9198. Any widow. That this signifies those who are in good without truth, and yet long for truth, is evident from the signification of "a widow," as being good without truth, and yet longing for it. That "a widow" has this signification is because by "a man" is signified truth, and by his "woman" is signified good; and therefore when the woman of a man becomes a widow, she signifies good without truth. But in a still more interior sense "a widow" signifies truth without good. The reason is that in this sense "a husband" signifies good, and his "wife" truth (see n. 3236, 4510, 4823). In this sense the Lord is called "Husband" and "Bridegroom," from the Divine good; and His kingdom and church is called "Wife" and "Bride" from the reception of the Divine truth which proceeds from the Lord (n. 9182). But as in the passage under consideration the Lord's celestial church is not treated of, but His spiritual church, by "a widow" is signified one who is in good and not in truth, and yet longs for truth. The case is similar with "an orphan." In the inmost or celestial, sense "an orphan" signifies those who are in good and long for truth. See the passages quoted and explained in regard to the signification of "widow" and "orphan" in the celestial sense, in n. 4844; to which may be added what the Lord says in Luke concerning the widow in Sarepta:
Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. Of a truth I say unto you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there was a great famine over all the land; yet unto none of them was Elias sent, save to Sarepta of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow (Luke 4:24-26).
 As all things the Lord spoke, He spoke from the Divine, therefore His words have an internal sense, and in this sense the subject here treated of is the Lord Himself and His kingdom and church. What therefore the Lord meant in this sense by the words He spoke of the widow in Sarepta of Sidon, is plain when they are unfolded. That "no prophet is accepted in his own country" signifies that the Lord, and the Divine truth which is from Him, are less received and loved in heart within the church, than outside of it. He spoke to the Jews, with whom the church then was; and it is known that the Lord was less received by them than by the nations outside the church. The case is similar at this day in the church which from Him is called the Christian Church. In this the Lord is indeed received in doctrine; but only by a few with acknowledgment of heart; and by still fewer from the affection of love. It is otherwise with the converted Gentiles outside the church. These worship and adore Him as their one only God, and they say with the mouth, and think at heart, that they acknowledge Him as God, because He has appeared in a human form (n. 5256). The reverse is the case within the church, where because He was born a man He is with difficulty acknowledged from the heart as God. These make His Human like their own human, although they know that His Father was Jehovah, and not a man. From all this it is evident what is meant in the internal sense by "no prophet being accepted in his own country." A "prophet" in this sense denotes the Lord as to Divine truth, thus in respect to the doctrine of the church. (That "a prophet" denotes one who teaches, and in the abstract sense doctrine, and when predicated of the Lord, the Divine truth of the Word, see above, n. 9188.)
 That "there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elias" signifies in the internal sense the state of acknowledgment of truth Divine from the Word at that time in the church. For as before said, "widows" denote those who are in good without truth; "Elias" denotes the Lord as to the Word; "the days of Elias" denote the states of reception of truth Divine from the Word at that time; and "Israel" denotes the church. (That "Elias" represented the Lord as to the Word, may be seen in the preface to Genesis 18, and n. 2762, 5247, 8029; that "days" denote states, n. 893, 2788, 3462, 3785, 4850, 6110, 8426; and that "Israel" denotes the church, n. 4286, 6426, 6637, 8805.)
 "When the heaven was shut up three years and six months" signifies the full vastation of the internal church; for "heaven" denotes the internal of the church; and "three years and six months" denotes to the full. That "heaven" denotes the internal of the church, see n. 1733, 1850, 3355, 4535; and this is said to be "shut up" when it is vastated, that is, when it is no more. That "three years and six months" denotes to the full, is evident from the signification of "a thousand two hundred and sixty days" in Rev. 11:3; 12:6 (which days make three years and six months), as being to the full, that is, even unto the end; in like manner from the signification of "three days and a half" in Rev. 11:9-11; and also from the signification of "a time and times and half a time" in Rev. 12:14, and Dan. 12:7, as being to the full, or, even to the end.
 "When there was a great famine over all the land" signifies the vastation of the external church also; for "a famine" denotes the lack and desolation of truth and good (n. 3364, 5277, 5279, 5281, 5300, 5360, 5376, 5415, 5576, 6110, 7102); and "the land" denotes the external church (n. 1262, 1413, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 3355, 4535, 5577, 8011, 8732). "Yet unto none of them was Elias sent" signifies the Lord as to the Word-and thus the Word of the Lord-not sent to others, because He would not have been received elsewhere; for "Elias," as before said, denotes the Lord as to the Word.
 "Save to Sarepta of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow," signifies only unto those who are in good and long for truth. It is said "Sarepta of Sidon" because "Sidon" signifies the knowledges of good and truth (n. 1201). That "a woman a widow" denotes one who is in good, and longs for truth, is evident from what has just been said, and especially from what is related of her in the first book of Kings, where are these words: "Elijah came to Sarepta of Sidon to a widow woman, that she might sustain him; and he said to her, Fetch me a little water that I may drink, and bring me a morsel of bread in thine hand; and she said that she had only a little meal in the barrel, and a little oil in the cruse, sufficient only for a cake for herself and her son." And Elijah said:
Make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it out to me, and afterward make for thee and for thy son. She did so; and the barrel of meal was not consumed; and the cruse of oil did not fail (1 Kings 17:9-16).
 Obedience, and the longing of good for truth, are described by her giving water to the prophet at his bidding, and afterward by her first making a cake for him out of her own little supply, and then for herself and her son; and that thereby she was enriched with the good of truth is signified by "the barrel of meal not being consumed, and the cruse of oil failing not;" for in the internal sense "water" denotes truth (n. 2702, 3058, 3424, 4976, 5668, 8568); "meal," truth from good (n. 2177); "oil," the good of love (n. 886, 4582, 4638); and "a cake" made of these, truth conjoined with its good (n. 7978). From all this it is clear that "a widow" denotes one who is in good and longs for truth. Good and its longing for truth is described by the charity toward the prophet, which was greater than toward herself and her son. "The prophet," as before shown, denotes the doctrine of truth.
 From all this it is evident what is the nature of the Word, namely, that it conceals within itself the secret things of heaven, which are not apparent in the letter; when yet in every word which the Lord Himself spoke when He was in the world, and which He had before spoken through the prophets, there are things heavenly and wholly Divine, and raised above the sense of the letter; and this not only in each word, but also in each syllable of the words, nay, in every point of each syllable. But who believes that this is so? Nevertheless it is a certain fact, of which I have received full and unquestionable proof, concerning which of the Lord's Divine mercy elsewhere.