[40] By the dwelling-places of the wilderness being full of grass is signified that the knowledges of truth and good shall be with those who did not possess them before; the tree shall yield its fruit signifies the bringing forth of the good of life by means of those knowledges; for a tree signifies the man of the church, specifically a mind imbued with knowledges, and fruit the good of life. The fig tree and the vine shall yield their strength signifies the bringing forth of the effect from natural good and at the same time from spiritual. Because the beasts of the fields, the tree, the fig tree, and the vine, signify such things as are with the man of the church, therefore it is said, "Sons of Zion, rejoice and be glad in Jehovah"; the sons of Zion mean those who are of the celestial church, and to rejoice is said of the delight of good; and to be glad of the pleasantness of truth.

[41] In Ezekiel:

"In that day Gog shall come upon the land of Israel; and then there shall be a great earthquake upon the land of Israel; and before me shall tremble the fishes of the sea, and the bird of the heavens, and the wild beast of the field, and every creeping thing creeping upon the earth, and every man upon the faces of the earth" (xxxviii. 18-20).

Gog signifies external sanctity without internal sanctity, thus those who are in such external sanctity; the earthquake signifies a change of the state of the church. By the fishes of the sea trembling, and the bird of the heavens, the wild beast of the field, the creeping thing of the earth, and every man, is signified that all those things belonging to man, which pertain to the church with him, shall be changed; the fishes of the sea denote scientifics, the birds of the heavens thoughts thence, the wild beasts of the field the affections thence, the creeping thing of the earth the thoughts and affections in the corporeal Sensual, and man denotes all of them collectively from first to last. What purpose would be served by saying that those things shall tremble before Jehovah?

(References: Ezekiel 38:18-20)


[42] In Zechariah:

"There shall be in that day a great tumult, Judah shall fight against Jerusalem, and so there shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of every beast which shall be in their camps; afterwards every one that is left shall go up to Jerusalem" (xiv. 13-15).

This is a description of the last state of an old church, and the beginning of a new. The last state of the old church is described by the great tumult, when Judah shall fight against Jerusalem, by which is meant the change which then takes place, and the fighting of the love of evil against the truths of the doctrine of the church. By the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, of the ass, and of every beast, are signified such things as hurt and destroy the church, and the spiritual life of the men of the church; and by the horses, the mules, the camels, and the asses, are signified those things which pertain to their understanding and will, consequently which pertain to their knowledges and affections. But what is signified in detail by a horse, a mule, a camel, and an ass, has been stated elsewhere; it is here merely shown that beast signifies the affection of the natural man, and the plague of beast the injury and destruction of that affection.

(References: Zechariah 14:13-16, 14:13-15)


[43] In Jeremiah:

"How long shall the earth (terra) mourn, and the herb of every field wither? On account of the wickedness of them that dwell therein the beasts and the bird are consumed" (xii. 4).

By the earth is meant the church; by the herb of the field is signified the new-born and growing truth of the church; by mourning and withering is signified to perish and be dissipated by lusts (cupiditates); by the beasts and birds which are consumed are signified the affections for good and thence the thoughts of truth; it follows that these will perish on account of the evils in the church, therefore it is also said, On account of the wickedness of them that dwell in the earth.

(References: Jeremiah 12:4)


[44] In Isaiah:

"They shall be left together the bird of the mountains and the beast of the earth; but the bird shall loathe it, and every beast of the earth shall despise it" (xviii. 6).

These things are said of the land shadowed with wings, which means the church, which, from the obscurity in which it is, lays hold of imaginary things as spiritual truths, and therefore comes into the denial of these from ignorance. By bird and beast are also there signified thoughts of truth and affections for good, as well rational as natural, which are said to loathe and despise it; that birds and every beast will not loathe and despise is evident, but affections for good and thoughts of truth, that is, those that are in these.

(References: Isaiah 18:6)


[45] In Hosea:

"They rob, bloods touch bloods, and every one that dwelleth therein shall pine away, with the wild beast of the field and the bird of the heavens, and even the fishes of the sea shall be gathered up" (iv. 2, 3).

