Spiritual Meaning of
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Another parable spoke he to them: The Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three barrels of meal, till the whole was leavened.
By the Kingdom of Heaven, as was observed in the former parable, is to be understood the government of the Divine Love and Wisdom. This government is like leaven, because by leaven is effected fermentation, and consequent purification of the bodies with which it is mixed.
Leaven, as being a fermenting substance, denotes all false principles of the understanding and life, and the three measures of meal denote all principles of heavenly truth in the regenerate mind. The comparison, therefore, here used by Jesus Christ, was intended to remind us of the combats which take place in such a mind, between false principles and true, with a view to the purification of the latter. For the effect of such combats is, to exalt in man the principles of heavenly love and charity above those of mere speculative truth and knowledge; and when man begins to act from the former principles, then the latter become purified, which they never can be so long as man acts from them alone, and not from the principles of heavenly love and charity.
By the woman is meant the Church, which is called woman, from the affection of truth, which makes the Church.
We learn from this parable, that the Kingdom of Heaven can never be opened and formed in man, until truth is purified from what is false, and that such purification cannot be effected without combat, by which is produced a kind of spiritual fermentation, in which case, good is conjoined with truth, and then all false principles are separated like dregs.