Spiritual Meaning of

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 Boy, Old man

The signification of a boy and of an old man, when predicated of falsities and evils; namely, that boys denote those not yet matured, thus recent ones; and old men, those which have attained to considerable age, thus those confirmed. Boy and old man occur elsewhere in the Word in a similar sense, as in Zechariah:--

There shall yet old men and old women dwell In the streets of Jerusalem; and the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets (Zechariah 8:4, 5);

where Jerusalem denotes the Lord's kingdom and church (AC 402, 2117); the streets, truths therein (AC 2336); thus old men, confirmed truths; and old women, confirmed goods; boys playing in the streets, recent truths; and girls, recent goods and their affections and the derivative gladnesses. It is evident from this how celestial and spiritual things are changed into things historic, in their descent into the worldly things of the sense of the letter, in which sense it scarcely appears otherwise than that old men, boys, women, and girls, are meant.

[2] In Jeremiah:--

Pour out upon the child in the street of Jerusalem, and upon the assembly of young men in like manner; for even the man with the woman shall be taken, the old man with him that is full of days (Jeremiah 6:11);

here the street of Jerusalem denotes the falsities that reign in the church (AC 2336), of which the recent and the maturing are called the child and the young men, and the old and the confirmed are called the old man and him that is full of days. Again:--

I will scatter in thee the horse and his rider, and I will scatter in thee the chariot and him that is borne in it, and I will scatter in thee man and woman, and I will scatter in thee the old man and the boy (Jeremiah 51:21, 22);

where in like manner the old man and the boy denote confirmed truth and recent truth.

from AC 2348

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