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Arcana Coelestia #841

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841. 'Noah', as previously, means the member of the Ancient Church, and 'every wild animal and every beast that was with him in the ark' means all things that resided with him. This becomes clear from what has been stated already concerning Noah and concerning the meaning of 'wild animal' and 'beast'. In the Word 'wild animal' takes on a two-fold sense; it stands for things with a person that are alive and for things that are dead. The reason why it stands for those that are alive is that this expression in Hebrew means a living thing. But because the most ancient people in their humility acknowledged that they themselves were but wild animals, things with a person that are dead were therefore meant as well by the same expression. Here 'wild animal' means both what is alive and what is dead in their entirety, as is usually the case with someone after temptation. Things that are alive and those that are dead - that is, those that are the Lord's and those that are the person's own - seem so intermingled that at that time the person scarcely knows what truth and good are. At that time however the Lord is re-arranging and restoring all things to order, as becomes clear from what follows. For the fact that 'wild animal' means things that are alive with man, see the previous chapter, 7:14, and also verses 17, 19 of the present chapter. And from what has been shown several times already about wild animals and beasts, for example in 45, 46, 142, 143, 246, it is clear that it also means the things with a person that are dead.

  
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Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.

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Arcana Coelestia #46

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46. That 'beasts' means affections residing with man - evil affections in evil men and good affections in good men - becomes clear from many examples in the Word, as in Ezekiel,

Behold, I am for you, and I will turn to you, so that you will be tilled and sown; and I will multiply upon you man and beast, and they will be multiplied and be fruitful, and I will resettle you 1 to be as in your ancient times. Ezekiel 36:9-11.

This refers to regeneration. In Joel,

Fear not, you beasts of My field, for the dwelling-places of the wilderness have been made green. Joel 2:22.

In David,

I was stupid, a beast 2 was I with God. Psalms 73:12.

In Jeremiah,

Behold, the days are coming when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast, and I will watch over them to build and to plant. Jeremiah 31:27-28.

This refers to regeneration.

[2] 'Wild animals' (fera) has a similar meaning, as in Hosea,

I will make for them a covenant on that day, with the wild animals of the field, and with the birds of the air, 3 and with the creeping things of the earth. Hosea 2:18.

In Job,

You will not fear the wild animals of the earth, for your covenant will be with the stones of the field, and the wild beasts of the field will be at peace with you. Job 5:22-23.

In Ezekiel,

I will make with them 4 a covenant of peace, and I will banish the evil wild animal from the land, so that they may dwell securely in the wilderness. Ezekiel 34:25.

In Isaiah,

The wild animals of the field will honour me, for I have given water in the desert. Isaiah 43:20.

In Ezekiel,

In its branches all the birds of the air 3 made their nests and under its branches every wild animal of the field gave birth, and in its shadow dwelt all great nations. Ezekiel 31:6.

This refers to Assyria, which means the spiritual man and is compared to the Garden of Eden. In David,

Praise Jehovah, all his angels, praise Him from the earth, sea monsters, fruit trees, wild animals, and all beasts, creeping things, and flying birds! Psalms 148:2-4, 7, 9-10.

Here the list is precisely the same - sea monsters, fruit trees, wild animals, beasts, creeping things, and birds. Unless they all mean things that are alive in human beings, they cannot possibly be referred to as praising Jehovah.

[3] A careful distinction is made in the Prophets between beasts and wild animals of the earth, and between beasts and wild animals of the field. The practice of calling goods 'beasts' extends to calling people in heaven who are nearest to the Lord 'living creatures', both in Ezekiel and in John,

All the angels stood around the throne, and the elders, and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God. 5 Revelation 7:11; 19:4.

The expression 'creatures' is also used of people who are to have the gospel preached to them because they are to be created anew, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15.

Footnotes:

1. literally, I will cause you to inhabit

2. literally, beasts

3. literally, bird of the heavens (or the skies)

4. The Latin means with you; but the Hebrew means with them which Swedenborg has in other places where he quotes this verse.

5. The Latin means the Lamb; but the Greek means God which Swedenborg has in other places where he quotes this verse.

  
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Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.