724. Verse 5. And she brought forth a son, a male, signifies the doctrine of truth for the New Church that is called the New Jerusalem. This is evident from the signification of a "son," as meaning truth, and of "a son, a male," as meaning the genuine truth of the church, consequently also its doctrine, for the truth of the church from the Word is its doctrine, since the doctrine contains the truths that are for the church. But the genuine doctrine of the church is the doctrine of good, thus the doctrine of life, which is of love to the Lord and of charity towards the neighbor; but yet it is the doctrine of truth, since doctrine teaches life, love, and charity, and so far as it teaches it is truth; for when a man knows and understands what good is, what life is, what love is, and what charity is, he knows and understands these things as truths, since he knows and understands what good is, how he ought to live, and what love and charity are, and of what quality a man is who is in the life of love and charity; and as long as these are matters of knowledge and understanding they are nothing but truths, and thus doctrines; but as soon as they pass over from knowledge and from the understanding into the will, and thus into act, they are no longer truths but goods; for interiorly man wills nothing but what he loves, and that which he loves is to him good. From this it can be seen that every doctrine of the church is a doctrine of truth, and that the truth of doctrine becomes good and comes to be of love and charity when from doctrine it passes into life.
 This doctrine that is here signified by "the son, a male" is especially the doctrine of love to the Lord and of charity towards the neighbor, thus the doctrine of the good of life, which nevertheless is still the doctrine of truth. That the doctrine of the good of love, and thus of life, is here signified by "the son, a male" can be seen from this, that "the woman" who brought forth the son was seen "arrayed with the sun, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars," and "the sun" signifies love to the Lord, and "the crown of twelve stars," signifies the knowledges of good and truth, and from such a woman and mother nothing else is begotten except what pertains to love and good, thus the doctrine respecting these; this, therefore, is "the son, a male."
 This doctrine 1
is for the New Church that is called the New Jerusalem, because "the woman" treated of in this chapter is the one who is called "the Bride, the Lamb's wife," which was "the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God" (Revelation 21:9-10). This is why she was seen "arrayed with the sun;" "the sun" meaning the Lord in relation to Divine love (see above, n. 401, 525, 527, 708). "The son, a male" signifies the doctrine of the church, for the reason also that in the Word "son" signifies truth, and the doctrine of the church is truth in the whole complex. That in the Word "son" signifies truth can be seen from what has been said before respecting "woman," the "womb," and "bringing forth;" namely, that "woman" signifies the church, the "womb" the inmost of love and the reception of truth from good, and "to bring forth" bringing these forth and making them fruitful. (Respecting "woman" see above, n. 707; the "womb," n. 710; and "to bring forth," n. 721.) From this it follows that "sons and daughters," since they are births, signify the truths and goods of the church, "sons" its truths, and "daughters" its goods; in a word, that all terms pertaining to marriage and thus to procreation on the earth signify such things as pertain to the marriage of good and truth, thus "father," "mother," "sons," "daughters," "sons-in-law," "daughters-in-law," "grandsons," and others, signify goods and truths procreating, and goods and truths procreated, and furthermore goods and truths derived in their order.
The Apocalypse Explained 401, The Apocalypse Explained 525, 527, The Apocalypse Explained 707, 708, 710, The Apocalypse Explained 721)
 But it is to be known that procreating goods and truths are in the spiritual man, and procreated goods and truths are in the natural man, and that those in the spiritual man are like the father and mother, and those that are from these in the natural man are like brothers and sisters; and again that truths and goods that are procreated anew as if from sons married within marriageable limits, and from daughters married within the same, are in the natural man, after these as parents have been raised up into the spiritual man; for all conception and all bearing or gestation in the womb takes place in the spiritual man, while the birth itself takes place in the natural man. Thus the spiritual man is continually enriched by the elevation into it of truths and goods out of the natural man, which as parents will procreate anew; and there all things are associated like the societies of heaven according to the affections of truth and good, and their relationships and affinities. Thence it is evident that these spiritual procreations, like the natural procreations from a father and mother, are multiplied like families and houses on earth, and are made fruitful like trees from seeds, from which are gardens that are called paradises in the spiritual man, but groves and woods in the natural, and shady forests in the sensual.
