Spiritual Meaning of

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 Wild animal

That wild animal means what is living is evident in David:--

Thy wild animal shall dwell therein (that is, in God's inheritance); Thou, O God, wilt confirm the poor with Thy good (Ps. 68:10).

Here by wild animal, because he shall dwell in the inheritance of God, no other is meant than the regenerated man; and so here, as in the verse we are considering, what is living in this man is meant. Again:--

Every wild animal of the forest is Mine, and the beasts upon the mountains where thousands are; I know all the fowls of the mountains, and the wild animals of My field are with Me (Ps. 50:10, 11).

Here the wild animals of My field with Me, or with God, denote the regenerated man, thus what is living in him. In Ezekiel:--

All the fowls of the heavens made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches all the wild animals of the field brought forth (Ezekiel 31:6),

where the spiritual church is signified, as implanted, and what is living, in the man of that church. In Hosea:--

In that day will I make a covenant for them with the wild animal of the field and with the fowl of the heavens (Hosea 2:18),

where those who are to be regenerated are meant, with whom a covenant is to be made. Indeed, so fully does wild animal signify what is living, that the cherubim, or angels, seen by Ezekiel, are called the four wild animals, or living creatures (Ezek. 1:5, 13-15, 19; 10:15).

[3] That wild animal in the opposite sense is taken in the Word for what is not living, is evident from many passages, of which only the following will be cited, for confirmation. In David:--

O deliver not the soul of Thy turtle-dove unto the wild animal (Ps. 74:19).

In Zephaniah:--

How is the city become a desolation, a place for wild animals to lie down in (Zephaniah 2:15).

In Ezekiel:--

And they shall no more be a prey to the nations, neither shall the wild animal of the earth eat them (Ezekiel 34:28).


Upon his ruin all the fowl of the heavens shall dwell, and every wild animal of the field shall be upon his branches (Ezekiel 31:13).

In Hosea:--

There will I consume them like a lion; the wild animal of the field shall tear them (Hosea 13:8).

In Ezekiel:--

I have given thee for meat to the wild animals of the earth, and to the fowl of the heaven (Ezekiel 29:5),

an expression often occurring. And since the Jews remained in the sense of the letter only, and understood by wild animal a wild animal, and by fowl a fowl, not knowing the interior things of the Word, nor having any willingness to acknowledge them and so to be instructed, they were so cruel and such wild animals that they found their delight in not burying enemies killed in battle, but exposing them to be devoured by birds of prey and wild beasts; which also shows what a wild animal man is.

from AC 907

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