Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 14:20
AR 652. Verse 20. And the winepress was trodden without the city, signifies that exploration was made from the Divine truths of the Word, into the quality of the works flowing forth from the doctrine of faith of the church. By "the winepress was trodden" is signified that the quality of their works was explored. " To tread the winepress" signifies to explore, and "the clusters" which are trodden signify works, as above (n. 649), here works flowing forth from the doctrine of faith of the church, which are evil works; by "the city" is here meant the great city, of which above (Apoc. 11:8), which is called "the great city, spiritually Sodom and Egypt;" that it means the doctrine of faith separated from charity, which is the doctrine of the church of the Reformed, see above (n. 501, 502). And as all exploration of the doctrine of the church is made by the Divine truth of the Word, and this is not in that doctrine, but out of it, that also is signified by the winepress being trodden " without the city." From these things it may appear, that by "the winepress was trodden without the city," is signified that exploration was made, from the Divine truths of the Word, into the quality of the works flowing forth from the doctrine of faith of the church. "To tread the winepress" not only signifies to explore evil works, but likewise to bear with them in others, also to remove and cast them into hell, in the following places:--
I speak in justice, great to save. Wherefore art Thou red as to Thy garment, and Thy garments like Him that treadeth in the winepress? I have trodden the winepress alone (Isa. 63:1-3).
The Lord hath thrown down all my mighty men, the Lord hath trodden the winepress of the daughter of Judah (Lam. 1:15.)
He that sitteth on the white horse shall tend the nations with a rod of iron, and He treadeth the winepress of the wine of the fury and the anger of God (Apoc. 19:15).
AR 653. And blood went out of the winepress even unto the bridles of the horses, signifies violence done to the Word by direful falsifications of truth, and thence the understanding so closed that man is scarcely capable any longer of being taught, and thus led by Divine truths from the Lord. By "blood" is signified violence done to the Word (n. 327), and the Divine truth of the Word falsified and profaned (n. 379); for by "the blood out of the winepress" is meant the must and wine from the clusters that were trodden, and the must and wine have a similar signification (n. 316). By "the bridles of the horses" are signified the truths of the Word, by which the understanding is led; for "a horse" signifies the understanding of the Word (n. 298), hence "a bridle" signifies trtuth by which the understanding is led. "Even unto the bridles of the horses" means even into the mouth, into which the bridle is inserted, and by the mouth the horse drinks and feeds; therefore it also signifies that such violence is done to the Word by dire falsifications, that man is scarcely capable of being taught any longer, and thus of being led by Divine truths from the Lord. By "a bridle" is also signified that by which the understanding is led (Isaiah 30:27, 28; 37:29). And by "the blood of the grapes" is signified the Divine truth of the Word (Gen. 49:11; Deut. 32:14); but here in the opposite sense.
AR 654. For a thousand six hundred stadia, signifies mere falsities of evil. By "stadia" the like is signified as by "ways," because stadia are measured ways, and by "ways" are signified leading truths (n. 176), and, in the opposite sense, leading falsities; and by "a thousand six hundred" are signified evils in the whole complex, for by "a thousand six hundred" the like is signified as by sixteen, and by sixteen the like as by four, because sixteen is the product of four multiplied by itself, and four is said of good and of the conjunction of good and truth (n. 322), hence, in the opposite sense, of evil and the conjunction of evil and falsity, as here; and as the multiplying of any number by a hundred does not take away its signification, but exalts it, therefore, "for a thousand six hundred stadia" signifies mere falsities of evil. That all numbers in the Word signify things, may be see" above (n. 348), and that a number signifies the quality of a thing (n. 448, 608-610).