 But as "sons" are mentioned in many passages in the Word, and it has not yet been known that they signify the truths of the church and of doctrine, out of many I will merely cite the following passages in the way of confirmation. In the Gospels:
Jesus said, He that leaveth houses, brethren, sisters, father, mother, wife, children, fields, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundred-fold, and shall inherit eternal life (Matthew 19:29; Mark 10:29, 30).
Any man that cometh unto Me, and hateth not his own father, mother, wife, children, brethren, and sisters, yea, his own soul, is not My disciple (Luke 14:26).
Who cannot see that father, mother, wife, children, brethren, and sisters, also houses and fields, are not here meant, but such things as belong to man himself, and are called his own [proprium]? For these things a man must leave and hate, if he wishes to worship the Lord and to be His disciple, and to "receive a hundred-fold," and "to inherit eternal life." The things that are a man's own are those that are of his love, and thus of his life into which he was born, consequently they are evils and falsities of every kind; and as these are of his love and life it is said that "he must hate his own soul." These evils and falsities are signified by "father and mother, wife, children, brethren, and sisters;" for all things that are of man's love and life, or that are of affection and thought therefrom, or of the will and the understanding therefrom, are formed and conjoined like generations descending from one father and one mother, and are also distinguished as into families and houses. The love of self and the consequent love of the world are their "father and mother," and the cupidities arising therefrom and their evils and falsities are the "children," which are "brethren and sisters." That this is the meaning can be clearly seen from this, that the Lord does not wish to have anyone hate his father and mother, or wife or children, or brethren or sisters, since this would be contrary to the spiritual love implanted in everyone from heaven, which is the love of parents for children and of children for parents, and contrary to conjugial love, which is the love of the husband for his wife and of the wife for her husband, as also contrary to mutual love, which is the love of brothers and sisters for one another.
Yea, the Lord teaches that enemies must not be hated, but loved. All this shows that the terms that define consanguinities, alliances, and relationships in the Word mean consanguinities, alliances, and relationships in a spiritual sense.
 In the same:
Jesus said to His disciples, The brother shall deliver the brother to death, the father, the son, and children shall rise up against their parents and deliver them to be put to death (Matthew 10:21; Mark 13:12).
The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father, the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother, the mother-in-law against the daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against the mother-in-law (Luke 12:53).
That this is not to be understood according to the letter is clear from what precedes, where Jesus says that He came not to give peace upon the earth but division, and that "there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three," which signifies that falsities and evils will combat against truths and goods, and truths and goods against falsities and evils, which is done when man comes into temptations and is being reformed; this combat is signified by "division" and "rising up against;" that "the father shall be divided against the son and the son against the father" signifies that evil will fight against truth and truth against evil, "father" here meaning the evil that is man's own [proprium], and "son" the truth that man has from the Lord.
That the cupidity of falsity will fight against the affection of truth, and the affection of truth against the cupidity of falsity, is signified by "the mother shall be divided against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother," "mother" here meaning the cupidity of falsity, "daughter" the affection of truth; and so on. That this is the meaning can also be seen from what the Lord says elsewhere, that in Him, "they shall have peace," thus not division (John 14:27; 16:33).
Luke 12:1, 12:52)
 In Luke:
The angel said to Zechariah of John, He shall go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the sons (Luke 1:17).
And in Malachi:
I will send to you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Jehovah comes, that he may turn the heart of the fathers to the sons, and the heart of the sons to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse (Malachi 4:5, 6).
