(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 3767

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3767. And behold there three droves of the flock lying by it. That this signifies the holy things of churches and of doctrinal things, is evident from the signification of "three," as being that which is holy (n. 720, 901); and from the signification of "droves of the flock," as being those things which are of the church, thus doctrinal things; specifically, a "flock" signifies those who are within the church, and who learn and become imbued with the goods which are of charity, and the truths which are of faith; and in this case a "shepherd" signifies one who teaches these things; but in general a "flock" signifies all those who are in good, thus who belong to the Lord's church in the universal world; and inasmuch as all these are introduced into good and truth by means of doctrinal things, therefore by a "flock" are also signified doctrinal things. For in the internal sense the things which determine the quality of a man, and the man himself who is of such a quality, are meant by the same expression; for the subject, which is man, is understood from that by virtue of which he is man. [2] For this reason it has been repeatedly stated that names signify actual things, and also signify those to whom such things appertain-as that "Tyre" and "Zidon" signify the knowledges of good and truth, and also those who are in such knowledges; and that "Egypt" signifies memory-knowledge, and "Asshur" reasoning, yet there are also understood those who are in these; and so with every other name. But the speech in heaven among the angels is effected by means of actual things, without the idea of persons; thus by universals; and this for the reason that in this way they comprise countless things in their discourse; and especially is this the case because they attribute all good and truth to the Lord, and nothing to themselves; the result of which is that the ideas of their speech are not determined to any but the Lord alone. From all this we can now see whence it is that a "flock" is said to signify churches, and also doctrinal things. Droves of a flock are said to be "lying by the well," because the doctrinal things are from the Word. (That a "well" denotes the Word, has been stated just above, n. 3765.)


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