Here also by the wild beast of the field, and the bird of the heavens, and the fishes of the sea, similar things to those above are signified.

(References: Hosea 4:2-3)


[46] In Ezekiel:

"Thou son of man, say to every bird of every wing, and to every wild beast of the field, Assemble and come, gather yourselves from round about to my sacrifice which I sacrifice for you, a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh and drink blood; ye shall eat the flesh of the strong, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth; rams, lambs, and kids, and heifers, all fatlings of Bashan; ye shall eat fat to satisfaction, and ye shall drink blood even to drunkenness, of my sacrifice which I sacrifice for you; and ye shall be satisfied at my table with horse, and chariot, with the strong, and every man of war; so will I give my glory among the nations" (xxxix. 17-21).

These things are said concerning the calling of the nations to the church, and concerning the reception by them of the truth of doctrine in the good of love, which is the good of life, and hence concerning their intelligence in spiritual things. Therefore by the bird of every wing, and by every wild beast of the field which shall be gathered together from around to the great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, are meant all in whatever state they may be as to the perception of truth and as to the affection for good. By the bird of every wing are meant all those who are in any kind of perception of truth, and by every wild beast of the field, all those who are in any kind of affection for good.

(References: Ezekiel 39:17-22, 39:17-21)


[47] By gathering together from round about signifies those from every side who are without the church; by the great sacrifice is signified the worship of the Lord from faith and love, for the sacrifices in general represented this; and by the mountains of Israel are signified the goods of spiritual love. By eating flesh and drinking blood is signified to appropriate to themselves the good of love, and the truth of that good; by eating the flesh of the strong and drinking the blood of the princes of the earth is signified that appropriation, the strong (or oxen) denoting the affections of the natural man, and the princes of the earth denoting the principal truths of the church.

Rams, lambs, kids, heifers, fatlings of Bashan, signify all things that pertain to innocence, love, charity, and good, fatlings of Bashan denoting the goods of the natural man from a spiritual origin.

[48] It is therefore evident that by eating flesh to satisfaction, and drinking blood to drunkenness, is signified that they shall be filled with every good of love and truth of faith. By being satisfied at the table of the Lord with horse, and with chariot, with the strong, and every man of war, is signified to be instructed to the full from the Word; by the horse is signified the understanding of truth, by chariot the doctrine of truth, by the strong and the man of war the truth of good fighting against the falsity of evil, and destroying it. Because these things are said concerning the calling together of the nations to the church of the Lord, it is therefore said, "So will I give my glory among the nations," glory signifying Divine Truth in light.

[49] That these things are signified by the bird of every wing and by the beast of the field, is evident from the passages hitherto explained, and also from this one in Isaiah:

"The saying of the Lord Jehovih, who gathereth the outcasts of Israel; yet will I gather these to his gathered ones; every wild beast of my fields, come ye to eat, every wild beast in the forest" (lvi. 8, 9).

The outcasts of Israel, whom the Lord will gather, signify all those in the church who are in truths from good and separated from those therein who are in falsities from evil. These are also meant by the wild beasts of the fields of the Lord Jehovih, for fields signify the church as to the implantation of the truth of doctrine; but the nations who are without the church are signified by the wild beast in the forest, the forest signifies the natural and sensual man, and the wild beast his knowledge (scientia), and thence obscure intelligence. That the wild beast of the field and the wild beast in the forest signify such things is evident, for it is said, "Come ye every wild beast of my fields, and every wild beast in the forest, to eat"; to eat signifies instruction and appropriation.

(References: Isaiah 56:8-9)


[50] Since most things in the Word have an opposite sense also, so likewise have "beast" and "wild beast," in which sense beasts signify evil affections, which are the desires of adulterating and destroying the goods of the church, and wild beasts signify the desires of falsifying, and so of destroying the truths of the church; in this sense beasts and wild beasts are named in the following places.

