Spiritual Meaning of

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That by a virgin in the Word are signified those who are in the kingdom of the Lord, or what is the same, those in whom the kingdom of the Lord is, is evident in John:--

These are they who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins; these are they who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, for they are without spot before the throne of God (Rev. 14:4, 5).

Here those are plainly called virgins who follow the Lamb, that is, who are in the Lord's kingdom; and they are also said to be without spot.

[3] In the proper sense, those are virgins who are in love to the Lord, that is, the celestial, and thus those who are in the affection of good. Those also are called virgins who are in charity toward the neighbor, that is, the spiritual, and thus who are in the affection of truth; as may be seen from passages in the Word. Thus in Isaiah:--

The virgin daughter of Zion hath despised thee, and hath mocked thee; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head after thee (Isa. 37:22).

This is said to the king of Asshur; the virgin daughter of Zion denotes the celestial church; the daughter of Jerusalem, the spiritual church.

[4] In Jeremiah:--

Again will I build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel; again shalt thou deck thy timbrels, and shalt go forth in the dance of them that make merry. Their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all. Then shall the virgin be glad in the dance, and the young men and the old together (Jer. 31:4, 12, 13).

The virgin of Israel denotes the spiritual church; the affection of truth from good in this church is described here, as in other places, by timbrels and dances. In the same:--

The ways of Zion do mourn, her priests do sigh, her virgins are sad. The Lord hath trodden the winepress, for the virgin daughter of Judah. Behold my sorrow; my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity (Lam. 1:4, 15, 18).

Virgins denote the affections of good and of truth. And again in the same:--

The women in Zion were ravished, the virgins in the cities of Judah (Lam. 5:11).

Here the virgins denote the affections of good.

[5] In Amos:--

They shall run to and fro to seek the word of Jehovah, and shall not find it. In that day shall the fair virgins and the young men faint for thirst (Amos 8:12, 13).

The fair virgins denote the affections of truth; the young men, truths, or what is the same, those who are in them; concerning these it is said that they shall run to and fro to seek the word of Jehovah, and shall not find it, and consequently they shall faint for thirst.

[6] In Zechariah:--

Jehovah their God shall preserve them in that day, as the flock of His people; for how great is His goodness and how great is His beauty: corn shall make the young men grow (germinare), and new wine the virgins (Zech. 9:16, 17);

young men denoting truths, and virgins, affections. In David:--

The King's daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of inweavings of gold. She is led unto the King in broidered work; the virgins, her companions, that follow her, are brought unto Thee (Ps. 45:13, 14).

The King's daughter denotes the Lord's spiritual kingdom; the virgins, her companions, that follow her, denote the affections of truth.

[7] In the same:--

They have seen Thy goings, O God, the goings of my God in, the sanctuary. The singers went before, the players on the harp followed after, in the midst of the damsels playing the timbrels (Ps. 68:24, 25).

The damsels playing the timbrels also denote the affections of truth, the term virgin being used in distinction from damsel to express innocence. Virgins are so called from conjugial love, and thus denote those who are in innocence; for conjugial love is innocence itself (AC 2736). In John therefore in the passage quoted from the Apocalypse, they are said to follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth; for by the Lamb is meant the Lord as to innocence; and all who are in heaven are called virgins from the innocence which is in their good. According to the amount and quality of the innocence in good, they follow the Lamb.

from AC 3081

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