Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 9325

Previous Number Next Number Next Translation See Latin 

9325. 'None will suffer miscarriage or be barren in [your] land' means that forms of good and truths will develop in their proper order, in continuous progression. This is clear from the meaning of 'none will suffer miscarriage or be barren' as the process of regeneration in its proper order, and therefore the development of forms of good and of truths in their proper order, in continuous progression, dealt with below; and from the meaning of 'in the land' as in the Church. In the Word 'the land' or 'the earth' means the Church, see 566, 662, 1066, 1067, 1262, 1413, 1607, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118 (end), 2571, 2928, 3355, 3368, 3379, 4447, 4535, 5577, 8011, 8732; and the reason why 'the land' means the Church is that it implies the land of Canaan, where the Church existed, indeed where it had existed since most ancient times, 3686, 4447, 4454, 4516, 4517, 5136, 6306, 6516, 8317. In the spiritual world furthermore, when a land is spoken of no one envisages a land but what the people and their religion in a land are like. Consequently when 'the land' is mentioned in the Word and it implies the land of Canaan, the Church is envisaged. All this goes to show what a new heaven and a new earth is used to mean in the prophetical parts of the Word, namely the internal Church and the external Church, 1850, 3355, 4535; for there are internal people and there are external people.

[2] The reason why 'none will suffer miscarriage or be barren in the land' means that forms of good and truths will develop in their proper order, in continuous progression, is that all things connected with childbirth are used in the internal sense of the Word to mean such things as are connected with spiritual birth, thus such as are connected with regeneration, 2584, 3860, 3868, 3905, 3915. The things connected with spiritual birth or regeneration are the truths of faith and forms of the good of charity; for through these a person is conceived and born anew. It is evident from a large number of places in the Word that such things are meant by 'births', and plainly so from the Lord's words to Nicodemus,

Jesus said to him, Truly, truly I say to you, Unless a person is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said, How can a person be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born? Jesus answered, Truly, truly I say to you, Unless a person has been born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which has been born of the flesh is flesh, but that which has been born of the Spirit is spirit. Nicodemus said, How can these things happen? Jesus answered, Are you a teacher in Israel, and do not know these things? John 3:3-6, 9, 10.

'Being born through water and the Spirit' means being born again through the truths of faith and the good of love, see the places referred to in 9274.

[3] The origin of this meaning of 'births' in the Word lies in the correspondence of marriages on earth with the heavenly marriage, which is the marriage of goodness and truth. Regarding this correspondence, see 2727-2759. But scarcely anyone at the present day knows, and perhaps scarcely anyone is willing to recognize that truly conjugial love comes down from that marriage; for earthly and bodily things are before people's eyes, and those things have a dampening and smothering effect when they think about such correspondence. Furthermore, since that is the source of truly conjugial love, 'births' and 'generations' in the internal sense of the Word mean things connected with new birth and generation effected by the Lord. So it is also that father, mother, sons, daughters, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandsons, and many more who are the product of marriages, mean forms of good and truths, and derivations from them, dealt with many times in explanatory sections.

[4] From all this it now becomes clear that 'none will suffer miscarriage or be barren in the land' means that forms of good and truths will develop in their proper order, in continuous progression. The fact that 'one suffering miscarriage' and 'one who is barren' mean instances of miscarriage and barrenness in a spiritual sense, that is, the perversions of goodness and truth, and also the destruction and total rejections of them, is evident from the following places: In Hosea,

Ephraim, when I saw it reaching as far as Tyre, was planted in a beautiful [place]; and Ephraim must lead out its sons to the killer. Give them, O Jehovah, a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. On account of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house. Hosea 9:13-15.

Unless people know what it is that 'Ephraim', 'Tyre', 'the killer', 'sons', 'a miscarrying womb', and 'dry breasts' mean in the internal sense, they cannot have any knowledge at all of what those prophetic statements imply. 'Ephraim' is the Church's power of understanding, which is an understanding enlightened in regard to the truths and forms of the good of faith obtained from the Word, see 3969, 5354, 6222, 6234, 6238, 6267; 'Tyre' is the cognitions or knowledge of truth and good, 1201; and from this it is evident what 'Ephraim, when I saw it reaching as far as Tyre, was planted in a beautiful place' means. 'A killer' is one who deprives another of spiritual life, that is, the life provided by truth and good, 3607, 6767, 8902; 'sons' are the truths of faith, 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2813, 3373, 3704, 4257; and from this it is evident what 'Ephraim must lead out its sons to the killer' means. 'Breasts' are affections for goodness and truth, 6432, so that 'dry breasts' are the absence of affections, and desires to pervert instead; and from this it is evident what 'a miscarrying womb' means, namely a perversion of goodness and truth. Things connected with spiritual life are clearly meant by all these words, for it says, 'On account of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house', 'out of Jehovah's house' meaning out of the Church and out of heaven, 2233, 2234, 3720, 5640.

[5] In Malachi,

I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that he does not ruin for you the fruit of the land, nor will the vine in the field miscarry for you. All the nations will declare you blessed, and you will be a land of delight. Mal 3:11, 12.

