Spiritual Meaning of

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The church as to knowledge, or as to external things, is signified by a forest in David:--

The field shall exalt, and all that is therein; then shall all the trees of the forest sing (Ps. 96:12).

Lo we heard of Him in Ephrata, we found Him in the fields of the forest (Ps. 132:6);

speaking of the Lord. In Isaiah:--

The light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for flame. And it shall burn the glory of his forest, and his Carmel; it shall consume from the soul even to the flesh; whence the rest of the trees of his forest shall be a number that a child may describe them. He shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fail by a magnificent one (Isa. 10:17-19, 34);

the forest denotes the church as to the knowledges of truth; Carmel, the church as to the knowledges of good; in like manner Lebanon and Hermon; the trees of the forest denote knowledges, as above; to be a number that a child may describe means few; the thickets of the forest denote memory-knowledges (AC 2831).

[7] In the same:

Thou hast said, By the multitude of my chariots I will go up to the height of the mountain's, to the sides of Lebanon, and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, the choice of the fir-trees thereof; then will I come unto the height of his border, the forest of his Carmel (Isa. 37:24).

I will visit upon you according to the fruit of your works, and I will kindle a fire in her forest (Jer. 21:14).

Prophesy against the forest of the field unto the south; and say to the forest of the south, Behold I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every tree (Ezek. 20:46, 47).

Feed Thy people with Thy rod, the flock of Thine heritage who dwell alone in the forest in the midst of Carmel (Micah 7:14).

Who does not see that in these passages by a forest is not meant a forest, and that by Lebanon and Carmel which are forests are not meant Lebanon and Carmel, but some thing of the church? yet what of the church is meant has been hitherto hidden, because the internal sense lies hidden. And it is wonderful that in so learned a world as is Europe above all the rest, where they have the Word, in every particular of which there is an internal sense, the very knowledge of this sense is wanting; when yet this knowledge existed among the ancients in Chaldea, in Assyria, in Egypt, in Arabia, and thence in Greece, in whose books, emblems, and hieroglyphics such things are still to be met with. But the reason why such knowledge has perished, is that there is no faith that the spiritual is anything.

from AC 9011

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