John the Baptist was sent before to prepare the people for the reception of the Lord by baptism, because baptism represented and signified purification from evils and falsities, and also regeneration by the Lord by means of the Word. Unless this representation had preceded, the Lord could not have manifested Himself and have taught and lived in Judea and in Jerusalem, since the Lord was the God of heaven and earth under a human form, and He could not have been present with a nation that was in mere falsities in respect to doctrine and in mere evils in respect to life; consequently unless that nation had been prepared for the reception of the Lord by a representation of purification from falsities and evils by baptism, it would have been destroyed by diseases of every kind by the presence of the Divine Itself; therefore this is what is signified by "lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." That this is so is well known in the spiritual world, for those there who are in falsities and evils are direfully tormented and spiritually die at the presence of the Lord.
 The baptism of John could produce such an effect because the Jewish Church was a representative church, and all their conjunction with heaven was effected by representatives, as can be seen from the washings there commanded; as that all who became unclean must wash themselves and their garments, and in consequence were accounted clean; likewise the priests and Levites must wash themselves before they entered the tent of meeting and afterwards the temple and officiated in holy functions; in like manner Naaman was cleansed from leprosy by washing in Jordan. The washing and baptizing itself did not indeed purify them from falsities and evils, but only represented and thence signified purification from them; nevertheless, this was received in heaven as if they were themselves purified. It was thus that heaven was conjoined to the people of that church by means of the baptism of John; and when heaven was thus conjoined to them, the Lord, who was the God of heaven, could manifest Himself to them there, teach them, and abide among them:
That to John went out Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region round about Jordan, and they were baptized by him in Jordan, confessing their sins (Matthew 3:5, 6);
And that he said to them, O offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come (Luke 3:7).
That the Jews and Israelites were conjoined to heaven by means of representatives may be seen in the New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine (n. 248). This now was the reason why John was sent before to prepare a way for the Lord, and to prepare the people for Him. And from this it may be concluded what "turning the heart of the fathers to the sons and the heart of the sons to the fathers" signifies, namely, that it means inducing a representation of the conjunction of spiritual goods with truths and truths with goods, thus of regeneration by the Lord by means of the Word. For regeneration is the conjunction of goods with truths and of truths with goods, and it is the Lord who regenerates, and the Word that teaches.
 It was said of this John that "he should go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah," and that he was Elijah, because John, like Elijah, represented the Lord in relation to the Word, and thence signified the Word, which is from the Lord; and as Divine wisdom and Divine power are in the Word, these are meant by "the spirit and power of Elijah." (That the Word is such see in the work on Heaven and Hell 303-310; and in the small work on The White Horse.)
 That "sons" signify truths from the Word can be seen also from the following passages. In David:
Lo, sons are a heritage of Jehovah, the fruit of the belly is His reward; as darts in the hand of a mighty one, so are the sons of youth; happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed when they shall speak with the enemies in the gate (Psalms 127:3-5).
"Sons" who are a heritage of Jehovah and "the fruit of the belly" which is a reward mean the truths and goods of the church, "sons" truths, and "the fruit of the belly" goods, for both of these are a reward and an heritage of Jehovah, that is, heaven, which is from truths and goods, that is, from the reception of them; "the sons of youth" who are as darts in the hand of a mighty one, signify the truths of the ancient church, which were natural truths from spiritual truths; this church is meant by "youth;" and as these truths have all power against falsities and evils it is said, "as darts in the hand of a mighty one," "darts" meaning truths destroying falsities.
Doctrine from truths is signified by "quiver," because it is signified by "bow," and because those who are in doctrine from these truths fear nothing from falsities, it is said, "happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed when they shall speak with the enemies in the gate;" "not ashamed" meaning not to be conquered, and "enemies in the gate" the falsities of evil which are from hell.
 In the same:
Deliver me out of the hand of the sons of the alien, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood; for our sons are as plants made great in their youth and our daughters as cornerstones hewn out in the model of a palace (Psalms 144:11, 12).
