253. It is by virtue of a heavenly and angelic Own that the church is called a "woman" and also a "wife" a "bride" a "virgin" and a "daughter." She is called a "woman" in the Revelation:
A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. And the dragon persecuted the woman who brought forth the man child (Rev. 12:1, 4-5, 13).In this passage by a "woman" is meant the church; by the "sun" love; by the "moon" faith; by "stars" as before, the truths of faith, all of which evil spirits hate, and persecute to the utmost. The church is called a "woman" and also a "wife" in Isaiah:
Thy Maker is thy Husband, Jehovah of Armies is His name, and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth is He called; for as a woman forsaken and afflicted in spirit hath Jehovah called thee, and as a wife of youth
[adolescentiarum] (Isa. 54:5-6),
where the "Maker" is called also the "husband" because united to the Own; and a "woman afflicted" and a "wife of youth" signify specifically the Ancient and Most Ancient Churches. Likewise in Malachi:
Jehovah hath borne witness between thee and the wife of thy youth [adolescentiarum] (Mal. 2:14).
She is called a "wife" and a "bride" in the Revelation:
I saw the holy city New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband: come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife (Rev. 21:2, 9).
The church is called a "virgin" and a "daughter" throughout the Prophets.