155. The words "a rib was built into a woman" have more things inmostly concealed in them than it is possible for anyone ever to discover from the letter; for the Word of the Lord is such that its inmost contents regard the Lord Himself and His kingdom, and from this comes all the life of the Word. And so in the passage before us, it is the heavenly marriage that is regarded in its inmost contents. The heavenly marriage is of such a nature that it exists in the Own, which, when vivified by the Lord, is called the "bride and wife" of the Lord. Man's Own thus vivified has a perception of all the good of love and truth of faith, and consequently possesses all wisdom and intelligence conjoined with inexpressible happiness. But the nature of this vivified Own, which is called the "bride and wife" of the Lord, cannot be concisely explained. Suffice it therefore to observe that the angels perceive that they live from the Lord, although when not reflecting on the subject they know no other than that they live from themselves; but there is a general affection of such a nature that at the least departure from the good of love and truth of faith they perceive a change, and consequently they are in the enjoyment of their peace and happiness, which is inexpressible, while they are in their general perception that they live from the Lord. It is this Own also that is meant in Jeremiah, where it is said:
Jehovah hath created a new thing in the earth, a woman shall compass a man (Jer. 31:22)
It is the heavenly marriage that is signified in this passage also, where by a "woman" is meant the Own vivified by the Lord, of which woman the expression "to compass" is predicated, because this Own is such that it encompasses, as a rib made flesh encompasses the heart.