Spiritual Meaning of
|Back to Words index||Back to Animal words index|
A dog signifies the lowest of all, or those who are of small value in the church, likewise those who are outside of the church, also those who prate much about the things of the church and understand little; and in the opposite sense, those who are altogether outside of the faith of the church and treat with contumely the things of faith. That dogs signify those who are outside of the church, is evident in Matthew:--
Jesus said unto the Greek woman, a Syrophoenician, It is not good to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs. But she said, Surely Lord; but even the little dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. Then Jesus answering said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee as thou wilt; and her daughter was healed (Matthew 15:26-28; Mark 7:27, 28);
where by children are meant those who are within the church, and by dogs those who are outside of it. In like manner by the dogs which licked the sores of Lazarus (Luke 16:21); for by the rich man there, in the internal sense, is meant one who is within the church and consequently abounds spiritual riches, which are the knowledges of truth and good. Dogs denote those who are in the lowest place within the church, who prate much about the things of the church and understand little, and in the opposite sense, those who treat with contumely the things of faith, in these passages:--
His watchmen are all blind, they do not know; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; looking on, lying down, loving to sleep (Isa. 56:10).
They are noisy like a dog, they go round about in the city; for they belch with their mouth; swords are in their lips (Ps. 59:6, 7, 14).
That thy foot may stamp in blood, the tongue of thy dogs... (Ps. 68:23).
Give not that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before the swine, lest haply they trample them with their feet, and turn and rend you (Matt. 7:6).
For this reason the vilest of all things, which was to be cast away, is signified by a dead dog (1 Sam. 24:14; 2 Sam. 9:8; 16:9).
from AC 7784
Back to Words index, Back to Animal words index
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|