206.* Verse 17. Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased in goods, signifies that they think they possess in all abundance the knowledges of truth and good which are of the church and heaven. "To be rich and increased in goods," here signifies nothing else than to know and understand fully such things as are of the church and heaven which are called spiritual and theological, because these are here treated of; spiritual riches and abundance are nothing else. They who believe from themselves, and not from the Lord through the Word, also believe that they know and understand all things. The reason is, that their spiritual mind is shut, and their natural mind alone open; and this mind, without spiritual light, sees no otherwise. That by "riches" and "wealth" in the Word are signified spiritual riches and wealth, which are the knowledges of truth and good, is manifest from the following passages:
In thy wisdom and in thy understanding thou hast gotten thee wealth, gold and silver in thy treasures; by the multiplication of thy wisdom thou hast multiplied thy wealth (Ezek. 28:4-5).
This is spoken of Tyre, by which is signified the church as to the knowledges of truth and good. In like manner:
The daughter of Tyre shall bring thee a gift; O daughter of the king, the rich peoples shall entreat thy faces (Ps. 45:12).
Jehovah will impoverish Tyre; He will shake off her wealth into the sea (Zech. 9:4).
O Tyre, they shall plunder thy wealth (Ezek. 26:12).
Assyria said, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, because I am intelligent; whence I will plunder the treasures of the peoples, my hand shall find the wealth of the peoples (Isa. 10:13-14).
By Assyria the rational is signified; here that it perverts the goods and truths of the church, which here are the "treasures and wealth of the peoples," which he will plunder.
I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and the hidden wealth of the lurking-places (Isa. 45:3).
Happy is the man that feareth Jehovah; wealth and riches are in his house, and his justice standeth forever (Ps. 112:1, 3).
God hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He hath sent away empty (Luke 1:53).
Woe unto you that are rich, for ye have received your joy; woe unto you that are filled, for ye shall hunger (Luke 6:24-25).
By the "rich" here are meant those who were in possession of the knowledges of truth and good because they had the Word, who were the Jews: the same is meant by the rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen (Luke 16:19); and in like manner by the "rich" and "riches" in other places (as in Isa. 30:6; Jer. 17:11; Micah 4:13; 6:12; Zech. 14:14; Matt. 12:35; 13:44; Luke 12:21).
* There is no number 205 in the original Latin.