Spiritual Meaning of

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 Birth of Sons, Ephraim, Zidon

That the conception and birth of sons, in the Word, are taken in a spiritual sense--conception for the thought and device of the heart, and sons for truths, is evident from Hosea:--

As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb: and from the conception; though they shall have brought up their sons, yet will I bereave them, that they be not man; yea, woe also to them when I depart from them (Hosea 9:11, 12),

where Ephraim signifies the intelligent, or the understanding of truth; and sons, truths themselves. It is likewise said elsewhere concerning Ephraim, or one who is intelligent, who has become foolish:--

The sorrows of one in travail have come upon him, he is an unwise son, for at the time he will not stand in the breach of the womb of sons (Hosea 13:13).

And in Isaiah:--

Blush, O Zidon, for the sea hath spoken, the fortress of the sea, saying, I have not travailed, nor brought forth, nor have I brought up young men, nor caused girls to grow up; as at the report concerning Egypt, they shall bring forth according to the report of Tyre (Isaiah 23:4, 5),

where Zidon means those who have been in the knowledges of faith, but have destroyed them by memory-knowledges (scientifica), and so have become barren.

[2] Again in the same prophet, treating of regeneration, and where likewise the truths of faith are signified by sons:--

Before she travailed she bringeth forth; and before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child; who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? shall the earth bring forth in one day? and shall I not cause to bring forth? saith Jehovah; shall I cause to bring forth, and close up? saith thy God (Isaiah 66:7-9).

Goods and truths, being conceived and born of the heavenly marriage, are therefore called sons by the Lord in Matthew:--

He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; and the seed are the sons of the kingdom (Matthew 13:37, 38).

And the goods and truths of a saving faith He calls sons of Abraham (John 8:39); for seed (AC 255) denotes faith, wherefore sons, which are of the seed, are the goods and truths of faith. Hence also the Lord, as being Himself the seed, called Himself the Son of man, that is, the faith of the church.

from AC 264

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