Evidently "sons of the alien" here mean falsities, for it is said, "whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood," and that "our sons" signify truths is also evident, for it is said that "they are as plants made great in their youth," "plants" also meaning truths, and "youth" here, as above, the ancient church, which had genuine truths. "Our daughters" signify the affections of truth, which are therefore compared to "cornerstones hewn out in the model of a palace," because a "palace" is a representative of the understanding, in which truths are in a beautiful form, and they are in a beautiful form when they are from the affection of truth.
 In Micah:
Make thee bald and poll thee, because of the sons of thy delights, enlarge thy baldness as the eagle, for they have departed from thee (Micah 1:16).
Mourning because the truths of the church are destroyed is described by "making bald," "enlarging baldness," and "polling themselves," for the "hair" signifies truths in ultimates, and those who are without truths in ultimates are also without internal truths; for this reason those in the spiritual world who have no truths from good appear bald. That truths are destroyed is signified by "the sons of thy delights have departed from thee;" they are called "sons of delight" from love of the truths and the consequent delights.
 In Zechariah:
He saw two olive trees at the right hand of the lampstand and at the left, and he said, These are the two sons of the olive standing by the Lord of the whole earth (Zechariah 4:11, 14).
"The two olive trees" signify the two churches, the celestial church and the spiritual church, the former "at the right hand of the lampstand," and the latter "at the left;" "the sons of the olive" signify the truths of these churches, which are doctrinals.
 In the same:
I will bend Judah for me, I will fill Ephraim with the bow, and I will stir up thy sons, O Zion, with thy sons, O Javan; and I will set thee as the sword of a mighty one (Zechariah 9:13).
"The sons of Zion" and "the sons of Javan" signify the truths of the Word internal and external, "the sons of Zion" internal truths, and "the sons of Javan" external truths (what the rest signifies see above, n. 357, 443, where it is explained). Because "sons" signify truths it is said that "they shall be set as the sword of a mighty one;" "the sword of a mighty one" signifying truth powerfully destroying falsity.
The Apocalypse Explained 357, The Apocalypse Explained 443)
 In Isaiah:
I will stir up against them the Medes, whose bows will dash in pieces the young men, and they will have no pity on the fruit of the belly, their eye will not spare the sons (Isaiah 13:17, 18).
Because the "Medes" mean those who make no account of the truths and goods of the church, it is said "their eye will not spare the sons," "sons" meaning the truths of the Word and of the church. (But this may be seen explained above, n. 710
Isaiah 13:17-18; The Apocalypse Explained 710)
 In Jeremiah:
My tent is devastated, and all my cords torn off; my sons have gone out from me, and they are not (Jeremiah 10:20).
The "tent" that is devastated signifies the church in respect to the good of love and worship from it, for all worship in ancient times was celebrated in tents, and afterwards in the Tent of meeting, in remembrance of which the feast of tents or tabernacles was instituted; "all my cords are torn off" signifies that there is no conjunction of truth with good, nor of truths with each other, which have thus fallen apart, and consequently there is no conjunction of heaven with the church; "my sons have gone out from me and they are not" signifies that the truths of the church from the Word have been dispersed, and that man has thus removed himself from the Lord.
 In the same:
Behold, I will bring back the captivity of Jacob's tents, and will have compassion on his habitations, that the city may be built on her own heap, and the palace shall be inhabited after its own manner; and his sons shall be as of old, and his congregation shall be established before Me (Jeremiah 30:18, 20).
