Spiritual Meaning of

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The signification of a hind is natural affection; and the signification of let loose, is freedom, for when a captured hind is let loose it has freedom. Deliverance from a state of temptations is compared to a hind let loose, because the hind is an animal of the forest, loving freedom more than other animals, in which the natural also resembles it; for this loves to be in the delight of its affections, consequently in freedom, for freedom is that which belongs to affection. The reason why a hind signifies natural affection, is that it is one of the beasts which are significative of (good) affections, as are all those which are for food and use, such as lambs, sheep, goats, and kids, and also oxen, bullocks, and cows; but these beasts are also significative of spiritual affections, because burnt-offerings and sacrifices were made of them, whereas hinds, not being employed for such a use, were significative of natural affections. That beasts signify affections may be seen above, (AC 45, 46, 142, 143, 246, 714, 715, 719, 776, 1823, 2179, 2180, 3519, 5198); also that their signifying affections is from the representatives in the world of spirits, (AC 3218, 5198).

[2] Natural affections are also signified by hinds in David:--

Jehovah maketh my feet like those of binds, and stationeth me upon my high places (Ps. 18:33).

And in Habakkuk:--

Jehovah the Lord is my strength, who setteth my feet like those of binds, and maketh me to march upon my high places (Habakkuk 3:19).

To make the feet like those of hinds denotes the natural in the freedom of the affections. Feet are the natural, (AC 2162, 3147, 3761, 3986, 4280, 4938-4952, 5327, 5328). That to set the feet as those of hinds has this signification, may be seen from the fact that to make the feet nimble and active to run like those of hinds is not anything spiritual; and get that something spiritual is involved, is plain from what immediately follows, that Jehovah will set him and cause him to march upon his high places, whereby is signified spiritual affection, which is above natural affection. So with this passage in Isaiah:--

The lame shall leap as a hart (Isa. 35:6);

for by the lame is signified one who is in good, but not as yet genuine (AC 4302).

[3] In David:--

As the hart crieth after the water brooks, so crieth my soul after Thee (Ps. 42:1);

the hart here is the affection of truth; to cry after the water brooks denotes to long for truths. Waters are truths, (AC 2702, 3058, 3424, 4976, 5668).

[4] In Jeremiah:--

Out of the daughter of Zion hath gone forth all her honor; her princes are become like harts, they have found no pasture (Lam. 1:6);

where the daughter of Zion denotes the affection of good, which affection is of the celestial church (AC 2362); princes denote the primary truths of that church (AC 1482, 2089, 5044), which are compared to harts, whereby are signified the affections of natural truth; and by the harts not finding pasture, are signified natural affections without truths and their goods. That a pasture denotes truth and the good of truth, which sustain the spiritual life of man, see above, (AC 6078, 6277).

[5] So by hinds in Jeremiah:--

The earth has been broken in pieces, in that there hath not been rain in the land, the husbandmen have been ashamed, they have covered over their heads, because even the hind hath brought forth in the field, but forsook it, because there was no grass (Jer. 14:4, 5);

the hind denotes the affection of natural good; bath brought forth in the field denotes to conjoin the natural affections with the spiritual things of the church; but because these affections were devoid of truths and goods, it is said that she forsook, because there was no grass. Everyone can see that there is an internal sense in what is here said about the hind; for without an internal sense what could be here meant by the hind bringing forth in the field, but forsaking, because there was no grass?

[6] In like manner in David:--

The voice of Jehovah hath made the hinds to calve, and strippeth bare the forests; but in His temple everyone saith, Glory (Ps. 29:9);

that there is an internal sense which is spiritual in the words the voice of Jehovah hath made the hinds to calve is very evident from the fact that immediately afterward it is said, but in His temple everyone saith, Glory, which words without the spiritual sense do not cohere with what is said before about hinds and forests.

from AC 6413

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