6441. Is a wolf. That this signifies the avidity of rescuing and delivering the good, is evident from the signification of a "wolf," as being one who seizes and scatters; and as in the Word "beasts" signify cupidities, a "wolf" signifies the avidity of seizing, as is also evident from the passages in the Word where a "wolf" is mentioned; as in Matthew:
Beware ye of false prophets, who come unto you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves (Matt. 7:15).
And in John:
He that is a hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth, and the wolf seizeth them, and scattereth the sheep (John 10:12).
Likewise in other places (as Luke 10:3; Jer. 5:6; Ezek. 22:27; Zeph. 3:3). Hence it is plain that by a "wolf" are signified those who seize, but here one who rescues from hell those who have been seized. The signification of a "wolf" is in a similar category to that of a "lion," also a rapacious animal, concerning which also it is said that it "seizeth the rapine," "gathereth spoil," and "preyeth upon prey," as is here said of a wolf; and yet in a good sense a "lion" signifies truth in power from good (n. 6367). It is similar with other rapacious beasts, as leopards, eagles, etc.