"Jacob's tents and habitations" signify all things of the church and of its doctrine, "tents" its goods, and "habitations" its truths; their "captivity" signifies spiritual captivity, which exists when the truths and goods of the Word cannot be perceived because of the falsities which rule. To disperse falsities and to teach truths is signified by "bringing back the captivity;" "that the city may be built on her own heap" signifies doctrine from truths which has become a ruin through falsities, "city" meaning doctrine; "and the palace shall be inhabited after its own manner" signifies the spiritual understanding of truths, as with the ancients, "palace" meaning the understanding of spiritual truths, for in the understanding are spiritual truths in their forms, which, when they are so presented as to be seen, appear like palaces; "his sons shall be as of old, and his congregation shall be established before Me," signifies that the truths of the church shall remain as with the ancients, and that their forms shall remain, as with the ancients, in restored conjunction, "sons" here meaning truths, and "congregation" their conjunction and such arrangement into forms as exists in the understanding of the man of the church, from which he has intelligence; "after its own manner" and "as of old" mean as with the ancients.
 In Lamentations:
Mine eye floweth down with waters, because the counselor who refresheth my soul is far from me; my sons are laid waste, because the adversary hath prevailed (Lamentations 1:16).
Mourning because the church is laid waste is meant by "mine eye floweth down with waters;" its devastation in respect to truths is signified by "my sons are laid waste;" that this was done by the falsities of evil is signified by "the adversary hath prevailed," "adversary" meaning the falsity of evil and the hell from which it springs.
 In Isaiah:
Awake, awake, rise up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk out of the hand of Jehovah the cup of His anger; thou hast sucked out the dregs of the cup of trepidation; there is none to lead her of all the sons whom she hath brought forth, neither is there any that taketh hold of her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up. Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets (Isaiah 51:17, 18, 20).
The restoration of the church, which had fallen into mere falsities of evil, is signified by "Awake, awake, rise up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk out of the hand of Jehovah the cup of His anger; thou hast sucked out the dregs of the cup of trepidation;" "Jerusalem" means the church in respect to doctrine; "awake and rise up" means its restoration; "to drink the cup of anger" means falsity, and "the dregs of the cup" mean mere falsities from which are evils, and to draw these in is signified by "drinking" and "sucking;" "there is none to lead her of all the sons whom she hath brought forth, neither is there any that taketh hold of her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up," signifies that no truths of the Word that she has learned and imbibed will lead her away from falsities; "sons" here meaning truths; "thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets," signifies that truths are dispersed by falsities of every kind; because "sons" mean truths, "fainting" signifies to be dispersed, and "to lie at the head of all the streets" signifies by means of falsities of every kind, for "the streets of a city" signify true doctrinals, here false doctrinals.
Isaiah 2:17-18, 2:20, Isaiah 51:17-18)
 In the same:
Fear not, Jacob, I will bring thy seed from the east, and I will gather thee from the west, I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Hold not back; bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the end of the earth (Isaiah 43:5, 6).
This is not said of Jacob's posterity, but of the Gentiles of whom the church is to be formed. "Jacob and his seed" mean those who will be of that church; that it is to be formed of those who are in falsities from ignorance, and thence in obscurity in respect to truths, is signified by "I will gather thee from the west, and I will say to the north, Give up;" and that these are not to be repulsed, but must be accepted, by those who are in the good of love and in the truths of doctrine in their clearness, is signified by "I will bring thy seed from the east, and I will say to the south, Hold not back;" "the east" signifying the good of love in clearness; "the south" the truth of doctrine in clearness; "the west" the good of love in obscurity, and "the north" the truth of doctrine in obscurity, such as those have who are in falsities from ignorance of truth and yet desire truths. This is the signification of these quarters, because all in the spiritual world dwell in these quarters distinctly according to the light of truth and the affection of good. These things have a like signification in Matthew, where it is said that "the elect are to be gathered together from the four winds, from the ends of the heavens even to the ends of them" (Matthew 24:31). That all who are in falsities from ignorance and yet in a desire for truth are to be brought into that church, is signified by "bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the end of the earth," "sons" signifying those who are in truths, and "daughters" those who are in the affection of truths, and thence also in a sense abstractedly from persons they signify truths and the affections of them; and "afar off" and "the end of the earth" signify removal from the light of truth, because they are in falsities from ignorance from not having the Word or having no understanding of its meaning.
