Spiritual Meaning of

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 Be fruitful, Multiply

That be fruitful signifies the good of charity, and multiply the truths of faith, which were now about to be increased, is evident from the signification of these two expressions in the Word, where to be fruitful, or to produce fruit, is constantly predicated of charity, and to multiply, of faith, as was shown above, (AC 43, 55), and in further confirmation of which we may adduce the following passages from the Word:--

Turn, O backsliding sons; I will give you shepherds according to Mine heart, and they shall feed you with knowledge and intelligence; and it shall be that ye shall be multiplied and made fruitful in the earth (Jer. 3:14-16),

where to be multiplied manifestly denotes growth in knowledge and intelligence, that is, in faith, and to be made fruitful denotes the goods of charity; for it there treats of the implantation of the church, in which faith or multiplication comes first. Again:--

I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all lands whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds, and they shall be fruitful and multiplied (Jeremiah 23:3),

speaking of a church already planted, consequently to be made fruitful as to the goods of charity and to be multiplied as to the truths of faith. So in Moses:--

Moreover I will look to you, and make you to be fruitful, and I will make you to be multiplied, and establish My covenant with you (Lev. 26:9),

speaking in the internal sense of the celestial church, wherefore to be fruitful is predicated of the goods of love and charity, and to be multiplied, of the goods and truths of faith. In Zechariah:--

I will redeem them, and they shall be multiplied as they have been multiplied (Zechariah 10:8);

that to be multiplied is here predicated of the truths of faith, is evident from their being to be redeemed. In Jeremiah:--

The city shall be builded upon her own heap, and out of them shall proceed confession, and the voice of them that make merry, and I will cause them to be multiplied, and they shall not be diminished; their sons also shall be as aforetime (Jeremiah 30:18-20),

speaking of the affections of truth, and of the truths of faith; the former being denoted by confession, and the voice of them that make merry, and the latter by being multiplied; sons also here denote truths.

from AC 984. That to replenish the earth signifies in the external man, is evident from the signification of the earth as being the external man, which has been already shown several times. In reference to the goods of charity and the truths of faith in the regenerate man, it may be observed that they are implanted in his conscience; and as they are implanted by means of faith, or by the hearing of the Word, they are at first in his memory, which belongs to the external man. When the man has been regenerated, and the internal man acts, the same takes place with respect to fructification and multiplication, the goods of charity putting themselves forth in the affections of the external man, and the truths of faith in his memory, increasing and multiplying in each case. The nature of this multiplication may be known to every regenerate person, for things that confirm constantly accrue, from the Word, from the rational man, and from knowledges (scientifica), by which he becomes more and more confirmed, this being an effect of charity, the Lord alone doing the work through charity.

from AC 983

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