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A "widow" also signifies the truth of the church without its good, because a "wife" in the representative sense signifies truth, and a "husband" good (AC 4823, 4843); wherefore a wife without a husband is the truth of the church without its good. And when it is said of her that she should "remain in her father's house," it signifies that the truth of the church would be alienated, and also that it would not be received in his house; neither could the Jewish nation receive it, because it was not in good, but in evil.

A "widow" is often mentioned in the Word, and one unacquainted with the internal sense cannot but believe that by a "widow" is signified a widow. But a "widow" in the internal sense signifies the truth of the church without good, that is, those who are in truth without good and still desire to be in good, consequently who love to be led by good; and a "husband" is the good which should lead.

That by widows in a good sense are signified those who are in truth without good, but still desire to be led by good, is evident from the passages in the Word in which widows are mentioned as in David: Jehovah, who executeth judgment for the oppressed, who giveth food to the hungry, Jehovah who looseth the bound, Jehovah who openeth [the eyes of] the blind, Jehovah who raiseth up them that are bowed down, Jehovah who loveth the just, Jehovah who preserveth the sojourners; He upholdeth the orphan and the widow (Ps. 146:7-9); here in the internal sense those are meant who are instructed in truths and led to good by the Lord; but some of these are called the oppressed, some the hungry, others the bound, the blind, those who are bowed down, the sojourners, the orphan, and the widow, and this according to their quality; but what this is, no one can know except from the internal sense. The doctrinals of the Ancient Church taught this.

from AC 4844

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