Spiritual Meaning of

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By seeing is signified acknowledging and having faith. That seeing has this signification is evident from the Word; as in Isaiah:--

Ye looked not unto the Maker thereof, and the Former thereof from afar ye have not seen (Isaiah 22:11),

speaking of the city of Zion; not to see the Former from afar is not to acknowledge, still less to have faith. Again:--

Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and smear over their eyes, lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and their heart should understand, and turn again, and he healed (Isaiah 6:10);

to see with their eyes, denotes acknowledging and having faith. Again:--

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light (Isaiah 9:2),

said of the Gentiles who received faith; as it is here said of Noah, that he removed the covering and saw. Again:--

And in that day shall the deaf hear the word of the Book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of thick darkness and out of darkness (Isaiah 29:18),

speaking of the conversion of the Gentiles to faith; to see denotes to receive faith. Again:--

Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see (Isaiah 42:18),

where the meaning is similar. In Ezekiel:--

Who have eyes to see, and see not, who have ears to hear, and hear not; for they are a rebellious house (Ezekiel 12:2),

meaning who can understand, acknowledge, and have faith, and yet will not. That to see signifies to have faith, is evident from the representation of the Lord by the brazen serpent in the wilderness, on seeing which all were healed; as in Moses:--

Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a standard; and it shall come to pass that every one that is bitten, when he seeth it, shall live; and it came to pass that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked unto the serpent of brass, he lived (Num. 21:8, 9);

from which passage every one can see that to see signifies faith; for what would seeing avail in this case, except as a representative of faith in the Lord? Hence also it is evident that Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, being so called from seeing, signifies in the internal sense faith. See what was said before about the firstborn of the church, (AC 352, 367).

from AC 897

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