70. There are many reasons why such communities, or such heavens, were tolerated. The chief is that by means of outward holiness and outward honesty and fairness they were linked with the simple good people in the lowest heaven, and with those who were still in the world of spirits and not yet admitted to heaven. In the spiritual world all are in touch with and so linked with similar spirits. The simple good people in the lowest heaven and those in the world of spirits pay attention mainly to externals, yet without being inwardly wicked. If therefore they were torn apart before the appointed time, heaven would suffer at its lowest level; yet the lowest level is the basis on which the higher levels of heaven rest.  The Lord teaches in this passage that this was why they were tolerated until the final period: The servants of the head of the household came to him and said, Was it not good seed you sowed in your field? Where then do the weeds come from? And they said, Do you want us then to go and gather them? But he said, No, for fear that in gathering the weeds you uproot the wheat together with them. So let them both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest-time I shall say to the reapers, Gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into the barns. He who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world; the good seed is the children of the kingdom, the weeds the children of evil; the harvest is the ending of the age. As therefore the weeds are gathered and burnt with fire, so shall it be at the ending of this age. Matt. 13:27-30, 37-42. The ending of this age is the final period of the church; the weeds are those who are inwardly wicked; the wheat those who are inwardly good; their gathering and tying in bundles for burning is the Last Judgment.#  A similar meaning is conveyed by the Lord's parable in the same chapter about the gathering of fish of every kind, when the good were put into vessels and the bad thrown out; of these too it is said:
So shall it be at the ending of the age; the angels will go out and separate the wicked from among the righteous. Matt. 13:47-49.
They are compared to fish, because in the spiritual sense of the Word fish mean those who are natural and external, good as well as wicked; on the meaning of the righteous see at the end of the chapter.## # Bundles in the Word mean the arrangement of the truths and falsities a person has into groups, so also groupings of People possessing those truths and falsities (AC 4686, 4687, 5339, 5530, 7408, 10303). The Son of Man is the Lord as regards Divine truth (AC 1729, 1733, 2159, 2628, 2803, 2813, 3773, 3704, 7499, 8897, 9807). Sons are affections for truth coming from good (AC 489, 491, 533, 2623, 3373, 4257, 8649, 9807); so the children of the kingdom are those with affections for truth coming from good, and the children of evil are those with affections for falsity coming from evil. Consequently the latter are called weeds, and the former good seed, for weeds mean falsity coming from evil and good seed means truth coming from good. The seed of the field is truth coming from good which a person has from the Lord (AC 1940, 3038, 3310, 3373, 10248, 10249). In the contrary sense seed is falsity from evil (AC 10249). The seed of the field is also the nourishment of the mind by means of Divine truth from the Word; to sow is to instruct (AC 6158, 9272). The ending of the age is the final period of the church (AC 4535, 10622). ## Fish in the spiritual sense of the Word mean the factual knowledge of the natural or external man; and thus also natural or external people, both good and wicked (AC 40, 991). Animals of every kind correspond to the kind of things in a person's character (AC 45, 46, 246, 714, 716, 719, 2179, 2180, 3519, 9280, 10609). In the Word people are called righteous if the Lord's righteousness and merit is attributed to them, but unrighteous if self-righteousness and self-acquired merit is attributed to them (AC 3648*, 15069, 9263). * [This number seems to be incorrect; a possible reference would be 9486.]