[51] In Ezekiel:

"I will raise up over them one shepherd, who shall feed them, my servant David, he shall be to them for a shepherd. Then I will make with them a covenant of peace, and I will cause the evil wild beast to cease out of the land, in order that they may dwell confidently in the wilderness, and sleep in the forests. They shall be no more a prey to the nations, and the wild beast of the earth shall not devour them, but they shall dwell confidently, none making them afraid" (xxxiv. 23, 25, 28).

These things are said concerning the coming of the Lord, and concerning the blessed state of heaven, and of those of the church who shall come into the new heaven. By the servant David, the shepherd whom Jehovah will raise up, is meant the Lord, who is called servant from serving and ministering, that is, from performing uses, as may be seen above (n. 409:6). By making with them a covenant of peace is signified conjunction with the Lord by means of Divine things proceeding from Him, which are the goods of love and the truths of doctrine from the Word, thus by means of the Word. By causing the evil wild beast to cease out of the land is signified that evil desires and lusts (concupiscentiae) shall no more assail and destroy them.

(References: Ezekiel 34:23, 34:25, 34:28; The Apocalypse Explained 409)


[52] By dwelling confidently in the wilderness, and sleeping in the forests, is signified that they shall be safe from the infestation of those things, although they are in them and among them, the wilderness and the forest denoting where such things and such persons are. The meaning here is similar to that in Isaiah xi. 7-9. Since the desires for evil and falsity destroy the man of the church, therefore it is said, they shall no more be a prey to the nations, and the evil wild beast shall not devour them; for by the nations are signified desires for evil, and by the wild beasts of the earth desires for falsity.

(References: Isaiah 11:7-9)


[53] In Jeremiah:

"Mine heritage is become as a lion in the forest, she uttered her voice against me, therefore I have hated her; the bird Zabuah is mine heritage, around it the bird; gather together every wild beast of the field, come ye to devour, many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard" (xii. 8-10).

These things are said concerning the vastation of the church by the falsities of evil. By heritage is signified the church; by the lion out of the forest which uttered his voice against God is signified the falsity of evil in its whole extent. The bird Zabuah signifies reasonings from falsities; the wild beast of the field which shall be gathered together to eat signifies the desires which seek to destroy the truths of the church by falsities; and because the church which is so destroyed is meant, therefore it is said, "Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard," a vineyard denoting the spiritual church, or the church as to the affection for truth; and because the vineyard signifies the church, it follows that the wild beast of the field signifies the desire of falsifying and so of destroying the truths of the church.

(References: Jeremiah 12:8-10)


[54] In Isaiah:

"No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous wild beast go up thereon, it shall not be found there" (xxxv. 9).

Here the coming of the Lord, and His kingdom in the heavens and on the earth are treated of; and the lion and ravenous wild beast signify things similar to those above. That a wild beast is not here meant by wild beast, every one can see.

(References: Isaiah 35:9)


[55] In Hosea:

"I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved, and I will rend the caul of their heart, and I will consume them as a fierce lion; the wild beast of the field shall tear them" (xiii. 8);

here also by the lion and the wild beast of the field things similar to those above are signified.

(References: Hosea 13:8)


[56] In Zephaniah:

Jehovah "will stretch out his hand over the north, and will destroy Asshur, and will make Nineveh a waste, a dry place, like a wilderness; and the flocks shall rest in the midst thereof, every wild beast of the nation; the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge nightly in the pomegranates thereof; a voice shall sing in the window; a drought in the threshold, because the cedar thereof shall be stripped bare. Such is the rejoicing city that dwelleth securely, saying in her heart, I and none beside me; how is she become a waste, a place for the wild beasts to lie down in, every one that passeth over her hisseth, and moveth his hand" (ii. 13, 14, [15]).

Thus is described the vastation of the church by falsities of doctrine that are from [man's] own intelligence. By the north over which Jehovah will stretch out His hand is signified the church which is in falsities; by Asshur which Jehovah will destroy are signified reasonings from falsities; by Nineveh which He shall make a waste, a dry place like a wilderness, are signified falsities of doctrine. The flocks, the wild beast of the nation, the cormorant, and the bittern, signify affections for falsity, and falsities themselves interior and exterior.

