915. That by his "going forth" is signified that it was so done; that by "Noah and his sons" is signified the man of the Ancient Church; and that by "his wife and his sons' wives" is signified that church itself, is evident from the series of the things, which involves that thus was the Ancient Church formed, for these are the last or closing statements to what has gone before. When the church is described in the Word, it is described either by "man [vir] and wife" or by "man [homo] and wife;" when by "man [vir] and wife" by "man" is signified what is of the understanding, or truth, and by "wife" what is of the will, or good; when by "man [homo] and wife" by "man" is signified the good of love, or love, and by "wife" the truth of faith, or faith, thus by "man [homo]" is signified what is essential of the church, and by "wife" the church itself. It is so throughout the Word. In this place, because up to this point the formation of a new church has been treated of, on the perishing of the Most Ancient Church, by "Noah and his sons" is signified the man [homo] of the Ancient Church, and by his "wife and his sons' wives with him" that church itself. Here therefore they are named in an order different from that in the previous verse (16), where it is said: "Go forth from the ark, thou and thy wife, and thy sons and thy sons' wives with thee" where "thou" and "thy wife" are joined together, and "thy sons" and "thy sons' wives" and thus by "thou" and "sons" is signified truth, and by "wife" and "sons' wives" good. But in the verse we are now considering the order is different, for the reason, as we have said, that by "thou and thy sons" is signified the man of the church, and by "his wife and his sons' wives" the church itself, since it is the conclusion to what goes before. Noah did not constitute the Ancient Church, but his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, as said before. For three churches, so to speak, formed this Ancient Church, concerning which, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter. And these churches came forth as the offspring of one, which is called "Noah;" hence it is here said, "thou and thy sons" and also "thy wife and thy sons' wives."