 In the same:
They shall hasten thy sons; 2
they that destroy thee and they that lay thee waste shall go out from thee. Behold I will lift My hand toward the nations, and lift up Mine ensign to the peoples, that they bring thy sons in the bosom, and carry thy daughters upon the shoulder (Isaiah 49:17, 22).
This, too, treats of the establishment of the New Church by the Lord; and "sons" whom they shall hasten and whom they shall bring in the bosom, and "the daughters" whom they shall carry upon the shoulder, mean all who are in truths and in the affection of them, and in a sense abstractedly from persons truths themselves and affections for them with those who will be of the New Church; "they that destroy and they that lay waste" signify the falsities of evil; that these are to be removed is signified by "they shall go out from thee."
 In the same:
The isles shall trust in Me, and the ships of Tarshish in the beginning, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them (Isaiah 60:9).
This also is said of the church of the Gentiles; and the "sons" that will be brought signify those who will receive truths. (The rest may be seen explained above, n. 50, 406, 514) In Hosea:
I will not destroy Ephraim. They shall go after Jehovah; He shall roar like a lion, for he shall roar, and sons from the sea shall draw near with honor; with honor shall they come, as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria, and I will make them to dwell in their houses (Hosea 11:9-11).
"Sons from the sea" signify true knowledges and rational truths; therefore it is said, "they shall come as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria," "Egypt" signifying the natural, and "Assyria" the rational, both in respect to truths. (This, too, is explained above, n. 275, 601, 654.)
The Apocalypse Explained 50, 275, The Apocalypse Explained 406, The Apocalypse Explained 514, The Apocalypse Explained 601, 654)
 In David:
Hear this all ye peoples, perceive with the ear, all ye inhabitants of the age; both the sons of man [homo] and the sons of man [vir], the rich and the needy together; my mouth shall speak wisdoms, and the meditations of my heart shall be intelligences (Psalms 49:1-3).
"The sons of man" [homo] signify spiritual truths from the Lord through the Word, which are doctrinals, and "the sons of man" [vir] signify rational and natural truths that are from the understanding, thus they signify the understanding of the Word; "the rich and the needy" signify those who attain much wisdom from these and those who attain but little.
 In the same:
Jehovah, return, look from the heavens, and see and visit this vine and the shoot which Thy right hand hath planted, and upon the son whom Thou hast made mighty for Thyself; let Thy hand be over the man of Thy right hand, over the son of man whom Thou hast made mighty for Thyself (Psalms 80:14, 15, 17).
David said this of the church and of himself, which is the sense of the letter, for by the "shoot" and the "son" he meant himself; but in the spiritual sense the "vine" and the "shoot" that Jehovah planted signify the spiritual church that is represented by the sons of Israel; the "son" whom He made mighty for Himself signifies the truth of doctrine from the Word; "the man of the right hand" over whom was the hand, and "the son of man" whom He had made mighty for Himself, signify the truth of the Word in the natural sense, which is the sense of the letter, and the truth of the Word in the spiritual sense, which is the internal sense.
 In Ezekiel:
Behold I will profane My sanctuary, the greatness of My strength, 3
the desire of your eyes, and the fondness of your soul; and your sons and your daughters, whom ye have left, shall fall by the sword (Ezekiel 24:21, 25).
This describes the devastation of all truth that those of the church have; the "sanctuary" that He will profane signifies the Word from which is the church, for this is the sanctuary itself, because it is Divine truth; from its power against falsities and evils, which are from hell, it is called "the greatness of Jehovah's strength;" from the consequent intelligence and heavenly life it is called "the desire of your eyes and the fondness of your soul;" that all truths with the affection of them will be destroyed by falsities is signified by "your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword," "sons" meaning truths, "daughters" the affections of truth, and "sword" falsity destroying truth.
 In Moses:
When the Most High gave the nations an inheritance, when He separated the sons of man, He set the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel (Deuteronomy 32:8).