(References: Zephaniah 2:13-15)


[57] The pomegranates in which they shall rest signify falsified knowledges of truth from the Word. The voice in the window signifies the preaching of falsity, a drought in the threshold signifies the total desolation of truth; the cedar which is stripped bare signifies the Rational destroyed. The rejoicing city that dwelleth securely signifies the doctrine of falsity, with which they are delighted, and in which they rest; saying in her heart, I and none beside me, signifies the pride of [man's] own intelligence. By a place for the wild beast to lie down in is signified the state of the church vastated as to truths; by every one that passeth over it shall hiss and move his hand is signified the contempt and rejection thereof by those who are in the truths and goods of doctrine.

[58] In Moses:

"I will give peace in the land, so that ye shall lie down securely, and none shall make you afraid, and I will cause the evil wild beast to cease out of the land, and the sword shall not pass through your land" (Lev. xxvi. 6).

By peace in the land so that they shall lie down securely and none make them afraid is signified protection from trust in the Lord against the invasion of falsity into the church. To cause the evil wild beast to cease out of the land signifies to be free from the affection and desire for falsity; and by the sword which shall not pass through the land is signified that falsity shall no longer destroy the truth.

(References: Leviticus 26:6)


[59] Again:

"I will send the hornet before thee, and it shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, the Hittite before thee; I will not drive him out from before thee in one year, lest perchance the land become a desert, and the wild beast of the field multiply upon thee; by little and little will I drive him out from before thee, until thou be fruitful, and inherit the land" (Exod. xxiii. 28-30).

I will send the hornet before thee signifies the dread of those who are in falsities from evil; and it shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, signifies the flight of the falsities that are from evils. I will not drive him out from before thee in one year signifies that they shall [not] be put to flight or removed hastily; lest perchance the land be desolate signifies deficiency in such case and little of spiritual life; and the wild beast of the field be multiplied upon thee signifies the flowing-in of falsities from the delights of the loves of self and of the world. Little and little I will drive him out from before thee signifies removal by degrees, according to order; until thou become fruitful signifies according to the increase of good; and inherit the land signifies when a man is in good and regenerated. But these things may be seen further explained in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 9331-9338).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 9331-9338; Exodus 23:28-30)


[60] Similar things are signified by these words in Moses:

"Jehovah God will drive the nations before thee by little and little, thou mayest not [destroy] them at once, lest the wild beast of the field be multiplied against thee" (Deut. vii. 22).

The nations driven out and to be driven out of the land of Canaan by the sons of Israel signify evils and falsities of every kind; the land of Canaan signifies the church, and the sons of Israel, the men of the church; therefore by the wild beast of the field, which would be multiplied against them, are signified the desires for falsity from evil. For the man who is reformed and regenerated, is reformed and regenerated by little and little until the church is established in him; he is conceived anew, born and educated, and this takes place in the measure that the evils and the falsities thence which are in him by heredity and from birth are removed, which is not effected in a moment, but throughout the important journey of life. It is evident from these things what is signified in the spiritual sense by the nations not being driven out in one year, but by little and little, "lest the wild beast of the field be multiplied against thee." For if evils and falsities thence were removed all at once, man would then have scarcely any life, because his life, into which he is born, is a life of evil, and of falsity thence from lusts, which so far as goods and truths enter are removed, for the former are removed by means of the latter.

(References: Deuteronomy 7:22)


[61] Since wild beasts, in the [opposite] spiritual sense, signify desires for falsity from evil, and birds thoughts and reasonings from these, and since the man of the church spiritually perishes through these, therefore everywhere in the Word, where the vastation of the church is treated of, it is said that they shall be given to the wild beasts and the birds to be eaten, as in the following places.

In David:

"The boar in the wood treadeth under foot" the vine, "and the wild, beast of the fields feeds upon it" (Psalm lxxx. 13).

In Hosea:

"I will lay waste her vine and her fig tree, and I will make them a forest, and the wild beast of the field shall devour them" (ii. 12).

In Ezekiel:

"I will send upon you famine, and the evil wild beast, and they shall bereave thee" (v. 17).

