Spiritual Meaning of

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The signification of wheat is love and charity, - to be explained in what follows; hence wheat-harvest is an advancing state of love and charity. The means of the conjunction of the external man with the internal have been described under the representation of the four sons of Jacob by the handmaids; and the subject now treated of is the conjunction of good and truth by means of the rest of the sons; and therefore the dudaim are first spoken of, by which this conjunction or conjugial relation is signified. The reason why a wheat-harvest signifies an advancing state of love and charity, is that a field signifies the church, and thus the things of the church; and the seeds sown in the field signify the things of good and truth; and the plants born from them, such as wheat, barley, and other grains, signify the things of love and charity, and also of faith. The states of the church in regard to these things are therefore compared to seedtime and harvest, and are so called, as in (Genesis 8:22) (AC 932).

[2] That wheat denotes the things of love and charity, may also be seen from the following passages. In Moses:--

Jehovah maketh him to ride on the high places of the earth, and feedeth him with the increase of the fields, and maketh him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; butter of the herd and milk of the flock, with the fat of lambs and of rams, the sons of Bashan, and of he-goats, with the fat of the kidneys of wheat, and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape (Deut. 32:13, 14)

here in the internal sense the subject treated of is the Ancient Church and its state when it was set up; and all the things of love and charity and all the things of faith that were in it, are described by significatives. The fat of the kidneys of wheat is the celestial of love and charity; and as fat or fatness signifies the celestial (AC 353), and wheat, love, they are frequently joined together in the Word, as also in David:--

O that My people were obedient to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways. He should feed them with the fat of wheat, and with honey out of the rock would I satisfy thee (Ps. 81:13, 16).

And again in the same:--

Jehovah, He maketh thy border peace, and filleth thee with the fat of wheat (Ps. 147:14).

[3] That wheat is love and charity, may be seen in Jeremiah:--

Many shepherds have destroyed My vineyard, they have trodden down the portion of My field, they have made the portion of My field a wilderness of solitude. Wasters are come upon all the hills in the wilderness for the sword of Jehovah devoureth from one end of the land even to the other end of the land no flesh hath peace. They have sown wheat, and have reaped thorns (Jer. 12:10, 12, 13);

vineyard and field denote the church; the wilderness of solitude, its vastation; the sword that devoureth, the vastation of truth; no peace, no good that affects; sowing wheat, the goods of love and charity; reaping thorns, the evils and falsities of the love of self and of the world. A vineyard" is the spiritual church, (AC 1069); and a field is the church as to good, (AC 2971); a wilderness is vastation, (AC 1927, 2708); a devouring sword is the vastation of truth, (AC 2799); and peace is good that affects, (AC 3780).

[4] In Joel:--

The field is wasted, the ground mourneth, for the corn is wasted, the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth, the husbandmen were ashamed, the vine-dressers have howled, for the wheat and for the barley for the harvest of the field is perished. Gird yourselves and lament, ye priests; howl, ye ministers of the altar (Joel 1:10, 11, 13).

Everyone sees that the state of the vastated church is that which is here described; thus that field and ground are the church; the corn its good, and the new wine its truth (AC 3580); and that the wheat is celestial love, and the barley spiritual love; and as the state of the church is treated of, it is said, gird yourselves and lament, ye priests howl, ye ministers of the altar.

[5] In Ezekiel, the Spirit of Jehovah said to the prophet:--

Take unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them into one vessel, and make thee bread thereof. With the ordure of man's dung shalt thou make a cake before their eyes. Thus shall the sons of Israel eat their bread unclean (Ezek. 4:9, 12, 13);

where the profanation of good and truth is treated of; the wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt denote the kinds of good and its derivative truth; the bread or cake made thereof with the ordure of human dung," denotes the profanation of all of them.

[6] In John:--

I saw and behold a black horse; and he that sat thereon had a balance in his hand. And I heard a voice from the midst of the four living creatures, saying, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny and hurt thou not the oil and the wine (Rev. 6:5, 6);

where the vastation of good and truth is treated of; a measure of wheat for a penny denoting the scarcity of love; and three measures of barley for a penny, the scarcity of charity.

[7] In Ezekiel:--

Judah and the land of Israel were thy merchants with wheat of Minnith, and pannag, and honey, and oil, and balsam, they made thy tradings (Ezek. 27:17);

where the subject is Tyre, by which are signified the knowledges of good and truth; the goods of love and charity and their happinesses are the wheat of Minnith, and pannag, and honey, and oil, and balsam; Judah is the celestial church, and the land of Israel, the spiritual church, from which those things are; tradings are acquisitions.

[8] In Moses:--

A land of wheat and barley, a land of vine and fig-tree and pomegranate, a land of olive, of oil, and of honey (Deut. 8:8);

describing the land of Canaan, which in the internal sense is the Lord's kingdom (AC 1413, 1437, 1585, 1607, 3038, 3705). The goods of love and charity are signified by the wheat and barley; and the goods of faith by the vine and the fig-tree.

[9] In Matthew:--

Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His threshing floor and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:12).

John the Baptist thus speaks of the Lord; the wheat denotes the good of love and charity; the chaff, that in which there is nothing of good. In the same:--

Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into My barn (Matthew 13:30);

the tares denote evils and falsities and the wheat, goods. They are comparisons, but the comparisons in the Word are all made by means of significatives.

from AC 3941

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