This is said of the ancient churches that preceded the Israelitish, and of the establishment of these by the Lord; "nations" mean those who were in the good of love, and "the sons of man" those who were in the truths of doctrine from that good; that these had all truths and goods is signified by "He set the borders of the people according to the number of the sons of Israel;" that "the twelve sons of Israel" (or the twelve tribes) represented and thus signified the church in respect to all truths and goods, may be seen above (n. 39, 430, 657).
The Apocalypse Explained 39, The Apocalypse Explained 430, The Apocalypse Explained 657)
 In Jeremiah:
Shame hath devoured the labor of our fathers from our childhood, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters; we lie down in our shame, and our confusion doth cover us (Jeremiah 3:24, 25).
So I will bring upon you a nation from afar, O house of Israel, which shall eat up thy harvest and thy bread, and it shall eat up thy sons and thy daughters, it shall eat up thy flock and thy herd, it shall eat up thy vine and thy fig tree, it shall impoverish thy strongholds in which thou trusteth, with the sword (Jeremiah 5:15, 17).
This describes in the spiritual sense the devastation of all things of the church with the Israelites; "the nation from afar" signifies the falsity of evil, which is the falsity of the sensual man, destroying truths; "harvest," "bread," "sons," "daughters," "flock," "herd," "vine," and "fig tree," which that nation will eat up, signify all things of the church; "harvest and bread" its truths and goods in respect to nourishment; "sons and daughters" its truths and goods in respect to generations; "flock and herd" truths and goods spiritual and natural; "vine and fig tree" the internal and external spiritual church from these.
 In Ezekiel:
Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in the midst of it, as I live, if they would deliver their sons or their daughters, they only shall be delivered; and the land shall become a desolation; I will bring a sword upon the land, and I will cut off from it man and beast (Ezekiel 14:14, 16-18, 20).
This, too, describes the devastation of the church in respect to all truths of good and goods of truth, except with those who are reformed by means of truths from the Word and temptations; these are signified by "Noah, Daniel, and Job." That with the rest all truths of good and goods of truth will perish is signified by "they would not deliver their sons or their daughters, but they only would be delivered;" the devastation of the church by falsities is signified by "the land shall become a desolation, and I will bring a sword upon the land," "land" meaning the church, and "sword" falsity destroying truth. That every truth, spiritual and natural, will be destroyed, and thence all intelligence and the knowledge of truth will perish, is signified by "I will cut off from it man and beast."
 In the same:
The fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; I will do judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter unto every wind (Ezekiel 5:10).
It was among the curses that they should eat the flesh of their sons and daughters (Leviticus 26:29).
"The fathers shall eat the sons, and the sons the fathers" signifies that evils will destroy truths and falsities goods, "fathers" meaning evils and goods, and "sons" falsities and truths; and as everything of spiritual life with man thus perishes, it is said that "judgments will be done and the remnant be scattered unto every wind," "remnant" meaning the truths and goods stored up by the Lord with man from infancy and childhood.
 We read also that "they led away their sons to idols to be devoured," and "for food," and "to pass through fire," as in the following passages. In Ezekiel:
Thou hast taken thy sons whom thou hast brought forth to Me, and these thou hast sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Were thy whoredoms a small matter? Thou hast slaughtered My sons, and hast given them up when thou didst cause them to pass through to them. Thou art thy mother's daughter and the sister of thy sisters, who loathed their husbands and their sons (Ezekiel 16:20, 21, 45).
This is said of the abominations of Jerusalem. "To sacrifice sons and daughters unto idols to be devoured" signifies to destroy and consume all truths and goods of the church; to do the like to truths from the Word is signified by "slaughtering sons, and making them to pass through to them;" that they destroyed the truths and goods of the Word by falsifications and adulterations is signified by "whoredoms" here and elsewhere in that chapter.