These things are said of Jerusalem, by which is meant the church.

In the same:

"I will give him to the wild beast to be devoured" (xxxiii. 27).

Again:

"The sheep are scattered without a shepherd, and are for food to every wild beast of the field" (xxxiv. 5, 8).

Again:

"To the wild beast of the earth, and to the bird of the heavens, have I given thee for food" (xxix. 5).

Again:

"I will cast thee forth upon the faces of the field, and I will cause every bird of the heavens to dwell upon thee, and I will satisfy the wild beast of all the earth with thee" (xxxii. 4).

In Jeremiah:

"Their carcase shall be for food to the bird of the heavens, and to the beast of the earth" (xvi. 4; xix. 7; xxxiv. 20).

In Ezekiel:

"To the swift bird of every wing, and to the wild beast of the field, have I given thee for food" (xxxix. 4).

In David:

"They have given the dead body of thy servants to the bird of the heavens, the flesh of thy saints to the wild beast of the earth" (Psalm lxxix. 2).

In Jeremiah:

"I will visit upon them in four kinds; with the sword to kill, and with dogs to drag about, and with the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the earth to devour and to destroy" (xv. 3).

(References: Ezekiel 5:17, Ezekiel 29:5, Ezekiel 32:4, 33:27, Ezekiel 34:5, 34:8, Ezekiel 39:4; Hosea 2:12; Jeremiah 15:3, Jeremiah 16:4, 19:7, Jeremiah 34:20; Psalms 79:2, 80:13)


[62] In these passages wild beasts and birds signify falsities arising from the desire for evil, and from reasonings; and because the nations in the land of Canaan signified the evils and falsities of religion and of worship, therefore the sons of Jacob used not to bury the dead bodies of the peoples whom they slew in war, but left them to be devoured by the birds and wild beasts. This was not from the Divine command, but from the inborn cruelty of that people, thus it was from permission, in order that such things might be represented.

(References: Jeremiah 15:3)


[63] In David:

"The enemy hath reproached Jehovah, and the foolish people hath despised thy name; give not the soul of thy turtle dove to the beast; forget not the life of thy poor for ever" (Psalm lxxiv. 18, 19).

By the enemy who reproached Jehovah is signified hell and thence evil; by the foolish people who despised His name are signified falsities, which are opposed to the truths of doctrine, people denoting those who are in truths, and, in the opposite sense, those who are in falsities, these being the foolish people, and the name of Jehovah signifying every truth of doctrine and of the church. Give not the soul of thy turtle dove to the beast signifies not to give spiritual good to those who are in desires for evil; the life of the poor signifies spiritual life oppressed by evils and falsities.

(References: Psalms 74:18-19)


[64] So in Habakkuk:

"The violence of Lebanon hath covered thee, and the spoil of the beasts will dismay them, by reason of the bloods of men, and the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein" (ii. 17).

The violence of Lebanon signifies opposition to the truths perceived by the rational man from the Word, for Lebanon signifies the church as to the perception of truth from the rational man; by the spoil of the beasts which will dismay them is signified the destruction of truths by desires for evil. By bloods is signified the violence done to the truths of the Word by evils; and by the violence of the earth, of the city, and of all that dwell therein, is signified opposition to the truths and goods of the church and to its doctrine from the Word by falsities.

(References: Habakkuk 2:17)


[65] In Moses:

"I will send into them the tooth of beasts, with the poison of the creeping things of the earth" (Deut. xxxii. 24).

The tooth of beasts signifies the Sensual as to the desires for evil, for tooth corresponds to the ultimate of the life of man, which is the Sensual. The poison of the creeping things of the earth signifies the falsities thence, which cunningly pervert truths by means of the fallacies of the sensual man.

(References: Deuteronomy 32:24)


[66] In Ezekiel:

"When I entered and saw, behold every effigy of creeping thing and beast, an abomination, and all the idols of the house of Israel, depicted upon the wall round about" (viii. 10).

