Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 12:17
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AR 565. Verse 17. And the dragon was angry against the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, that keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ, signifies the burning hatred with those who believe themselves wise from confirmations in favor of the mystic union of the Divine and the Human in the Lord, and in favor of justification by faith alone, against those who acknowledge the Lord alone as the God of heaven and earth, and that the Decalogue is the law of life, approaching novitiates with intent to seduce them. All this is contained in those few words, because it follows in a series from what went before, where it is said, that "the earth helped the woman, and opened her mouth, and swallowed up the river which the dragon cast out of his mouth," by which is signified that their reasonings from falsities fell to nothing (n. 564); consequently that their endeavors to destroy the New Church were vain. Therefore by "the dragon being angry with the woman," is signified that he burned with hatred and breathed revenge against the church; by "the dragon‘s anger" is signified hatred (n. 558); by "making war" is signified to assault and impugn by reasonings from falsities (n. 500); by "the rest of her seed which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ," are meant novitiates who receive the doctrine concerning the Lord and concerning the Decalogue; what "the testimony of Jesus Christ" is, may be seen in (n. 6, 490). The reason why by "the dragon" are here meant those who believe themselves wise from confirmations in favor of the mystic union of the Lord’s Divine and Human, is because these are in the pride of their own wisdom, and know how to reason; and from pride proceeds hatred, and from hatred proceed anger and revenge against those who do not believe likewise. By the mystic union, which is also called the hypostatic union, are meant their fictions concerning the influx and operation of the Divine in the Lord‘s Human as upon another; not knowing that God and Man, or the Divine and the Human in the Lord, are not two but one Person, united like soul and body, according to the doctrine received throughout the whole Christian world, which has its name from Athanasius; but to adduce their fictitious things respecting this mystic union would be an idle thing, because they are absurd. That by "the seed of the woman" are here meant those who are of the New Church, and are in the truths of its doctrine, may appear from the signification of "seed," in the following passages:--

Their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring in the midst of the people, all that see shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which Jehovah hath blessed (Isa. 61:9).

They are the seed of the blessed Jehovah (Isa. 65:23).

As the new heavens and the new earth which I will make, shall remain before Me, so shall your seed (Isa. 66:22).

The seed which shall serve Him, it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation (Ps. 22:30).

I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and the woman’s seed (Gen. 3:15).

Does one seek a seed of God? (Mal. 2:15.)

Behold the days come, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man (Jer. 31:27).

If thou shalt make his soul a guilt offering, he shall see seed (Isa. 53:10).

Fear not, for I am with thee, I will bring thy seed from the east (Isa. 43:5, 6).

Thou shalt break forth on the right and on the left, and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles (Isa. 54:3).

I had planted thee a noble vine, a seed of truth, how then art thou turned into the branches of a strange vine unto Me? (Jer. 2:21.)

Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from the sons of man (Ps. 21:10).

The seed are the sons of the kingdom (Matt. 13:38).

The same is signified by "the seed of Israel," because "Israel" is the church (Isa. 41:8, 9; 44:3; Jer. 23:8; 31:35, 36); and also by "the seed of David," because "David" is the Lord (Jer. 30:10; 33:22, 25, 26; Ps. 89:3, 4, 29); and by "the seed of the field," because "a field" signifies the church in many places. But the opposite is signified by "the seed of the evil" (Isa. 1:4; 14:20; 57:3, 4), and by "the seed of the serpent" (Gen. 3:15).

REVELATION 12:17    previous  -  next  -  text  -  summary  -  Revelation  -  Full Page

Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info