Ezekiel 16:20-21, 16:26, Ezekiel 16:36)
 In the same:
I will defile them with their gifts, in that they caused to pass over every opening of the womb, that I might lay them waste. Wherefore ye offer gifts, when ye caused your sons to pass through the fire; ye are defiled by all your idols (Ezekiel 20:26, 31).
To destroy truths by the evils of the love of self and by cupidities from one's own is signified by "causing sons to pass through fire;" and to destroy truths by falsities is signified by "defiled by idols." (That "idols" signify the falsities of doctrine and worship from self-intelligence may be seen above, n. 587.)
The Apocalypse Explained 587)
 In the same:
Oholah and Oholibah have committed whoredom and blood was in their hands; and with their idols have they committed whoredom; and their sons also whom they bare unto Me they have caused to pass through for them for food (Ezekiel 23:37).
By "Oholah and Oholibah" Samaria and Jerusalem are meant; and "Samaria" means the spiritual church, and "Jerusalem" the celestial church, each in respect to doctrine; falsifications and adulterations of the Word are signified by "their committing whoredom" and by "blood in their hands;" the consequent falsities from self-intelligence are signified by "they committed whoredom with their idols;" from this it is clear what is signified by "causing their sons to pass through for their idols for food," namely, that they destroyed the truths from the Word by falsities.
 Because "sons" signify truths:
The seeds that fell into the good land are called by the Lord the sons of the kingdom; and the tares, which are falsities, are called the sons of the evil one (Matthew 13:38).
Also those who are in truths are called the sons of light (John 12:36).
Those who are in the marriage of truth and good from the Lord are called the sons of the nuptials (Mark 2:19).
And those who are regenerated are called sons of God (John 1:11-13).
Because "stones" in the Word signify truths, John the Baptist said:
God is able of these stones to raise up sons unto Abraham (Luke 3:8).
That "stones" signify the truths upon which interior truths are based may be seen in Arcana Coelestia 643 Arcana Coelestia 643[1-4], 1298, 3720, 6426, 8609, 10376.
 As "sons" signify truths, so in the contrary sense they signify falsities; as in some of the passages quoted above, also in these words of Isaiah:
Prepare slaughter for his sons for the iniquity of their fathers, that they rise not up and possess the land and the faces of the land be filled with cities. I will rise up against them, and I will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, and son and son's son. I will also make it a heritage for the bittern, and pools of waters, and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction (Isaiah 14:21-23).
This is said of Babylon, which signifies the adulteration of the Word and profanation. Here the total vastation of truth with those who are meant by "Babylon" is treated of. That truths with them were utterly destroyed by the adulteration of the Word is signified by "Prepare slaughter for his sons, that they rise not up and possess the land and the faces of the land be filled with cities," "land" meaning the church in which are truths, and "cities" doctrinals from mere falsities. That all truths from first to last will perish is signified by "name and remnant shall be cut off from Babylon, son and son's son;" that nothing whatever of truth would remain is signified by "she shall be swept with the besom of destruction. "
 It is to be known that in the passages quoted above, "sons" signify those who are in truths or those who are in falsities; but as the spiritual sense of the Word has nothing in common with persons, "sons" signify in that sense truths or falsities abstracted from the idea of person. The spiritual sense is such because the idea of person limits thought and its extension into heaven in every direction; for all thought that proceeds from the affection of truth makes its way through heaven in all directions, and has no termination except as light has in shade; but when person is at the same time thought of, the idea has its termination where the person is, and intelligence with it; this is why "sons" signify in the spiritual sense truths or falsities regarded abstractly.
1. The Latin has "this church is for the New Church," for "this doctrine," etc.
2. The Hebrew has "thy sons shall hasten," as found in Arcana Coelestia 10540.
3. The Hebrew has "your strength," as found in Arcana Coelestia 9479.
Ezekiel 16:26, 16:36; Isaiah 51:17-18; Luke 3:7-8, 12)