These and many other things shown to the prophet signify the dreadful desires and falsities in which the Israelites were, because they were altogether in externals and not at all in internals; and those who were such turned all representatives into idolatries; hence their idolatries and also those of many other nations. And then beasts and creeping things whose images they made for themselves because they signified affections for good and for prudence, became representatives of the desires for evil and falsity. For so does it come to pass when the natural man separated from the spiritual looks upon holy things; therefore they are called the idols of the house of Israel. The wall round about upon which they were seen depicted signifies the interiors everywhere in the natural man, for by the roof is signified the inmost, by the floor or pavement the ultimate, by the walls the interiors, and by the house the man himself, as to the things pertaining to his mind. The natural man is interior and exterior. And the interior-Natural is where the filthy things of man reside; the exterior does not make them known, but makes a pretence of what is good, just, and sincere.

(References: Ezekiel 8:10)


[67] As wild beasts and beasts signified the goods of the understanding and the goods of the will, which belong to the affections and as the ancients who knew correspondences made representative and significative figures of these which were not worshipped at first, but which their posterity, who from internal became merely external, worshipped as in themselves divine things, therefore wild beasts and beasts were made idols, as is plain in Isaiah:

"Bel bowed down, Nebo stooped, their idols are to the wild beast and to the beast" (xlvi. 1).

In the prophecy of Isaiah we read of "the beasts of the south" (xxx. 6, and following verses), by which are signified adulterations of good and falsifications of truth, whence arise evils and falsities of every kind with those of the church who are only in externals; they are called the beasts of the south because they are with those who have the Word, from which they can be in the light of truth, which is the south.

(References: Isaiah 30:6, Isaiah 46:1)


[68] In Daniel:

"I saw in vision, when it was night, four beasts coming up out of the sea; the first was like a lion, but had the wings of an eagle; the second was like a bear; the third like a leopard, which had four wings; and the fourth was terrible and formidable" (vii. 2-7).

By the beast out of the sea is there signified the love of dominion, which the holy things of the Word and the church are made to serve as means; and the four beasts signify its successive increase, wherefore the last beast is called formidable and terrible. But these things may be seen in part explained above (n. 316:15, 556:5).

(References: Daniel 7:2-7; The Apocalypse Explained 316, The Apocalypse Explained 556)


[69] Almost similar things are signified in the Apocalypse by "the beast coming up out of the sea" (xiii. 1-10); by "the beast coming up out of the earth" (xiii. 11-18); by "the scarlet beast" (xvii. 3); by "the beast of the abyss" (xvii. 8). A further account is given of these beasts in chaps. xix. 19, 20, and xx. 10. But what desires for evil and falsity are signified by each beast in particular, will be seen below, where those beasts are treated of.

(References: Revelation 13:1-10, 13:11-18, 17:8, 17:3, 19:19-20, 20:10)


[70] From these considerations it may now be evident what is meant by these words in Mark:

"The Spirit urging" Jesus "caused him to go into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, and he was with the beasts, and angels ministered unto him" (i. 12, 13).

By the Lord's being in the wilderness forty days was represented the duration of all temptations, and those of the cruellest kind, which He above all in the whole world underwent and sustained. For forty days signify the entire period and duration of temptations, that is to say, He was not tempted then only, but from childhood even to the last of His life in the world, His last temptation being that in Gethsemane; for by temptations the Lord subjugated all the hells, and also glorified His Human. But concerning the Lord's temptations see the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem (n. 302). And because temptations arise through evil spirits and genii who are from hell, thus through the hells, whence evils and falsities and their desires and lusts arise, therefore the beasts in this place, with which the Lord was, do not mean beasts, but the hells and the evils arising therefrom; and by the angels who ministered unto Him are not meant angels, but Divine truths, by means of which, from His own power, He conquered and subjugated the hells. That angels in the Word signify Divine truths may be seen above (n. 130, 200, 302, 593).

(References: Ezekiel 39:17-22; Mark 1:12-13; Numbers 18:15; Revelation 11:7; The Apocalypse Explained 130, 200, 302, The Apocalypse Explained 593; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 302; Zechariah 14:13-16)

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