Spiritual Meaning of
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That the earth signifies the region where the church is, and therefore those who live there, may be confirmed by the following passages from the Word, in addition to those already cited. In Jeremiah:--
Thus hath said Jehovah, The whole earth shall be desolate; yet will I not make a consummation. For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above shall be black (Jeremiah 4:27, 28).
Here the earth denotes those who dwell where the church is that is vastated. In Isaiah:--
I will move the heavens, and the earth shall be shaken out of her place (Isaiah 13:13).
The earth denotes the man who is to be vastated, where the church is. In Jeremiah:--
The slain of Jehovah shall be at that day from the end of the earth even unto the end of the earth (Jeremiah 25:33).
Here the end of the earth does not signify the whole world, but only the region where the church was, and consequently the men who were of the church. Again:--
I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth; a tumult shall come even to the end of the earth; for Jehovah hath a controversy with the nations (Jeremiah 25:29, 31).
In this passage, in like manner, the whole world is not meant, but only the region where the church is, and therefore the inhabitant or man of the church; the nations here denote falsities. In Isaiah:--
Behold, Jehovah cometh forth out of His place to visit the iniquity of the inhabitant of the earth (Isaiah 26:21).
Here the meaning is the same. Again:--
Have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood the foundations of the earth? (Isaiah 40:21).
Jehovah, that createth the heavens, God Himself that formeth the earth and maketh it, He establisheth it (Isaiah 45:18).
The earth denotes the man of the church. In Zechariah:--
The saying of Jehovah, who stretcheth out the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man in the midst of him (Zechariah 12:1),
where the earth manifestly denotes the man of the church. The earth is distinguished from the ground as are the man of the church and the church itself, or as are love and faith.
from AC 662
That by earth or land is signified man, consequently the church, which is of man, may be seen in Malachi:--
All nations shall call you happy; for ye shall be a delightsome land (Malachi 3:12).
That earth denotes the church is seen in Isaiah:--
Have ye not understood the foundations of the earth? (Isaiah 40:21),
where the foundations of the earth denote the foundations of the church. Again:--
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; Rev. 21:1).
New heavens and a new earth denote the kingdom of the Lord and the church. In Zechariah:--
Jehovah, who stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him (Zechariah 12:1),
meaning the church. Also, as before, in Genesis:--
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1).
And the heavens and the earth were finished (Genesis 2:1)
These are the nativities of the heavens and of the earth (Genesis 2:4),
everywhere denoting the church created, formed, and made. In Joel:--
The earth quaked before Him, the heavens trembled, the sun and the moon were darkened (Joel 2:10),
meaning the church and the things of the church; when these are vastated, heaven and earth are said to quake, and the sun and moon to grow dark, that is, love and faith.
 In Jeremiah:--
I beheld the earth, and lo a void and emptiness and the heavens, and they had no light (Jeremiah 4:23).
Here the earth plainly denotes the man in whom there is not anything of the church. Again:--
The whole earth shall be desolate yet will I not make a full consummation for this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black (Jeremiah 4:27, 28).
Here also the church is meant, whose exteriors are the earth, and the interiors the heavens, of which it is said that they shall be black, with no light in them, when there is no longer wisdom of good and intelligence of truth. Then the earth also is empty and void; and in like manner the man of the church who should be a church. That by the whole earth is meant in other places also only the church, may be seen in Daniel:--
The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces (Daniel 7:23);
the whole earth denotes the church and what is of the church; for the Word does not treat, like profane writings, of monarchial sovereignties, but of the holy things and states of the church, which are here signified by the kingdoms of the earth.
 In Jeremiah:--
A great tempest shall be raised up from the uttermost parts of the earth; and the slain of Jehovah shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth (Jeremiah 25:32, 33);
here from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth, means the church and everything that is of the church. In Isaiah:--
The whole earth is at rest and is quiet; they break forth into singing (Isaiah 14:7),
where the whole earth denotes the church. In Ezekiel:--
When the whole earth rejoiceth (Ezekiel 35:14),
where also the whole earth denotes the church. In Isaiah:--
I have sworn that the water of Noah should no more go over the earth (Isaiah 54:9),
where the earth denotes the church, because the church is there treated of.
 Because land or earth in the Word signifies the church, it signifies also what is not the church, for every such word has contrary or opposite meanings; as for example the various lands of the Gentiles; in general all lands outside the land of Canaan. Land is therefore taken also for the people and for the man outside the church, and hence for the external man, for his will, his Own, and so forth. The term is rarely used in the Word for the whole world, except when the whole human race is meant as regards their state, whether of the church or not of the church. And because the earth is the containant of the ground, which also signifies the church, and the ground is the containant of the field, the word earth signifies, because it involves, many things; and what it signifies is evident from the subject treated of, which is that of which the term is predicated. From all this it is evident that by the whole earth that was overspread by the sons of Noah, is not signified the whole world, or the whole human race, but all the doctrines both true and false that were of the churches.
from AC 1066
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