Spiritual Meaning of

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That by seed is signified love, and also every one in whom there is love, is evident from the following passages in Genesis:--

And Jehovah appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land (Genesis 12:7);

and again:--

All the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever; and I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth (Genesis 13:15, 16).

Those who are in the sense of the letter do not apprehend anything else than that by seed is meant the posterity of Abram, and by this land, the land of Canaan, especially as this land was given to his posterity. But those who are in the internal sense, as is the whole heaven, by the seed of Abram perceive nothing else than love; by the land of Canaan nothing else than the kingdom of the Lord in the heavens and on the earth; and in the land's being given them they perceive nothing but its representation, of which, by the Divine mercy of the Lord, elsewhere. And again it is said of Abram:--

Jehovah led him forth abroad, and said, Look up now toward heaven, and number the stars, if thou be able to number them; and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be (Gen. 15:15).

Here likewise Abram is named because he represented love, or saving faith; and by his seed no other posterity is meant, in the internal sense, than all in the universe who have love.

[10] Again:--

As the army of the heavens cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the seed of David My servant, and the Levites that minister unto Me (Jeremiah 33:22),

where "seed" plainly denotes heavenly seed, for by David is signified the Lord. That the seed of David was not as the army of the heavens that cannot be numbered, neither as the sand of the sea that cannot be measured, is known to every one. Again:--

Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will raise unto David a righteous offshoot, and He shall reign as king and shall act intelligently, and shall do judgment and righteousness in the land; in His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell confidently; and this is His name whereby He shall be called, Jehovah our righteousness; therefore behold the days come, saith Jehovah, that they shall no more say, As Jehovah liveth, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, As Jehovah liveth, who brought up and who led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country (Jeremiah 23:5-8).

Here things very different from those appearing in the letter are signified. David is not meant by "David," nor Judah by "Judah," nor Israel by "Israel;" but by "David" is signified the Lord, by "Judah" what is celestial, by "Israel" what is spiritual; and therefore by "the seed of Israel" those who have charity, or the faith of charity.

[11] In David:--

Ye that fear Jehovah, praise Him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify Him; and stand in awe of Him, all ye the seed of Israel (Ps. 22:23),

where by "the seed of Israel" no other seed is meant than the spiritual church. In Isaiah:--

A seed of holiness is the stock thereof (Isaiah 6:13),

meaning remains which are holy, because they are the Lord's. Again:--

I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah a possessor of My mountains; and Mine elect shall possess it, and My servants shall dwell there (Isaiah 65:9),

where the celestial church, external and internal, is treated of. Again:--

They shall not generate for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of Jehovah, and their offspring with them (Isaiah 65:23),

where the subject is the new heavens and the new earth, or the kingdom of the Lord. Those who are therein, being "generated" from love, or regenerated, are called the "seed of the blessed of Jehovah."

from AC 1025


That by seed, those born, and generations, are meant those who are in love and faith to the Lord, and in the abstract sense the goods of love and the truths of faith, is evident from many passages in the Word, of which only the following may be adduced:--

I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west (Isa. 43:5);

this is said of Jacob and Israel, by whom in the internal sense is meant the church external and internal, the seed of which is the truth of faith and the good of charity.

[3] Again:--

I will pour out My spirit upon thy seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring (Isa. 44:3);

upon seed, and upon offspring, denote upon those who are of the church, thus upon the things that are of the church, which are goods and truths, or charity and faith, for these make the church with man. Again:--

In Jehovah shall all the seed of Israel glory (Isa. 45:25);

where the meaning is the same. Again:--

If He shall make His soul guilty, He shall see His seed (Isa. 53:10);

speaking of the Lord, whose seed they are called who are born of Him, thus who are regenerated. Again:--

To the right hand and to the left thou shalt break forth, and thy seed shall inherit the nations (Isa. 54:3);

where the meaning is similar.

[4] In Jeremiah:--

Behold the days come that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast (Jer. 31:27);

these words are not understood unless it is known what is signified by the house of Israel, and the house of Judah, also what by the seed of man, and the seed of beast. They who do not think beyond the sense of the letter will believe the meaning to be that man and beast are to be multiplied in Israel and Judah, but this meaning involves nothing holy of the church. But by the house of Israel is there meant the spiritual church, and by the house of Judah the celestial church; the seed of man denotes the internal good of these churches; and the seed of beast denotes their external good. That a beast denotes the affection of good, (AC 9280); and that when mention is made of man and beast, it denotes what is internal and what is external, (AC 7523).

[5] Again:--

As the army of the heavens shall not be numbered, and the sand of the sea is not measured, so will I multiply the seed of David (Jer. 33:22).

I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn unto David; thy seed will I establish for an age, and build up thy throne to generation and generation (Ps. 89:3, 4);

by the seed of David is not meant the posterity of David as a father for this was not so greatly multiplied, nor of so much importance that it should be multiplied as the army of the heavens and as the sand of the sea; but by David in this passage, as also in other places, is meant the Lord as to Divine truth, thus by his seed those who have been regenerated or born of the Lord, and in the abstract sense the things which they have from the Lord, namely, the truths of faith and the goods of charity. That David denotes the Lord, (AC 1888, 9954).

[6] And again:--

A seed that shall serve Jehovah shall be counted to the lord for a generation (Ps. 22:30).

Their seed shall become known among the nations, and their offspring in the midst of the peoples (Isa. 61:9);

here seed denotes those who are regenerate, thus those who are of the church, and in whom the church is; thus in a sense abstracted from persons, those things which make a regenerate man, of which make the church with a man, which are faith and charity from the Lord.

[7] And in John:--

The dragon was angry against the woman, and went away to make war with the remains of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17);

by the dragon are meant those who will attempt to destroy the church of the Lord hereafter to be set up; by the woman is meant this church; and by those who are of her seed are meant those who are in love and faith to the Lord from the Lord. But in the opposite sense seed signifies those who are against the things of the church, thus who are in evil and the falsities thence derived; and in the abstract sense evils and falsities; as in these passages:--

Woe to the sinful nation, a seed of evil ones (Isa. 1:4).

Sons of the sorceress, seed of the adulterer, are ye not born of transgression, the seed of a lie? (Isa. 57:3, 4).

The seed of evil-doers shall never be mentioned (Isa. 14:20).

from AC 10249

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