Spiritual Meaning of

Bible Meanings Back to Words index Back to Animal words index

In regard to cattle signifying truths from which is good, be it known that cattle are all beasts of burden greater and less, in both the flock and the herd, and also camels, horses, mules, and asses. These later beasts of burden signify such things as relate to truths; but the former, namely, those of the herd and the flock, signify such things as relate to good. Therefore it is that all those beasts of burden in general which are cattle signify truths from which is good. The term cattle in the original tongue is from a word which also means acquisition, and acquisition in the spiritual sense is also truth from which is good, for the reason that good is acquired by means of truth. But small cattle signify interior goods, for these are of the flock, such as lambs, sheep, kids, goats, and rams. Cattle also signify truths from which is good in other passages of the Word; as in Isaiah:--

Then shall He give the rain of thy seed, wherewith thou shalt sow the land; and the bread of increase; and it shall be fat and rich: in that day shall thy cattle pasture in a broad meadow (Isa. 30:23);

to pasture denotes to be instructed in truths and about goods (AC 5201); a broad meadow denotes the doctrine of truth; it is called broad because breadth is truth (AC 3433, 3434, 4482). Thus it is plain that cattle are truths from which is good. In Ezekiel:--

To bring back thine hand upon the wastes that are inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, working with cattle and possession, that dwell upon the navel of the earth (Ezek. 38:12);

where in like manner cattle denote truths through which is good; and possession denotes good.

from AC 6049

Back to Words index, Back to Animal words index

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