Spiritual Meaning of
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That by the land of the sons of the east are signified the truths of love, thus the knowledges of truth which tend to good, may be seen from the signification of sons, as being truths (AR 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623); and from the signification of the east, as being love (AR 101, 1250, 3249). Their land is the ground in which they are. That the sons of the east are those who are in the knowledges of truth and good, and consequently in the truths of love, may be seen also from other passages in the Word. As in the first book of Kings:--
The wisdom of Solomon was multiplied more than the wisdom of all the sons of the cast, and than all the wisdom of the Egyptians (1 Kings 4:30);
where by the wisdom of the sons of the east are signified the interior knowledges of truth and good, thus those who are in them; but by the wisdom of the Egyptians is signified the memory-knowledge of the same, which is in a lower degree. By the Egyptians are signified memory-knowledges in general, (AR 1164, 1165, 1462).
 In Jeremiah:--
Thus saith Jehovah, Arise ye, go up against Kedar, lay waste the sons of the east. Their tents and their flocks they shall take they shall take their curtains, and all their vessels, and their camels (Jer. 49:28, 29).
That by the sons of the east are here meant those who are in the knowledges of good and truth, is evident from the fact that they were to take their tents and flocks, also their curtains and all their vessels, and likewise their camels; for by tents are signified the holy things of good (AR 414, 1102, 2145, 2152, 3312); by flocks, the goods of charity (AR 343, 2566); by curtains, holy truths (AR 2576, 3478); by vessels, truths of faith and memory-knowledges (AR 3068, 3079); by camels, memory-knowledges in general (AR 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145). Thus by the sons of the east are signified those who are in these things, that is, who are in the knowledges of good and truth.
 That the wise men from the east who came to Jesus at His birth were of those who were called the sons of the east, is evident from the fact that they were in the knowledge that the Lord was to be born, and that they knew of His advent by a star which appeared to them in the east, concerning which things we read in Matthew:--
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him (Matthew 2:1, 2).
That from ancient times such a prophetic knowledge had existed among the sons of the east, who were of Syria, is evident from Balaam's prophecy concerning the Lord's advent, in Moses:--
I see Him, but not now I behold Him, but not nigh there shall arise a star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise up out of Israel (Num. 24:17).
That Balaam was from the land of the sons of the east, that is, from Syria, is evident from these words:--
Balaam uttered his enunciation and said, Balak hath brought me from Syria, out of the mountains of the east (Num. 23:7).
Those wise men who came to Jesus at His birth are called magi, but wise men were so called at that time, as is evident from many passages; such as (Gen. 41:8; Exod. 7:11; Dan. 2:27; 4:6, 7; 1 Kings 4:30);
and from the Prophets throughout.
 That in the opposite sense the sons of the east signify the knowledges of evil and falsity, thus those who are in them, is evident in Isaiah:--
The envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the enemies of Judah shall be cut off they shall fly on the shoulder of the Philistines toward the sea and together shall they spoil the sons of the east (Isa. 11:13, 14).
Against the sons of Ammon. Behold I have delivered thee to the sons of the east for a possession, and they shall set their ordinances in thee (Ezek. 25:3, 4).
And in the book of Judges:--
When Israel sowed, Midian came up, and Amalek, and the sons of the east; they came up against him (Judges 6:3).
Midian denotes those who are in falsity because not in the good of life (AR 3242); Amalek, those who are in falsities with which they assault truths (AR 1679); the sons of the east, those who are in the knowledges of falsity.
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|