The prophecy that the vine in the field would not miscarry means that the truths and forms of the good of faith among those who are within the Church will develop in their proper order; for 'the vine' is the spiritual Church's truth and good, 1069, 6375, 6376, 9277, and 'the field' is the Church, 2971, 3766, 7502, 9139, 9295. 'A land of delight' is a Church pleasing to the Lord; for everyone within the Church who has been regenerated through truth and good is an embodiment of the Church. From this it is evident what it is that 'you will be a land of delight' means, 'a land' being the Church, see above.

[6] In Moses,

If you hear My judgements, to keep and do them, you will be blessed above every people; none will be unfruitful or barren among you, or among [your] beasts. Jehovah will take away all sickness from you, and all the evil diseases of Egypt. Deut 7:12, 14, 15.

'None will be unfruitful or barren' stands for not being devoid of the life provided by truth and good; thus it is a promise that spiritually they will have life. Since 'barrenness' had such a meaning, women in the ancient Churches did not think of themselves as being alive if they were barren. This was so with Rachel, who spoke of herself to Jacob - see 3908 - in the following words,

Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob [any children]; and she said to Jacob, Give me sons; if you do not, I am dead. Gen 30:1.

[7] 'The barren' also means those who are without good because they do not possess truths, yet have a desire for truths in order that they may be governed by good, as with upright nations outside the Church. An example of this meaning occurs in Isaiah,

Sing, O barren one that did not bear; resound with singing and cry out with joy, O one that has not been in travail, for the sons of her that is desolate will be more than the sons of her that was married. Isa 54:1.

In David,

Jehovah lifts one who is crushed out of the dust, He raises the needy one from the dunghill, to set him with the princes of His people. He causes the barren one of the house to dwell as a joyful mother of children. Ps 113:7-9.

[8] In Hannah's prophetic utterance after she had given birth to Samuel,

The full have been hired out [for bread], and the hungry have ceased [to be hungry], till she who was barren has borne seven, while the one who has many children has become feeble. 1 Sam 2:5.

In these places 'the barren' is used to mean gentile nations who are being summoned to the Church, and to whom the Church is transferred when the old Church has come to an end, that is, when those who formerly belonged to the Church no longer possess faith because they do not have any charity. This old Church is meant by 'the one who has many children has become feeble' and by 'her that was married', while the new one among gentile nations is meant by 'her that is barren and desolate who will have many more sons' and by 'the barren one of the house [who dwells as] a joyful mother of children'. 'Bearing seven' means being regenerated completely, for 'seven' in this prophetic utterance does not mean seven but to completion, 9228. From all this it is evident what the following words spoken by the Lord serve to mean,

The days will come in which they will say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the breasts which have not nursed! Luke 23:29.

This refers to the close of the age, which is the final period of the Church.

[9] In the second Book of Kings,

The men of Jericho said to Elisha, Behold, the city's situation is good, but the water is bad and the land barren. Then Elisha told them to put salt in a new dish and to throw the salt from it into the source of the water. And the water was healed, and no more death or barrenness came from it. 2 Kings 2:19-21.

No one can know what this description holds within it except from the internal sense; for all the miracles described in the Word hold within them the kinds of things that happen within the Lord's kingdom, that is, within the Church, 7337, 7465, 8364, 9086. A person needs to know therefore what 'Elisha' represented, what 'the city of Jericho' meant, what 'bad water and barren land' meant, what 'a new dish and salt in it' meant, and also what 'the source of the water' into which they were to throw the salt meant. 'Elisha' represented the Lord in respect of the Word, see 2762. 'Water' means the truths of faith, 28, 2702, 3058, 3424, 4976, 5668, 6346, 7307, 8137, 8138, 8568, and therefore 'bad water' means truths devoid of good, while 'barren land' means the Church's good which as a consequence is not alive. 'A new dish' or new vessel means factual knowledge and cognitions of goodness and truth, 3068, 3079, 3316, 3318. 'Salt' means truth's desire for good, 9207. 'The source of the water' means the human natural which receives the cognitions or knowledge of truth and good and is improved by truth's desire for good.

[10] From all this it is evident what that miracle held within it, namely the improvement of the Church and its life by the Lord's Word and by truth's desire for good from there. The improvement is brought about when the human natural receives truths from the Word as a result of such a desire. The reason why the miracle took place at the city of Jericho was that this city was located not far from the Jordan, and 'the Jordan' means that with a member of the Church which first receives truths, which is the natural, 1585, 4255. The human natural is the first to receive truths from the Lord which are present in the Word, but it is regenerated last; and when it has been regenerated the whole person has been regenerated. This was meant by the Lord's words to Peter when He washed the disciples' feet,

Jesus said, He who has been washed has no need except to wash his feet, and the whole person is clean. John 13:10.

'The feet' are those things that belong to the human natural, and in general are the natural, see 2162, 3147, 3761, 3986, 4280, 4938-4952, 5327, 5328. The natural or external man must be in agreement with the spiritual or internal man if a person is to be regenerated. Thus a person has not been regenerated until the natural has been, see 2850, 3167, 3286, 3321, 3470, 3493, 3508, 3509, 3518, 3573, 3576, 3579, 3620, 3623, 3671, 3882, 3969, 4353, 4588, 4612, 4618, 5168, 5326, 5373, 5651, 6299, 6454, 7442, 7443, 8742-8747, 9043, 9046, 9061.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

© 2000-2001 The Academy of the New Church