Spiritual Meaning of

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 Wall, City

A city signifies doctrinal things (AC 402, 2268, 2449, 2712, 2943, 3216, 4492, 4493), and its wall the truths of faith which defend it, and in the opposite sense the falsities which are being destroyed. That a wall signifies the truths of faith which defend, is plain in Isaiah:--

We have a strong city; salvation will He appoint for walls and bulwark. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth faithfulnesses may enter in (Isa 26:1).


Thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise (Isa. 60:18).


Behold I have graven thee upon the hands, thy walls are continually before Me (Isa. 49:16);

walls denote the truths of faith. Again:--

I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem; they shall not be silent all the day and the night, keeping Jehovah in mind (Isa. 62:6);

where the sense is the same. In Jeremiah:--

Thus said Jehovah Zebaoth, I will turn back the weapons of war wherewith ye fight with the king of Babylon, besieging you without the wall. I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand (Jer. 21:4, 6).


Jehovah hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion; He hath made the rampart and wall to lament; they languish together. Her gates have sunk into the earth; He hath destroyed and broken her bare (Lam. 2:8, 9).

In Ezekiel:--

The sons of Arvad and thine army were upon thy walls round about; and the Gammadim were in thy towers; they hanged their shields upon thy walls round about, they have perfected thy beauty (Ezek. 27:11);

speaking of Tyre, by which are signified the knowledges of good and truth.

[3] That such things are signified by a city and walls, is very evident from the description of the holy Jerusalem coming down out of heaven, which was seen by John. That a new church is signified thereby is plain from all the details; and by the wall thereof, the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord. It is written of this in John:--

The holy Jerusalem coming down from heaven, having a wall great and high; having twelve gates. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. He that spake with me measured the city and its gates, and the wall thereof. The wall thereof was a hundred forty and four cubits, which is the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. The building of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like unto pure glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every precious stone (Rev. 21:10-19);

[4] that the wall is the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, and hence the truth of faith from the good of charity, is plain from everything said about the wall, that it had twelve foundations and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, for by twelve are signified all (AC 3272, 3858, 3913); by the wall and its foundations, the truths of faith, in like manner as by the twelve apostles (AC 3488, 3858, 6397); also that the wall was one hundred and forty-four cubits, for by this number the like is signified as by twelve, namely all, for it is twelve multiplied into twelve, and because this number when applied to a wall signifies all the truths and goods of faith, it is added that it is the measure of a man, that is, of an angel; and also that the building of the wall was jasper, and its foundations were adorned with every precious stone, for by jasper and precious stones are sign, fled the truths of faith (AC 114).

[5] That in the opposite sense a wall signifies falsities which are being destroyed, is plain from the following:--

A day of tumult in the valley of vision; the Lord Jehovih Zebaoth destroyeth the wall, and there is a shout toward the mountain; for Elam hath borne the quiver, with chariot of man, with horsemen, the horsemen placing have placed themselves even at the gate (Isa. 22:5-7).


The fortress of the refuge of thy walls shall He depress, cast down, throw to the earth, even to the dust (Isa. 25:12).

In Jeremiah:--

Go ye up on her walls, and cast down (Jer. 5:10).


I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad (Jer. 49:27).


Lift up a standard against the walls of Babylon, keep the watch, set the watchmen (Jer. 51:12).

In Ezekiel:--

They shall overthrow the walls of Tyre, and destroy her towers; and I will scrape her dust from her, and make her the dryness of a rock (Ezek. 26:4).

from AC 6419

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